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Abel to Yzerman

Beating Bubba: Keys To Game 2

Must win? Of course not.  Even for Bubba?  Maybe.  Heading to Nashville tied 1-1 leads to the possibility of a 6 game series, which does not sound fun.  Going there up 2-0 all but guarantees a quick resolution, and plenty of rest/preparation for whichever left coast opponent awaits.

Keys to Game 2:

Samuelsson, Cleary, Filppula, Franzen. I’m not even mentioning Hudler there because the thought of a goal from the Oompa Loompa is just not realistic at this point.  But the other three? Yes please.  It’s pretty clear that Bubba’s going to be all over the top line, expending any and all energy and strategy on stopping Zetterberg, Datsyuk and Homer.  Two goals from players not assigned to the Circus and we’re looking good.

Rafalski.  Not sure what the hell happened in Game 1 but he was a three-ring circus out there.  The fact that his turnovers didn’t hurt us is more testament to team speed and defense than anything else.  His mistakes were glaring, but overcome.  You have to think he’ll be much better today.

Holmstrom.  He hasn’t scored since January. I really believe his success is tied to the quality of Rafalski’s play.  If 28’s getting the puck on net during the power play then Homer’s going to be the benefactor.  I haven’t seen much of that the last few weeks.  It may not get better today because of Bubba’s tendencies to pressure the blue line.  Either way, if Homer starts scoring again there’s really no legitimate way to defend this team.

Hasek.  Idiots at the Cracker Barrell message boards are claiming that if Bubba gets 30 shots on Hasek, he’s somehow fallible.  Ok.  But the Wings have only given up 30 or more with Hasek in net 3 times.  No chance of that today.  But even if they somehow find a way to sneak thirty toward Hasek?  I get the feeling he’s getting into one of those grooves. 

A little more discomfort for Dan Ellis.  A bit more traffic.  Wouldn’t mind seeing a goalie interference call.  Speaking of? When’s the last time we saw one of those on Homer?  Yeah, it pisses us off, but it’s also a sign that he’s really bearing down on the goalie. 

And, again: Coaching.  Babcock made the first move, playing his top line against Bubba’s.  Results were a -6 with only 5 shots for the Arnott line, and a dominating performance by Zetterberg and Datsyuk.  Last change means this might be the last time Uncle Mike has that option.  Interesting to see if Trotz can counter it.  His options, talent wise, are limited.  If Legwand comes back today?  Different, but not necessarily dangerous.

Live blog at 1345.  Unique one considering I’ll be at the bowling/birthday party, DVRing the game.  Don’t any of you bastards think you can be smart and ruin the outcome for me. I’ve got safeguards in place.

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Hey.  A big thanks to Clark Rasmussen at Detroithockey.net for the design and loan of the graphics we’ll use to count down the wins this year.

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About Abel to Yzerman

Welcome to Abel to Yzerman, a Red Wing blog since 1977.  No other site on the internet has better-researched, fact-laden and better prepared discussions than A2Y.  Re-phrase: we do little research, find facts and stats highly overrated and claim little to no preparation.  There are 19 readers of A2Y. No more, no less. All of them, except maybe one, are juvenile in nature.  Reminding them of that in the comment section will only encourage them to prove that. Your suggestions and critiques are welcome: wphoulihan@gmail.com

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