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Abel to Yzerman

Bubba-Licious

We wanted Bubba, now we got him.  We wanted Ellis instead of Kipper, Luongo or even Jose Three or Four.  We got him.  We wanted Arnott instead of Iginla.  Got that too.

But we weren’t displeased with Edmonton once.  And LA was a nifty matchup once too.

Whatever. Whoever.  The playoffs suck no matter who the opponent is.  8 months of irritation leading up to full-blown physical pain and suffering.

Oh, and in case you’re wondering…Bubba wants you too.  Bubba was fetal at the thought of playing San Jose in the first round, the team that’s made a postseason tradition of kicking redneck tail.  Bubba wasn’t unhappy at all about losing to Chicago last night, as if I had to tell you that.  They want them some Wings and some Wings they’ve got.

The Tennessean

“If you go based on the past couple of playoffs, we didn’t do very well against San Jose,’’ Predators goalie Chris Mason said. “But Detroit’s the best team in the league and there are plenty of reasons for that. So regardless of who you in the playoffs, you know you’re going to have a big challenge on your hands.’‘

Not your hands tough guy.  Ellis’.  Mason won’t see a minute of time against the Wings unless Ellis is pulled.  Rephrase, once Ellis is pulled, that’s the time we’ll see Mason.

Oh, we’ll get to Bubba.  Yes we will.  Port side of the page will be loaded up today with all your first-round resources: blogs, newspapers, roadkill recipes.  All the fun stuff.

But first we have internal issues to handle. Serious issues.  You’re going to read today and for several days afterward that it takes a lucky team, a healthy team, to win the Cup.  The team that suffers the least, loses the least amount of man games to injury, and has nearly the talent the other teams do?  That’s your winner.

So I guess we should just frigging quit now, because this team is far from healthy.  Far from it.  Maltby, Samuelsson: both out for Game 1.  Draper, Homer: both coming back tomorrow against Chicago, but far from fully healthy.  Kopecky: done.  Stuart: maybe for game 1.  Cleary: recovering, but scoreless since his return.  Oh, and Zetterberg and Datsyuk?

Targets. 

Freep

It’s more physical and guys are playing harder on Pav and Hank, it makes it tougher on them.

That’s Chris Chelios talking there, and he put it mildly.  If I were an 8 seed and had nothing to lose, an unproven goaltender and a sketchy offense? I’d do my best to drill both of them early and often, before and after the whistle.  Every chance I got.  And Bubba will.  Count on it.  And if we lose one or both, this round, next, the third or the Finals?  Sayonara sister.

But that’s theoretical paranoia, and you know we’re not into paranoia here.  Nope.  And plus, Uncle Mike will tell us that one man’s injury is another player’s opportunity.  I know he’s said that so he must feel it, because Uncle Mike never frigging lies.

And now we have the potential story of the Spring.  Michigan boy, Muskegon hero, MSU star, Detroit Red Wing: Justin Abdelkader. 

Wasn’t it so typically Red Wing the way the dailies just dropped in a small story Thursday? Kind of…“Hey, umm, the Wings signed Abdelkader today…and, yeah, he might just, you know, stay with them for the ENTIRE FRIGGING POSTSEASON.” 

WTF?  Was this a panic signing?  How else do you view it?  And that was before Kopecky’s knee got wrecked and Maltby tweaked his hammy.  Yeah, it probably was.  Sammy, Draper, Homer: no one knows the extent of the injuries they’ll have to play through.  So Tick Tock Kenny gave the kid a shot and, wouldn’t you know it, we may be on to something here Stress Trainers. 

11 minutes, 3 shots, 3 hits and 3 for 6 on faceoffs.  Interesting.  And, guess what? The kid can defend.  Eleven minutes for a 21 year old kid who three days earlier was probably trying to score in Cedar Village?

Muskegon Chronicle

“I thought he was good, determined, physical, he should have scored a goal,” said Detroit coach Mike Babcock after the Wings beat Columbus 3-2 at Joe Louis Arena. “Whether you’re 46 like (Chris Chelios) or 18, if you’re a really good player and you come in the league, it doesn’t take you very long.

“It looks to me like this guy’s got good hockey sense. He’s mean, he’s trying to run over top of you, which I really like.”

Oh, he’s gonna get his minutes.  I got a feeling, and so do you.  And since that’s the case, somebody better come up with a damn nickname and fast.  Because I’m already tired of typing that name, despite the fact that most of it occurs on the home keys and that’s always fun.

And hey, guess what Abdelkader’s emergence makes Kirk Maltby?  Wally Pipp, that’s who.  Abdelkader’s gonna show up in some strange places tomorrow.  Like the penalty kill, like on a line with guys like Cleary or even Datsyuk.  Maltby’s got years of playoff experience behind him so it’s tough to say he’s out of the mix completely, but like I said, I’ve got a feeling we’re going to see much more of Sparty.

Do we have to get into goaltending today?  Is that mandatory?  I’m having a nice Saturday morning, relatively stress free.  Can’t we just avoid that subject, just for one day?

No?

Ok, I’ll give you something to think about today, just a tidbit. 

Our Czech Miracle of Insanity has a save percentage of a flat .900. That’s over 40 games.  Ranked 37th in the league.

Dan Ellis?  .924 over 44 games. Yeah, that would be 1st.  And, um, yeah…he and Bubba have been fighting for a playoff spot all year, so every game’s been kinda important.

You wanna stress today?  Don’t worry too much about the injuries.  If you’re looking to ruin your Saturday and obsess about bad things, start thinking goaltending.  It’s April and that’s what Wing fans do in April. 

Suck. Suck. Suck.  That’s what the playoffs do. 

 

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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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