Abel to Yzerman
by IwoCPO on 05/13/08 at 06:06 AM ET
This series ended the minute Doc Emerick finished this sentence, “Richards is back on defense.” A blink of an eye later, even quicker, and Zetterberg had twisted him, flashed to his left, deked and roofed it.
And Marty Turco slid on his ass toward the golf course. Perhaps, in that tiny span of time, Turco gave thought to what he’d said earlier in the day.
“We don’t think much of them on a personal, character level. We think that’s to our advantage.”
Well, Marty. Advantage Wings. We, speaking for 19 of us, don’t think much of you on a few different levels. In fact, we think more of Dan Ellis. Hell, Three or Four looked better. 4,
errr, 2 (thanks Ryan), 5 and you might even sit for the sweep. Your ineptitude against the character-deprived Wings may have bought you a ticket right out of Dallas. Hell, right out of the conference. No team in the West is gonna want that guy with that record against the Wings, not when you consider the road to the Cup is heading right through Detroit for at least the next five years.
So Marty? Any other advantages we should know about before the Wings broom your ass into the offseason? Just checking.
Let’s get this out of the way real quick. That performance last night, on horrible ice that’s been terrible for more than a decade but no one in Gary’s league office seems to care, was the best I’ve ever seen from a Red Wing playoff team. But you can’t view it as a single game to have that perspective. If you do, you’re not giving Mike Babcock the credit he deserves.
It stands as the best because of the circumstances. This was the clincher and everyone knew it. Dallas wins and it’s a series. Wings take it and it’s a formality. It was the definitive game of the Wing season. It showed killer instinct, shutdown defense, a puck possession clinic the last thirty minutes and a goaltender who can’t lose, who won’t rattle and who deserves every bit of accolade he’ll never get from mainstreamers who can’t see what Chris Osgood brings to this team, this year.
Yes. Datsyuk and Zetterberg carried the Wings last night, which is exactly what we said they’d have to do. In hostile territory, on bad ice, at a time when your best players have to be the ones pressing the skate down, the Wings’ best players proved there is no duo in hockey better than them; including the tandem we’ll see in about a week.
Dallas laid 46 hits on the Wings last night, and it seemed like Brian Rafalski absorbed about 30 of them. And each time, he held on to the puck until the train got there, holding it until the last second, then flipping it away, dishing it and taking the punishment. He was amazing. Chris Chelios, on Dallas’ first goal, seemed to have been out there for five minutes. Every second of that shift was a war for him. He was drilling anything in sight, blasting Modano’s stick out of his hands, hitting the ice, recovering, chopping, checking, tiring but still hustling. Any Wing who watched that would not let this team lose last night. It was the shift of the year for a Wing defenseman. Dallas scored, but it didn’t matter.
Best I’ve seen. Better than ‘02. Better than ‘97. Nearly as good as a ‘98 team playing for more than a Cup. Contradictory I know. Deal with it.
We’ll watch the ECF, interested in a longer series hopefully. Curious as to what Pittsburgh will bring the next round. But this morning, it really doesn’t matter. Because there’s not a team out there who can skate with Detroit the way they’ve played since Uncle Mike sat the Czech Miracle of Insanity. Something’s going on in that room, something we’re not—yep—privy too. And I dig that.
Doc and Edzo and the Douche Canoe. Barry and Bob and the rest. The cool pick will be Pittsburgh next round. We understand that. The novelty is too good to pass up. But deep down, here’s what everyone knows. The Wings aren’t going to lose this thing. There’s gonna be a parade in Detroit this June and that frigging Cup’s coming home. Because when the skate is on the throat, this team knows what to do with it.
Don’t tap. Don’t waiver or worry. Just press that bastard down.
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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: firstname.lastname@example.org