Kukla's Korner

Abel to Yzerman

Hey. Weird. I’m Doing Ok.

After a regular season loss, like in December, when the Wings have already built a 15 point lead in The Division That Gary Built?  I find it very difficult to post, almost painfully so.  I’ll tell you something about myself you may not have been aware of prior to the moment of this startling revelation.

My moods are kind of dictated by the success of a certain hockey team.

So today, you’d think I’d be on the verge of stepping into traffic.

But I’m not.  I’m feeling alright.  I’m encouraged by the third period, by the play of Franzen, even the play of Osgood.  I’m convinced that Brian Rafalski is incapable of having another game as bad as last night. And I’m practically giddy that we’ve probably seen the last of Andres Lilja, this series or maybe ever.  God that felt good to type.

A few things I pondered as I angry-drove through DC traffic this morning.

That wasn’t Game 3. That was Rocky III.  The third period was Hagler/Hearns.  How many minutes between whistles? I have no idea but it was a long time.  Here’s how I know.  When Homer hit the post, I’d thought it was in.  As play kept going, I kept waiting for the whistle because I was convinced there’d be a review.  Shot after shot.  Multiple rushes from both teams.  Hits all over the place.  And I kept waiting.  I actually began to worry that the whole world would forget about a goal I knew had it occured, that would be proven via replay.  Finally a whistle. Just a post.  Just a post.

Brooks Orpik is either an RFA or a UFA. Can’t remember which.  Whichever.  He earned himself a big payday last night in one shift.  He was a frigging monster, drilling every Wing he could find.  If they’d let him in the stands he would have drilled the Pens fans too, just for wearing white.  I was wincing, but respectful.  One of the greatest shifts I’ve seen, ever.

Osgood was alternately brilliant (most of the third) and miserable.  Crosby’s first goal was weak.  And Hall’s was a direct result of Osgood pulling a Dom and straying where he shouldn’t. He almost got away with it, but Hall found a miracle and planted one in Ozzie’s ass, sealing the deal. 

Pavel Datsyuk has zero points this series and no one cares.  He’s never played better than he is now, in all facets of the game.  The hit he laid on Malone last night was vintage.  They had Malone mic’d and when NBC played it back later it sounded like a bowling ball hitting a belly.  Ok. A few of you care Datsyuk doesn’t have any points this series.  Actually, we all do.  But he’s been incredible without scoring and that says a lot.  Now?  Yeah, we need him to pot a couple.  Saturday would be nice.

Pens Game 3 Game Plan:  Beat the Hell out of Holmstrom.  And they did.  All night.  Hal Gill is a lumbering illiterate and his antics last night were reminiscent of a certain brain-dead defenseman we’ve nicknamed Sasquatch.  But he did his job. He was whistled twice but it could have been a dozen.  Rarely have we seen Homer abused to the extent he was last night.  And the effects may be long-lasting.  Reports last night were of whiplash, but a few of you used the evil C word, the one not allowed in front of the ladies.  Yep: Concussion.  His head smacked the ice after some nifty Gill stickwork.  I’m concerned.

Brad Stuart will be back next year.  I like that move.  I like what I know about the guy.  But we’d better all understand that with his violent tendencies and decent ability to move the puck comes uncertainty when under pressure.  He chokes it a bit in his own end, or in the neutral zone when the heat’s turned up.  The pass off Zetterberg’s skates was…bad.  The takeaway from Crosby Mike Emrick couldn’t stop gushing about? Wouldn’t have been necessary if he hadn’t coughed it up in the first place.

Johan Franzen is going to lead the Wings in goals this series by the time it’s over.  He was on fire last night and I’m shocked he only scored once.  But the one he did score was brilliant.  There is no limit to what he can do in the future on this team.  The core for the next five years up front?  Datsyuk, Zetterberg, Franzen and Filppula—who looked great again last night.

Why was the ice so frigging bad with only five minutes gone in the third?  Isn’t Pittsburgh a traditional, Northern town where ice should be, I don’t know, frozen? At least most of the game?  More about the Igloo.  That place was a frigging madhouse last night.  You know how those fans sounded?  Hungry.  Like ‘97 hungry.  Oh, they’re going to starve for a few more years, maybe longer.  But I loved the sounds coming out of that place.  Awesome.

Is this the series you wanted?  Most of you predicted a 5 or 6 gamer.  I don’t remember if I publicly predicted squat, but if I had I think I would have gone conservative and said 6.  Now, I think it’s 5.  Mike Babcock has three days (thanks Gary. Ass.) to prepare his team and remind them just how horrible they are as people, parents, civil servants and players.  They’ll be ready on Saturday, and they’ll split in Pittsburgh, and joy will descend on the state of Michigan Monday evening.

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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