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Abel to Yzerman

More Equal Than The Others?

Uh oh.  This may get interesting, and we may be looking at a sure indicator as to who will be leaving when The Decision needs to be made by our hero Tick Tock Kenny Holland. 

Marian Hossa, after scoring two goals last night, gathered the Diggers ‘round his locker and said that after one quarter of the season there are two things he’s asked the organ-I-zation:  (1)  Permission to stay in separate, more expensive, accommodations on the road and (2) a season-long exemption from practice, saying he gives 100 percent every game and that practice would take an unnecessary toll on his body.

That would suck if it really happened.  But it didn’t. Not one word of it.  But…imagine with me for a second the reaction of Wing fans, and the entire hockey-loving world.  Oh, the torches would be lit.  I’ve been thinking about this since I read that Mr. Character, Allen Iverson, decided to skip a “mandatory” Thanksgiving Day practice.  We’re not talking about a fairly innocent mistake.

This was a deliberate slight to the franchise and his teammates.  And you just don’t see things like that happen in hockey.  But, and raise your hand if you’re surprised by this, Drew Sharp wants you to know it’s….ok.

But Curry cannot forget that coaching superstars in the NBA remains part message, part massage.

He must communicate what he expects from Iverson as the stranger still learning how to best coexist with his new teammates, but Curry must also give Iverson the proper latitude in self-determining how A.I. can best maximize the remaining basketball gifts available to him.

Read the rest.  Our pal Drew sanctioning the coddling of a star athlete.  It’s pathetic, and predictable.  It’s the NBA and it’s Drew Sharp and I’m happy like a school girl that I don’t have to deal with either one of them. 

Seriously…can you even imagine a Detroit Red Wing skipping a mandatory anything? 

Oh, and guess what?  Boston’s the new Minnesota.  Oh yes.  Remember?  St. Paul annointed the “real Hockeytown”?
Bob Ryan says Boston’s up there now too.  Oh yes.

So here come the Stanley Cup champion Red Wings tonight, hoping to wipe the smiles off the faces of all these players, coaches, management figures, and fans who are reveling in this hockey renaissance in America’s oldest and best hockey city.

Bring ‘em on, I say. It’s a fair fight now.

Yeah. He’s probably right.  Boston’s the best hockey city in America.  And that’s why Ryan, Boston’s own Delicate Genius, hasn’t typed the word “Bruin” in any column other than today’s since last April. 

Hockey renaissance indeed.

So, guess what I’m reading the morning after every home game?  Ok…I’ll pause a second while all you smartasses reply with “Osgood: 3 GAA”.  Done? Great. 

MacLeod.  His blog’s got a new look, a heavy Oakland Press presence, and he’s been giving us something very consistently: his impressions of the previous night’s game.  I dig it, so to speak.

Henrik Zetterberg was flying tonight. I thought he was the best forward for Detroit. He’s had a better season than Pavel Datsyuk thus far. And have you noticed that Zetterberg’s all-Swede line with Mikael Samuelsson and Johan Franzen has become the shut-down forward line instead of the Datsyuk line? I think the Datsyuk line was thrown out against the top opponents at the beginning of the season, but that role now belongs to Z’s line. When Kristian Huselius and Rick Nash were on the ice, so were Zetterberg, Franzen and Samuelsson.

I hadn’t noticed Zetterberg’s line as the prominent shutdown line. Had you?  But now that we have it’s time to start the campaign, Z for the Selke. 

Wow. Look how far we’ve gone into this post without mentioning Chris Osgood getting violated from center ice. Awesome.  Hey, had you forgotten what it was like to throw up in your mouth every time the opposition lets one fly from ninety feet?  Really? Well gather the kids around, break out the Nog and everybody start swaying back and forth because nothing says family fun like wondering if our starting goaltender has enough time to position himself to stop a puck that began its travels in Midland.

3. Goals. Against.  3 Goals. Against.  Fork. In. My. Temple.  Last time he didn’t let in 3?  Oh, whew.  Because I wanted to remember this today.  November 11th when he gave in 7 to Thid and and his boys.

Cool. Check this out.  Out of his 14 starts, Osgood’s let in less than 3….three frigging times.  Break out the slide rule bitches ‘cause it’s time for some cipherin’.  He’s let in three or more goals eleven times so far, eh? 

Yeah.  Last year?  16 times total.  Oh and last year at this time, Osgood had 16 starts.  He’d given up 24 goals on 316 shots. 

This year? Check this out.  14 starts.  46 goals.  376 shots.  Extrapolate a bit then get back to me.  Two more starts, a roughly equal amount of shots as the total after sixteen games last season.  But 22 more goals.  Thankfully, only one from center ice.

25 percent of the season is gone and here’s what we know about our goaltending:  our starter, statistically, is worse than he was last year with the same amount of chances to stop pucks.  Way, way worse. 

But hey.  Ozzie’s optimistic.

“As of right now, I’m just not getting any bounces whatsoever,” said Osgood. “The old cliché, you know how much I like those, you’d rather have them now than later. You’d love to get on a huge roll where you get some shutouts and one-goal games. I’m on the cusp of that. I’m just waiting for it to happen. ... It sure isn’t pretty. But you’re getting wins and that’s what matters the most. I know it’s going to turn and things are going to catch on fire. It will be awesome in the next week or two.”

Cool.  We’ll be waiting.



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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