Abel to Yzerman
As Mickey would say," Holy Jumpin!" You know we are riding high today, what, with the win last night against a solid WC Team and five goals scored. Now, we play the waiting game to see if tonight's tilt will be mailed in as we are sadly used to, or, do the Wings show up and actually do the job set before them, deliver, and take down Buffalo.
With both Teams heading into a back to back, (Buffalo lost last night, the Wings won last night) we are facing a DOUBLE TRAP game.
Uncle Mike's Gold Medal game plan is working right now, so tonight we shall see if the boys can set the TRAP again, and deliver on time.
After tonight's game, the Buffalo Sabres will not play until Tuesday, January 27th. A nice, extended All-Star break!
Also note the game is an 8:00pm ET start and is on NBCSN.
Season series: The Detroit Red Wings are 2-0-1 against the Buffalo Sabres, including a 3-1 win at First Niagara Center on Tuesday. Tomas Tatar (four goals), Pavel Datsyuk (one goal, three assists) and Gustav Nyquist (one goal, three assists) each have four points against the Sabres this season.
Sabres team scope: The losses keep piling up for Buffalo; it suffered its 10th straight defeat in regulation with a 4-3 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers at Wells Fargo Center on Saturday. Zemgus Girgensons scored twice for Buffalo, which had a decent response after a 7-0 loss to the Minnesota Wild on Thursday. "The effort was there and obviously some of the things that happened when you have a couple young defensemen, that's going to happen occasionally," coach Ted Nolan said. "But at least the effort was way better."
Red Wings team scope: Detroit will also be playing its second game in as many nights; the Red Wings earned a 5-2 victory against the Nashville Predators at Joe Louis Arena on Saturday. Tatar scored twice and had an assist to lead Detroit to its third straight win. Tatar reached the 20-goal plateau for the first time in his career; he had 19 goals in 73 games last season. "I'm not really thinking about it right now, but obviously I'm happy I did it and hopefully I'll keep scoring and help the team pick up wins," Tatar said. "Right now I don't realize it. I took it as just another game and we won and that's the big thing right now." Petr Mrazek, filling in for injured starter Jimmy Howard (groin) made 34 saves Saturday, and coach Mike Babcock said he'll play against Buffalo.
The Wings are home again coming off a road trip where we have won four out of six games. Not to shabby I'd say. We are in a Division with all Teams keeping up the pace and continue to nip at our heels, so every single point matters.
Nashville is in the house tonight, coming in riding high on a five game winning streak, and managing to win without their #1 starter, Pekka Rinne. Also, they played last night, but that means nothing unless the Wings show up full force.
This is a TRAP and if the Wings think for one split second that The Preds will be tired or worn down they are mistaken. In the past that often meant trouble with the Wings taking Teams for granted, not putting in a full sixty minutes, a TRAP.
Once again it's up to Uncle Mike to have his Gold Medal plan ready, and make sure the Team executes said plan to a WIN.
Tonight, the Wings must set the TRAP.
via John Manasso at NHL.com,
Season series: The Nashville Predators swept two games against the Detroit Red Wings last season. Predators forward Colin Wilson had two goals and one assist, center Mike Fisher had one goal and two assists, and goalie Marek Mazanec won each game. Red Wings left wing Henrik Zetterberg and defenseman Niklas Kronwall each had two assists.
Predators team scope: Forward James Neal, who missed five games with a lower-body injury, has four points in two games since returning to the lineup, including two goals in a 4-3 win against the Washington Capitals on Friday. Nashville has won five in a row. Wilson had a four-game point streak end Friday. Forward Eric Nystrom, on injured reserve because of an upper-body injury, participated in the morning skate Friday and is getting close to returning. In his past 21 games, center Mike Ribeiro has 21 points (17 assists), including eight assists in his past seven games. Defenseman Seth Jones scored his second goal in his past six games Friday. Mazanec, who was recalled from Milwaukee of the American Hockey League on Thursday because No. 1 goalie Pekka Rinne is injured, has not played in the NHL since Jan. 12, 2014.
Red Wings team scope: With goalies Jimmy Howard (groin) and Jonas Gustavsson (shoulder) injured, Petr Mrazek has started the past four games (3-1-0) for Detroit. Mrazek did not allow more than two goals in any of those games. The Red Wings have won four of their past five, and they have lost three times in regulation in their past 11 games (7-3-1). Zetterberg, who has been held without a point the past three games, needs two points to tie Norm Ullman for seventh in Red Wings history. Detroit's power play has been streaky. It is 1-for-10 over the past three games, but was 4-for-8 in the previous two. Penalty-killing has not been a strength lately for the Red Wings, who have allowed at least one power-play goal in four of the past six games (five overall). Center Pavel Datsyuk has three goals and six assists in his past 11 games. Forward Tomas Tatar has scored a goal in each of his past two games and has a three-game point streak. Detroit has won 31 of 44 games all-time against Nashville at Joe Louis Arena.
Feeling good aboot the win the other night? Yea, me too. Feeling apprehensive aboot tonight? Well, we wouldn't be the 19 if we didn't. We face the Blues tonight and I for one would like to leave St.Louis on a high note. The Blues are riding high on a five game winning streak and it would please all Wing's fans, ( especially 19 of them) to burst that bubble.
The Wings have been dealt a bit of bad luck in the injury department with Howie out, but, Mrazek is looking confident and that really helps the Team.
For now, Razer is our starter, Uncle Mike has managed to find lines that have some chemistry, NyQuill got back on the board the other night, and Pulkkinen is looking good.
So, meet me in St.Louie to get er' done, and close out this road trip with a win.
via Louie Korac at NHL.com,
Season series: The Detroit Red Wings and St. Louis Blues, once longtime division rivals, play for the first time. Justin Abdelkader scored twice, Pavel Datsyuk assisted on two goals, and Petr Mrazek made 23 saves when the Red Wings shut out the Blues 3-0 in the 2013-14 regular-season finale.
Red Wings team scope: Detroit is ending a six-game trip; it's 3-2-0 after a 3-1 win against the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday. Mrazek made 25 saves, is 6-3-1, and will get the bulk of the work until Jimmy Howard (groin) returns in 2-4 weeks. "We can't be happier with the way [Mrazek's] playing," defenseman Kyle Quincey told reporters. "We're confident going forward he can keep playing well for us." Forward Johan Franzen (upper body), defenseman Jakub Kindl (elbow), backup goalie Jonas Gustavsson (shoulder) and forward Tomas Jurco (back) are injured.
Blues team scope: St. Louis on Wednesday announced goalie Martin Brodeur has been granted a one-week leave of absence, likely to decide what his future holds. The Blues are riding their third win streak of at least five games this season after a 4-2 victory against the Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday. But the Blues trail the Nashville Predators and Chicago Blackhawks in the Central Division. "We've won five in a row and made up no ground," coach Ken Hitchcock said. "That's the shock for me. You win five in a row and you just keep pace with what's above you. It's a tough league." Left wing Steve Ott (flu) is questionable. Goalie Brian Elliott will start.
As many of us know, the Wings do not get much media coverage, especially on radio of TV locally, but we also know many of those talking abou the Wings really do not know much about them.
So with that, do you want to hear about more coverage on the Wings from that standpoint or are you like me and just assume the Wings will never be the main topic of interest unless something big happens?
Expecting words of encouragement? I got nothin'. An upbeat take on a rookie goalie? Nope. As much as I like Razer, he is learning the ropes in the toughest way possible.
Will he shine ala' a Ken Dryden, or Patrick Roy? Well, we are all aboot to find out.
As it has been in the past, the Wings have their backs up against the wall and must figure out how to win and stay competitive in an all too tight conference. We have to ride Mrzaek until Gus or Howie returns so, Babcock had better make a Gold Medal effort, to do the absolute best coaching of his career. He has enough players with the talent and skill to help make this as easy as they can on our new starter.
It all depends on Babcock to make sure the Wings execute a winning game plan.
from Mike Harrington of the Buffalo News,
After all the Vezina and Hart trophies, after No Goal and the killer overtime losses in Games Six and Seven against Pittsburgh that finally ended his Buffalo career in 2001, Dominik Hasek forced a trade to Detroit to pursue his Stanley Cup.
It turned out Hasek got two of them, one as the Red Wings’ key man in goal in 2002 and the other as Chris Osgood’s backup in his 2008 swan song to the NHL.
So it’s more than appropriate the Wings will be on the other side of the ice tonight when the No. 39 made famous by The Dominator gets retired to the rafters of First Niagara Center prior to the Sabres’ game against Detroit.
“It’s outstanding,” Wings coach Mike Babcock said after his team practiced here Monday. “Dom was involved in two Cups for us, is one of the greatest players to ever play in the game. He dominated the league there for a six-year run. He was flat-out the best player in the league.
“He gave Buffalo an opportunity to win every night. He was an absolute star and did it his own way. I enjoyed Dom a lot when he played in Detroit. He’s a good man.”
I am still a bit tired from the late starts this week, but, riding high because of the wins. This is the time of the season when the Wings have no choice but to pile up the points. We will be facing a tough schedule next month, so tonight we have to make it count for two more points.
We face the Capitals tonight, and they are coming off a disappointing loss, looking to get back to their recent winning ways. Trots is an all to familiar face that we need to leave behind, wearing a frown.
A pleasant surprise tonight for all Wing's fans is getting to see one more kid in the the line-up named Pulkkinen. I am hoping he will earn his spot and be more than a replacement.
Whatever happens, Teemu Pulkkinen has his chance to play with the big dogs, use his "holy slapper," and make it count.
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: email@example.com