Kukla's Korner

Abel to Yzerman

Come On In, Mike.  And Bring Some Hate With You.

Hate’s a strong term to use there, but it works. Mike Commodore’s taking the ice tonite, his first time as a Wing. He may have reason to hate Calgary, and that would be nice.  But I’m not looking for a guy who hates his fellow man.

For once in the last three weeks, I’d like to see a Red Wing who absolutely despises the idea of losing.

That, to me, is what’s been lacking.  Not talent, or execution.  Not effective coaching or competent officiating. What’s been glaringly missing from this team this year (and maybe the last three playoff years) is a team who collectively finds the idea of defeat so revolting that it is the single driving force in their lives.

I know what the groundswell is. I know it and I can’t disagree.  Comfortable acceptance of mediocrity, if that’s what this is, has to be laid at the doorstep of the head coach.  If this is a team that is going through the motions, then Uncle Mike is on dangerously thin ice.  And it’s a problem that benching the Midget Pimp won’t solve.  It’s bigger than waiving/trading/incarcerating Todd Bertuzzi, despite the outcry to do so. 

Somebody or something has got to piss this team off.  Uncle Mike used to be able to. Scott Bowman did, too.  But somewhere, the anger went away. It used to seem like the Wings used to thrive on winning despite the obstacles this bullshit league has placed in front of “us”.  The schedule, the refs, the conference alignment, etc.  Now, and “now” means the last three years, it’s just accepted.  Suspending our two best players for missing your childish All-Star game but letting your little golden fantasy child do the same with no recrimination?  Excellent call, Gary. Bully for you, bitch. Multiple 5-3s that determine a playoff series?  Okaaaay.  Twenty minutes of layoff between the end of the WCF and the Stanley Cup Finals?  Okaaay…we’re alright with that. An anti-Homer agenda that is so pronounced that it’s now accepted across the league and laughed at because it’s so obvious?  We understand. We’re Detroit so we’ll just take it.  Thank you.

It used to seem, and one of you guys pointed this out in the comments yesterday, that Mike Babcock lived on the edge of belligerence.  Every time he’d open his mouth there was a chance that he’d lose it, that the frustration would just overcome him and he’d say, “Fu** it and fu** this league. Fu** these double standards and absolutely fu** the fact that Detroit is penalized for…being Detroit.”  Of course he never did, but man it seemed like he was constantly on the verge.

Now? It appears that he’s resigned himself to the facts.  And that’s not good.  Get angry again, Mike.  And stay that way.  Does the team still hate to play for you? Because they used to, and that made them unified in their anger.  It worked.

You know who’s angry at the world? You know who’s winning to prove people wrong?  You know who refuses to take the ass violations sitting down, so to speak?  Yep.

The Frigging Lions.  Holy Hell.  For the first time ever, or at least in the last twenty five years…the Wings can look to the Lions and say, “we need to be more like them.”

Getting screwed by the officials? Go see the commissioner.  Naturally, our dwarf of a Czar would never entertain such a visit. But Christ…hey Homer? You see what Suh just did?  He made his complaints public and he took them to the man, who was forced to acknowledge the novelty of it and now guess who the officials will find it a tad bit harder to flag? Yep.  #90.

Nobody’s angry. Except us, of course. You know what? Screw the fines. Seriously.  Screw them.  Get in front of a microphone after Minnesota’s awarded six, seven, eight or whatever straight power plays. Gather the diggers around and say, “Did you see that?  We deal with it every…single…night.  And it’s horseshit.” 

Apathy is disgusting and it’s what we’re dealing with when we watch this team. And don’t just blame Uncle Mike.

Nick Lidstrom’s a fine Captain.  And he deserves that capital C, unlike a few others across the league.  He’s an effective leader.  But does he inspire? Does he drive this team to hate losing?  Why not?  And before you’re so quick to agree with me, consider how much you’d hate losing if you’d already won 7 Norris Trophies, a Gold Medal and 4 Stanley Cups. Consider how much losing would affect you if you were pulling in 7 million/year. 

I like Nick. I dig him and he’s the best defenseman to ever play this game.  But, man, we don’t need a calm, accepting, quiet captain right now.  The Wings need a kick in the ass and a reminder that the Cup belongs in Detroit.  Joy is just around the corner, just down Woodward.

But it’s not going to be given to them.  It’s to be had only if they’re angry enough to take what’s theirs.

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink
 

Comments

joedaiceman's avatar

High five and belly buttons on this column. Dead, spot on…..

Posted by joedaiceman on 11/03/11 at 04:29 PM ET

stonehands-78's avatar

P-A-S-S-I-O-N[/b


the hate to lose. period.

L.G.R.W.

Posted by stonehands-78 from the beginning ... a WingsFan, on 11/03/11 at 04:41 PM ET

John W.'s avatar

]

100% agree, complacency is the enemy and has no room in this organ-i-zation.  And I think the Flames are a team more than a few of the Wings absolutely hate, and I think the Wings take 2 weeks worth of frustration out on them tonight.

Posted by John W. from a bubble wrap cocoon on 11/03/11 at 04:47 PM ET

John W.'s avatar

This fix it?

Posted by John W. from a bubble wrap cocoon on 11/03/11 at 04:48 PM ET

Red Winger's avatar

Nick Lidstrom’s a fine Captain.  And he deserves that capital C, unlike a few others across the league.  He’s an effective leader.  But does he inspire? Does he drive this team to hate losing?

Nope, and many of us had this very criticism when Nick was named captain.

Did he deserve it, for reasons too numerous to list? Hell yes. But that still didn’t mean he was (is) captain material. Naming Nick captain was a 1000%-understandable call from the heart. It was not a call from the head.

Yzerman had the patience of a saint; he was slow to rile. But when he became riled, he inspired everyone around him. Hell, I’ll bet there were days even the concession workers at the Joe had an extra skip in their step, because Yzerman’s particular speech that day echoed throughout the building.

How could you not look at and hear the wounded, bloodied, hobbled leader plea for more from you, and not go out and give more? With Lidstrom, it’s probably more like a plea: “C’mon, guys, do better…please!!” And if no one listens, Nick just taps his stick on the dressing room floor and, God bless him, probably says,“Oh, well, thanks for listening anyway”

If they didn’t listen to Yzerman, he said, “Well then fuch you, every one of you, I’ll do it myself”. And many times he did.

What we’re seeing now is what it means to be without Stevie Y. Sure, he retired a few years ago; but the wave he and those teams created was enough for the post-Yzerman teams to ride up until today.

Well, the Yzerman wave has now, finally, subsided.

So who’s the next Red Wing to say, “Fuch you, then, I’ll do it!”?

Posted by Red Winger from Sault Ste Marie on 11/03/11 at 05:09 PM ET

42jeff's avatar

I don’t know about you guys but I’m going to ... hit…something.

Between Chief’s initial speech and Red WInger’s retort…why, I’m sitting here kinda frenzied with no outlet.

Good damn thing rifle season opens tomorrow.  I may just go jump that deer and snap its neck.

Posted by 42jeff from The greater Howard City, MI metroplex on 11/03/11 at 05:15 PM ET

42jeff's avatar

I don’t know about you guys but I’m going to ... hit…something.

Between Chief’s initial speech and Red WInger’s retort…why, I’m sitting here kinda frenzied with no outlet.

Good damn thing rifle season opens tomorrow.  I may just go jump that deer and snap its neck.

Posted by 42jeff from The greater Howard City, MI metroplex on 11/03/11 at 05:15 PM ET

42jeff's avatar

Bah..how the hell with the double?

Posted by 42jeff from The greater Howard City, MI metroplex on 11/03/11 at 05:16 PM ET

MsRedWinger's avatar

Homer?

Posted by MsRedWinger from Flori-duh on 11/03/11 at 05:17 PM ET

MsRedWinger's avatar

(I was responding to RedWinger…)

cool smile

Posted by MsRedWinger from Flori-duh on 11/03/11 at 05:18 PM ET

TeamDub's avatar

Uptwinkles, Chief.

Posted by TeamDub from The gratch. on 11/03/11 at 05:20 PM ET

Chris in Hockey Hell's avatar

I don’t remember where I posted it, but I did post something similar to this on a previous post. I really wish someone would get pissed too. This ho-hum attitude that everyone seems to be walking around with is infuriating.

Posted by Chris in Hockey Hell from Ann Arbor, MI but LIVING in Columbia, TN on 11/03/11 at 05:31 PM ET

Kate from Pa.-made in Detroit's avatar

Some good observations Master Chief, but, what is going to motivate this Team? The stench of failure over the last 3 seasons should be enough.

I do not care aboot injuries or travel. Playing half way into summer. That is what they get paid to do. They get paid to win Stanley Cups.

Something’s gotta give. Now. Tonite.

Lets Go Red Wings!!!!!

Posted by Kate from Pa.-made in Detroit on 11/03/11 at 05:35 PM ET

IwoCPO's avatar

Aloha bitches. Live Blog will kick off at 1800 hours and will be brought to you by a local rocker whose style is a bit more conducive to our angry-mob mentality.  Should be a good one. Bring your alcohol. You’ll need it.

Posted by IwoCPO from Sunny San Diego, bitches on 11/03/11 at 05:51 PM ET

Jeff  OKWingnut's avatar

The “hate to lose” mentality was recently discussed in one of the game threads too, and obviously it has been on everyone’s mind.

There is no question parity has really leveled the ice rink - and dumbass Drew Sharp should know that everyone in the Winged Wheel realizes that fact.

However, DET remain a highly skilled team, and any casual review of both the team and individual numbers the past several seasons support that fact.

DET have the talent, and we have seen glimpses of it, but not consistently.

I think the Chief, and many of the 19 rightly conclude that the mentality of hating to lose is what is lacking.

“The Captain”, not too mention, Brent Gilchrist, Dallas Drake, Drapes, etc.  - they wanted to win more than anything - and showed it.

That leadership/desire is missing.

Posted by Jeff OKWingnut from Quest for 12 on 11/03/11 at 05:56 PM ET

edillac's avatar

What’s been glaringly missing from this team this year (and maybe the last three playoff years) is a team who collectively finds the idea of defeat so revolting that it is the single driving force in their lives.

so true

.  But, man, we don’t need a calm, accepting, quiet captain right now.  The Wings need a kick in the ass and a reminder that the Cup belongs in Detroit.

The Wings need to kick other asses also,not proud for saying that. The Flames are just the right team for a hard nosed game,dont mind if get our asses kicked here or there,just fight and persist and show to eachoter that you’ll never lose a game again.

Posted by edillac from isolation on 11/03/11 at 06:02 PM ET

Wingfan191's avatar

Chief’s absolutely correct when saying that someone, anyone, on the Wings should say “f the fines” and just say what they REALLY feel.  Just one time.  I’d love to hear Babcock or Zetterberg or Bertuzzi or Holmstrom or or or or ANYONE just rip into someone and let it all out.  Illitch should be footing the bill for the fines anyway, what’s $2500 to him?  Just get mad and get scoring!!!!

Posted by Wingfan191 from Bothell, WA (originally from Troy, MI) on 11/03/11 at 06:04 PM ET

cmk's avatar

THIS was what I have wanted to write for the past couple of seasons, yet I just didn’t have the words.  Good job, Chief.

Posted by cmk from the top part of MI on 11/03/11 at 06:07 PM ET

WestWing's avatar

Nice to see everyone’s worked themselves into a full on red-ass lather over this.  Better days ahead.  Dollar hot dog night is just around the corner!!

Posted by WestWing from Portland, Oregon on 11/03/11 at 06:09 PM ET

Red Winger's avatar

Should be a good one. Bring your alcohol.

I don’t usually drink on work nights, but the arm twisting around this place is disgraceful.

Off to get a bottle of crown ...

Posted by Red Winger from Sault Ste Marie on 11/03/11 at 06:23 PM ET

MOWingsfan19's avatar

the arm twisting around this place is commendable

Modified for content.
A little levity isn’t a bad thing.
Now back to being pissed off.

Posted by MOWingsfan19 from I really like our team on 11/03/11 at 06:34 PM ET

Red Winger's avatar

Desperate times call for desperate measures.

We may have to check the archives, but I’m pretty sure none of the 19’s cats have been shaved before April.

Nala has taken one for the team ...not exactly on her own volition, but, still.

Posted by Red Winger from Sault Ste Marie on 11/03/11 at 06:43 PM ET

bezukov's avatar

Bring your alcohol. You’ll need it.

Posted by IwoCPO from Sunny San Diego, bitches on 11/03/11 at 04:51 PM ET

I’ve got beers like Batman has gizmos on his utility belt, and every trick in the repertoire will be on display tonight. 

Hopefully they had video of the Kostopolous hit on Stuart playing on loop in the locker room today.  I want to see the Old Testament version of the Red Wings tonight.  I want to see the ten plagues of Egypt rained down on the Flames.  And may these things come to pass, that thou shalt know the Winged Wheel is the LORD.

Dollar hot dog night is just around the corner!!

Posted by WestWing from Portland, Oregon on 11/03/11 at 05:09 PM ET

Maybe they need to resign Larry Murphy and throw hot dogs at Kipprusoff.

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 11/03/11 at 06:52 PM ET

WestWing's avatar

I’m pretty sure none of the 19’s cats have been shaved before April.

Well, kinda.  But we don’t refer to it as a “cat”.

Posted by WestWing from Portland, Oregon on 11/03/11 at 06:58 PM ET

Avatar

“I want to see the ten plagues of Egypt rained down on the Flames” I could not have said it better myself.

GO WINGS

Posted by Nathalie on 11/03/11 at 06:59 PM ET

Red Winger's avatar

I’m pretty sure none of the 19’s cats have been shaved before April.

Well, kinda.  But we don’t refer to it as a “cat”.

Posted by WestWing from Portland, Oregon on 11/03/11 at 05:58 PM ET

I’ve now added you to my Christmas card list.

Posted by Red Winger from Sault Ste Marie on 11/03/11 at 07:18 PM ET

MoreShoot's avatar

8 & change left. Dats, 1 shot. Z, no shots. Mule, no shots. Fil, no shots. Jimmy: 3 allowed on 15 shots. WTF

Posted by MoreShoot on 11/03/11 at 10:41 PM ET

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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