Kukla's Korner

Abel to Yzerman

Digging Saturday

I woke up this morning to the sounds of puppies frolicking on my front lawn.  Firetrucks were parked outside with the lights flashing.  Hookers danced around it. Joyous, affluent, Czech-free.

The Wings are winning, just as baby Jesus intended.  The teams we despise are losing at a clip that is regular enough to keep me warm.  And I’ve been proven right on two significant points.

Jimmy Howard has six wins this young season.  In five of them, the Wings have allowed two goals or less.  It is the one common trend we’ve seen since last year’s all star break.  It is the reason the Wings have been the league’s best team since then, and it underscores the fact that no goalie has been better since then.

And, secondly, where are the Modano bashers?  It’s been ten games?  No. Eleven.

Wasn’t that the ultimatum a few of us had given this mediocre mudder with 559 career goals?  Yeah, it was.  Because Mike frigging Modano shouldn’t be given the benefit of the doubt.  Mike Modano, who’s looking faster, more responsible, more comfortable, more lethal?  Yeah, clearly we had no reason to believe he’d come around.  I guess, maybe, Tick Tock and Uncle Mike may have seen this?  Somebody once, and I can’t remember where, said that those two know a little about hockey.  I’ll find the quote.  Here’s another.

St. James

“He’s super good, that’s why he’s got longevity,” coach Mike Babcock said. “He’s just a huge talent. He seems to like being around the guys and the game and I really like the direction he’s going with us. He’s committed way more to fitness than I anticipated coming in. For a guy to come in and join the rest of the guys and start doing extra – I’ve been very impressed. And I think his game is coming.

“As he gets comfortable, I think he’s going to get better and better. The other thing I like about it is, at the start he was a little uneasy because he wants to be good. That’s what all the best players want to do anyway. He’s a proud guy, he’s an important part of our team, and he’s going to get better.”

Back to Howard.  There is just no comparison anymore.  I mean, there shouldn’t be.  He wins and you can’t say he “just wins”.  He wins because he doesn’t let the puck in the net, doesn’t force his team to overcome leads, especially early ones.  He doesn’t make mistakes and when he does (like the horrendous rebounds he was giving up last night in the third), he’s got guys right there to clear them because at that point they’re so in sync that it’s natural.

And here’s the benefit for you.  We’ve seen a few third period leads lately, and all of a sudden I’m not fetal. I’m not rocking and I’m not pacing.  I’m sitting back and so are you.  We’re comfortable and that’s because this kid hasn’t buckled with a lead.  14 saves in the third period.

The Detroit Red Wings could be having second thoughts about welcoming back Jiri Hudler from the KHL. He scored 23 goals in 2008-09 before joining Dynamo Moscow, but he’s hit a wall with the Red Wings to the point where he was a healthy scratch when Detroit played host to Nashville. Hudler had only three assists and was a minus-6 in eight games with the Wings playing on the team’s third line with Mike Modano and Dan Cleary.

That’s Red Fisher and those are the views of a smart hockey guy but a guy who doesn’t follow the Wings.  Not his fault, but it’s too easy of an assumption.  But…Happy’s not helping himself.

Of course we’ve only seen 11 games (9 with Hudler) and that’s just way, way, way too soon to evaluate any hockey player. 

However, he is doing absolutely nothing.  He’s unnoticed and where Modano is becoming…Modano?  Hudler is reverting to being…Hudler.  Not the last Hudler we saw…the one we used to know before that one, the one who made absolutely no impact during the less than ten minutes Uncle Mike used to let him play (less than 9 last night).  Oh, and as the minutes got more critical? We saw less and less of the Czech pimp:  7 shifts in the first.  4 in the second.  3 in the third.  And less than a minute of ice time in the final period.  He’s lollygagging his way out of a job.  Zero shots on goal.

And RWBill, just before he whined that the rest of us were sleeping in while he surfed Serbian porn, brought us this ditty which is pure, unfiltered Babcock.

Khan(!)

“I’m standing on the bench there, it’s five minutes left and we get a penalty and I’m thinking to myself, ’I scratched Miller today and this might not be a very good situation,’” Babcock said. “Miller is an incredible penalty killer. It’s not like he did anything wrong, it’s just I wanted to get Huds back in the lineup.”

See Happy?  That’s not too good for you, son.  If you’re not bringing anything to the table, Uncle Mike has no use for you.  He loves Miller and Eaves and Helm.  Loves them.  Why? Because they clawed and scratched and brawled just to get where they are, and they haven’t quit Happy.  Like Tony told Appollo in Rocky II? “They…just…keep…coming.” 

Now, smart people are gonna say that the Wings beat two bad provincial teams this week. And tonite, with a back-to-back finishing off with Vancouver?  Howard could be exposed for the fraud he is.  This team’s weaknesses will finally come to light.  Mike Babcock’s status as the best hockey coach in the world will be proven to be hyperbole at best.  Naysayers and Eeyores and those who aren’t happy unless they can throw tomato cans at us from atop their ivory towers…well, we’ll just see about them.  I’m betting the Wings see this as yet another “statement” game.  Not a game requiring a statement from Detroit, but from the other guy.  And for whatever reason (Babcock maybe), the Wings seem to save their best for these types of matchups.

Okey Dokie then.  See you tonite?  Live blog this biotch maybe?  More Seger?  Absolutely.  Enjoy your Saturday bitches.  No reason not to. You’re fans of the best team in hockey.  As usual.

 

 

 

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink
 

Comments

MOWingsfan19's avatar

Love the smell of a Wings win in the morning.
As I said to JJ last night when Abby scored… “Huds better take notice, his job is going out the window”.

Posted by MOWingsfan19 from I really like our team on 11/06/10 at 02:20 PM ET

HockeyTownTodd's avatar

Good post, IWO….

Now, smart people are gonna say that the Wings beat two bad provincial teams this week.

I got the impression that allowing 30 shots on goal last night was not Uncle Mikey’s plan,
against a team ranking 29th in SOG.

(it would be interesting, I don’t have a clue where to look.. ..
how many shots against when Happy was on the ice..?)

The entire team should thank Abby…MikeyMo ...and Buckets…...
and maybe blow a kiss to Khabibulin.
Scoring less than 2 minutes in…....meant the team never had to play catch-up hockey…

I’m still going to feel a lot more comfortable when Rafalski is a regular again.

Posted by HockeyTownTodd on 11/06/10 at 02:36 PM ET

monkey's avatar

And, secondly, where are the Modano bashers?  It’s been ten games?  No. Eleven.

As part of the Black Hole Line, Modano was as brutally awful as his linemates.  The call was put out to not allow that line to remain together and awful any more than ten games;  Hudler was benched in game nine, the Black Hole Line was retired, and the third line has been lighting it up ever since.

put Abby in for Hudler, try something new on for size.  The third line is brutal, and there are options- that’s my point.

Posted by monkey from bat country on 10/24/10 at 01:36 PM ET

Mmmm I love the smell of being right in the morning.

Posted by monkey from Finland on 11/06/10 at 02:40 PM ET

TheRealYooper's avatar

Where is everybody?  Don’t pretend you have lives outside the Red Wings!

Anyone?  Anyone?  Buehler?

Posted by RWBill from boarding The Hasek, beer me v00x! on 11/06/10 at 10:06 AM ET

there is no way i would be able to stay awake for a 10:00 pm start with out sleeping ‘til noon.

over night low of 15, expected high today of 30.  and snow on the ground… Whooo hooo.  is it winter yet?

Posted by TheRealYooper from within sight of the edge of the Earth. on 11/06/10 at 02:41 PM ET

perfection's avatar

i say we should sign Emery, trade Ericsson for a goon, bench Modano and fire Babcock… and maybe even explore who Toronto might want for a blockbuster deadline deal for Lebda

... and then maybe i should start a blog

Posted by perfection from LaLaLand on 11/06/10 at 03:27 PM ET

EDJ's avatar

I would meander on over to Nightmare on Helm Street and read Brendan’s post. Excellent post on why we love the Red Wings, and why we can’t take haters seriously.

Posted by EDJ on 11/06/10 at 03:58 PM ET

SYF's avatar

We’ve seen a few third period leads lately, and all of a sudden I’m not fetal. I’m not rocking and I’m not pacing.  I’m sitting back and so are you.  We’re comfortable and that’s because this kid hasn’t buckled with a lead.  14 saves in the third period.

Uncle Mike, that cocky sonuvabitch, was so comfortable with Jimmeh in net last night that he was shuffling and mixing up lines in the third period like a mad scientist with a roomful of pitchforks, knives, and sledgehammers.  I pictured him cackling and pointing and laughing at Tom Renney, “Match this, mutherfucher.”

Jeebus…

I hope he does that again tonight.

Posted by SYF from the team that re-signed KFQ and DFC by KFH on 11/06/10 at 04:38 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Love the smell of a Wings win in the morning.
As I said to JJ last night when Abby scored… “Huds better take notice, his job is going out the window”.

Posted by MOWingsfan19 on 11/06/10 at 12:20 PM ET

Damn good night to sit at a bar and watch some Red Wings hockey, MO.  Glad you could brave that shitty traffic and make it.

I got the impression that allowing 30 shots on goal last night was not Uncle Mikey’s plan,
against a team ranking 29th in SOG.

I watched the game last night and again once I was sober this morning and I still can’t remember more than 15.  I have no idea where this 30 came from, but it’s a stupid number and we should kill it.

(it would be interesting, I don’t have a clue where to look.. ..
how many shots against when Happy was on the ice..?)

I feel so dirty even typing the word, but here’s the Corsi report from last night. Hudler was even in his tiny ice time.  Personally, I think he had one really good shift and one kinda bad shift, the other ones were just kinda.. there.  He didn’t play badly, but he also didn’t step up and grab his job back by the short and curlies and make sure it wasn’t going to leave him again.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 11/06/10 at 04:55 PM ET

Osrt's avatar

Mmmm I love the smell of being right in the morning.

Posted by monkey

Smells like sweaty guilt and the love between two women, soft and good for the whole family.

Didn’t get to see the game last night. Saw the highlights on nhl.com and even the color guy on Rogers sportsnet was giggling like Mick after Dats and Z did some of their magic. Awesome.

Glad too see Abby score and do it off a Modano shot to the far side so that the overcommitted Khabby had to kick it out to the center(ish); it’s almost like Mike knows what he’s doing.

Dats will probably not get the Hart this year, msm-asses, but he is, by far, the most dominant player in the game at this moment. It’s his world and we’re just payin’ rent.

More after I read Wings blogs, recreate the game in my mind and then come back writing articles as if I had seen the Wings game. zOmG, the Wings are dead after Lindstrom retires!1

Posted by Osrt on 11/06/10 at 04:56 PM ET

Osrt's avatar

So, JonnyE fought last night? TDT says the linesman was responsible for Adonis taking a few punches to the face (OHH….In ya FAce!).

How’d he do? I’m glad there was a quick response to hitting Dats, but I don’t think I’ve seen Dats put himself in such an awkward position in years. That was some first years kinda stuff.

Posted by Osrt on 11/06/10 at 05:15 PM ET

thenumber19's avatar

My god this team is making me feel so good i wanna leave an extra hundred on the nightstand before i hop in the shower.

Abbys been on the ice for something like 4 of our last 5 goals scored and that’s just dandy.

I feel kind of like…. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FPadgxZo6Y0

LGRW!

Posted by thenumber19 from ND on 11/06/10 at 05:21 PM ET

stonehands-78's avatar

So, JonnyE fought last night? TDT says the linesman was responsible for Adonis taking a few punches to the face (OHH….In ya FAce!).

How’d he do? I’m glad there was a quick response to hitting Dats, but I don’t think I’ve seen Dats put himself in such an awkward position in years. That was some first years kinda stuff.

Posted by Osrt on 11/06/10 at 03:15 PM ET

Johnny’s “fight” -
he woulda done much better if the official hadn’t held his arms for Burle to get in some free jabs.

Posted by stonehands-78 from the beginning ... a WingsFan, on 11/06/10 at 05:27 PM ET

stonehands-78's avatar

burle = brule

Mick wasn’t pleased with the way it was ‘broken up’.

Posted by stonehands-78 from the beginning ... a WingsFan, on 11/06/10 at 05:28 PM ET

Kate from Pa.-made in Detroit's avatar

The Michigan Wolverwings. Nail biting performance. Guaranteed. Bitches.

Go Blue!

Lets Go Red Wings!!!!!

Posted by Kate from Pa.-made in Detroit on 11/06/10 at 05:45 PM ET

Rumbear's avatar

Great post Chief.

Mmmm I love the smell of being right in the morning.

Sweet!

Yet,

Don’t be fatuous Jeffrey….

Posted by Rumbear from Top O the Hasek, hanging with Dan Cleary.... on 11/06/10 at 05:49 PM ET

stonehands-78's avatar

Meeeech-i-gan 67
Illinois 65 in 3OTs

(in football, not basketball)

Go Blue!

Posted by stonehands-78 from the beginning ... a WingsFan, on 11/06/10 at 05:52 PM ET

HockeyTownTodd's avatar

I feel so dirty even typing the word, but here’s the Corsi report from last night. Hudler was even in his tiny ice time. 
Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 11/06/10 at 02:55 PM ET

Thanks JJ,
But
Don’t ever do that again
without explaining
Lidstrom at -5 and Kronwall at +10 on the same page.

Posted by HockeyTownTodd on 11/06/10 at 06:20 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

I wish I could explain that, because like you, I watched the game and have absolutely no idea how the numbers came out like that, considering Lidstrom played much better than Kronwall.

This is exactly why I don’t put faith in Corsi statistics.  The concept behind the number is that all attempts on goal are created basically equal and that goals are essentially random happenstances along the line of events.

Everybody with a functioning brain realizes that this is ridiculous and that not all shot attempts are created equal.  I’m sure somebody could explain to me how well Corsi correlates with goals or success, but I don’t see it.  Perhaps I’m blinded by anecdotal evidence, but there’s a shitload of it.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 11/06/10 at 06:30 PM ET

EDJ's avatar

somebody as in not puckstopshere?

Posted by EDJ on 11/06/10 at 07:05 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

St. James actually has a point about Hudler and the KHL—for all the “good” Hudler’s game received by playing 20+ minutes a night and being the go-to guy, he also got to re-learn how to float around on a 200’x100’ ice surface and he was playing in a league whose quality of play is much more like the AHL than the NHL, a league whose pace of play is slower and involves a bit more hooking and holding…

And—and perhaps moreover—Hudler played all of 56 regular season games for Dynamo over a regular season that started at the beginning of September and ended in the middle of March, so while he did train with T.R. Goodman and Dan Cleary over the summer, he’s on the same physical fitness learning curve as Modano.  You can’t get into Red Wings game shape without playing three games in four nights or working out on a daily basis with a team that gave a shoo-in Hall-of-Famer the, “Holy s***, these guys are on another level in terms of conditioning!” shock when the preseason began.

So Hudler’s having to un-learn all the bad habits the KHL taught him, he’s fighting the urge to do what he did before he became a 20-goal-scorer—lurk on the perimeter like he did on the 200’x100’ rinks—and he’s still getting in Red Wings-level shape. 

There might be another painful month or so of transition time before Hudler starts to come around in early December, if not the second half of the season.  The Wings will thankfully be much more patient than we are and much more supportive of Hudler if he stumbles, and he’ll get back to being Happy Hudler eventually, but it’s very frustrating to watch him struggle so much now, and I’m sure it’s frustrating for him, too.

And yes, I’m not dead.  I’ll address my health sooner than later, but I was very, very, very seriously ill and had to take a break from everything to do what I’m finally doing now in getting healthy and feeling like a human being who wants to do nothing more than maintain a hockey blog for 50+ hours a week.  Paul’s been Ken Holland-level patient with me during this time and I think that tells you all you need to know about how the boss approaches everything related to KK.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 11/06/10 at 09:09 PM ET

stonehands-78's avatar

Keep getting better GJM.

(And Paul? Thanks.)

Posted by stonehands-78 from the beginning ... a WingsFan, on 11/06/10 at 09:27 PM ET

EDJ's avatar

We miss you Malik get well so we have something to read when Gary gives the Red Wings a week between games.

Posted by EDJ on 11/06/10 at 09:28 PM ET

Add a Comment

Please limit embedded image or media size to 575 pixels wide.

Add your own avatar by joining Kukla's Korner, or logging in and uploading one in your member control panel.

Captchas bug you? Join KK or log in and you won't have to bother.

Smileys

Notify me of follow-up comments?

Feed

Most Recent Blog Posts

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