Abel to Yzerman
by IwoCPO on 11/06/10 at 12:58 PM ET
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.
“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.
“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.
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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: firstname.lastname@example.org