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Abel to Yzerman

It Just Doesn’t Matter

I believe, and therefore it must be true, that only one team can make this claim:  it makes no difference who the Red Wings face in the postseason.  If they raise their level of play to what we’ve seen maybe ten times this year?  They will win the Stanley Cup.  Again.  If the Wings lose focus and slip into the type of apathetic, defenseless, shoddy mode of play we’ve seen consistently almost all year?  A first round exit.

It doesn’t matter who they play.  How far they go is entirely up to them.

Take tonite for instance.  Oh, yes. We know. The Blues are a hungry, young team, chomping at the bit to get to their first postseason in years.  How many years?  I have no idea.  It doesn’t matter though. Because, tonite, if the Wings play the way they can?  Blowout.  The difference in talent, experience, smarts…it’s a huge gulf.  Like the difference between, say, someone who’s read more than 4 books in the last two calendar years and the kind of bitter bitch of an idiot who frequents a class joint like, I don’t know, this.

But if the Wings slip, if they decide tonite’s yet another in a long season of games that just don’t matter to them?  Then they lose.  It’s that simple, and it will be that simple in the playoffs. 

And we’re torn.  A Wing win over the BBBB’s tonite would hurt their playoff chances considerably.  And that would be fun to watch, the Blues chances diminished and their fans hopes dashed.  Just typing that makes me feel all fuzzy and warm.  But…would it be more fun to see the Wings face them in R1 and see Blues fans crushed after a long run for the 7 or 8 seed?  I just don’t know. 

I poke fun at Game Time, mainly because they hate us like no one else.  Oh, it’s a deep, burning hate.  The kind of burn penicillin won’t cure and they’ve tried it in St. Louis.  We know why and that’s what makes it that much more fun.  Because their team has been decimated, denied, demoralized by the Wings.  Again, and again.  And that’s nice to see.  And it will be nice to see again, and then a few more times, and then for a few more years after that.  Providence says so.

But.  But, I have to give them credit for this.  In their morning links thing, something I’d do for you if I wasn’t so damn lazy, Average Joke takes the time to point this out:  Also from the Wings ... the lamest playoff slogan ever.

Absolutely correct.  “The Beard is Back”?  The next time I see that stupid-ass slogan it better be embroidered on a flannel shirt worn by Miss St. Louis.  Holy christ.  Note to John Hahn: frigging quit.  Soon. 

Here’s a playoffs slogan for you:  Play good bitches.  Play good and win.  Play good and you’ll kick the crap out of anyone you face.  Play good and make me happy. Play good and make up for the absolute garbage regular season.  Play good and I’ll forget about the money I shelled out for Center Ice.  Just play good.  There’s your slogan bitches: Play Frigging Good.

Yes, grammar geniuses. Yes, I get it. I know.  “Good” instead of “well” was used for a purpose…like “tonite”. 

So who do you want?  Just a few weeks ago I was scared of Anaheim.  I don’t care now.  I don’t care if it’s the Poultry or Bubba or a quick first round BJ.  I don’t care if it’s the Blues or even the Oil.  It just doesn’t matter.

Because if Chris Osgood sucks? We’re done.  If Conklin doesn’t perform? Done.  If the defense decides to stay home? Done and done quickly. 

President’s trophy? Don’t get me wrong. It would be nice to have. Not gonna happen, of course…but it doesn’t matter. Not a bit.  If the Wings play “good”, they beat San Jose in a seven game gamer, and that seven gamer doesn’t go past six anyway and that frigging series isn’t even gonna happen because SAN JOSE’S NOT GETTING OUT OF THE SECOND ROUND.  Nabokov.  And that’s all I’m saying.

None of it matters.  The regular season doesn’t matter.  The Bubba blowout, the BJ blowout, the Flame collapse, the Pen collapse, the shutout to the Islanders…all gone and trivial if the Wings “turn it on.”  But, the wins against San Jose, Pittsburgh, Chicago, Chicago, Chicago, Chicago, etc…none of those matter if they don’t, you know, “turn it on” again.

Here’s what matters:  Lilja.  I think we need him back and we need him back badly.  We need that anger back there and his guts on the PK.  Something else that matters?  Helm and Leino. When are they coming back up?  Can someone give me a heads-up on that? 

Osgood?  Oh, he frigging matters.  Enough said.

But you know what matters the most?  Uncle Mike.  He’s been largely quiet all year.  He’s let this team, as far as we know, coast and deal with the hangover.  Ahhh…“coast” is probably the wrong term.  From an outsider’s perspective it appears he’s let them find their way this season, kind of a hands-off approach.  He’s never seemed stressed and I think we’ve all been waiting for that one big blowup, you know?  Hasn’t come. 

Should we take comfort in that, assume it’s supreme confidence that they can flip the switch?  Or is it bad, an indication that he doesn’t know how to handle a talented team that can’t get motivated?  Don’t know. We’ll see.

So there are some things that matter.  Plenty of them. But they’re all in the Wing room.  Who they play?  It doesn’t mean jack squat.  Seriously.  It just doesn’t matter because no team out there has the talent to stay with the Wings over 7…if the Wings play like they can. 

Live blog tonite bitches.  See you there.

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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