Kukla's Korner

Abel to Yzerman

More Subtlety Please

Steaming through the waters of ________, you learn to live without a few staples.  PBR, domestic comforts, HOCKEY ON TV, and the consistent Gore-invented technology.  So, when the adorable, babbling, drooling, 8 pounder saw fit to let me read some interweb stories the last day or so, I was was naively shocked…again.

I thought Yahoo hated the Wings.  But, their outright bias is nothing compared to Canada’s.

Paul posted this on the Empire’s main page earlier, but I don’t mind digging a bit deeper and adding some spice.  Kevin Weekes, an authority on top-notch playoff goaltending, says there are 15 teams without need for improvement in goal.  15. And none of them start with D, end in T and own the best record in hockey.

1. NEW YORK RANGERS

Henrik Lundqvist: Has been lights out. Two technical adjustments have taken his game to the next level. Have of you detected what they are? I believe Lundqvist is in the race with Evgeni Malkin for the Hart Trophy. His 42-save performance in Boston was a statement game.

Martin Biron: Never mind the recent loss to Chicago. Biron has been as good on the ice as he is in the dressing room. Excellent goalie partner for Lundqvist.
Boston Bruins

2. BOSTON BRUINS

Tim Thomas: Thomas is playing like, well, Thomas.

Tuukka Rask: Biding his time. But I have a feeling he’ll be No. 1 for the Bruins as soon as next year. Stay tuned.

Got it. Concur. Great to good goaltending from both guys on each team. No argument. 

4. VANCOUVER CANUCKS

Roberto Luongo: Has really been hot after another (expected) slow start. Higher glove position has helped him stay a bit more upright and made him play more to his 6-foot-3 frame.

Cory Schneider: I said on Hockey Night In Canada that when he started versus Lightning: “If I’m an opposing GM, especially Steve Yzerman, I’m going after this young man.” Has legit enough physical and mental skills to play in the NHL for a long time. That said, the Canucks are poised to make a run for the Stanley Cup, so if I’m them, I don’t trade either goalie until the off-season. But then what? I’ve spoken to two GM’s that want Schneider badly. But both feel the Canucks will address this later unless Rick Nash is too tasty to pass up.

Understandable, but I’d take JFH over Luongo.  Call it a wash at the number 1. Schneider over MacDonald’s a reasonable pick too.

But the other 12? You’ve got to be frigging kidding me.

I’m going to cherry pick a few things here. If you want to read the whole list, do it. But be prepared to just vomit at the stupidity of it.  The anti-Wing (and, woops, anti-US? bias is staggering).

Elliott and Halak over JFH and Mac?  At the very least, they’re even.  Halak with the edge over MacDonald.  But…we’re talking tandems here right?  How about Calgary, Kevin?

12. CALGARY FLAMES

Mikka Kiprusoff: Kipper. Enough said.

Not even a mention of a backup, so if Cupless Kipper goes down?  They’re still in better shape than Detroit. 

The rest of the list is even more pathetic:  Lehtonen and Bachman. Fleury and Johnson. Giguere and Varlamov. Theodore and Clemmensen. Price and Budaj.  Seriously.  Look. I get it. There are pairs that could offer a coach a bit more confidence. But 15 of them? Those 15? Jesus.  At least try to cloak the agenda.

So that’s Weekes. Want more fun? Head to TSN.

Power rankings as of yesterday (before the loss to Chicago, I might add):  Vancouver, NYR, St. Louis. 

Naturally, the entire country’s mindset is dictated by the smallest mind in the country.

Slapshots/NYT

“I’m so sick and tired of hearing about Detroit,” Cherry said, while wearing a wildly patterned flowers-meets-Picasso brown, orange and yellow sports coat.

Cherry went into a higher-pitched, mocking tone, parroting those who like the Wings style of play.

“‘Detroit don’t fight,” Cherry said.

You’ve read it. I know. And the reaction to it has been largely, and correctly, negative.  The guy’s an idiot. Gary Bettman but shorter and more…flamboyant.  But, then again, there’s his little bitch Ron sitting right next to him bobbing, nodding and chuckling.  Hey, it’s the Canadien(an) way.  Four Cups for Detroit since the Motherland’s laid claim to one. 

Don’t worry Donnie and Kevin and the rest of the genius MSM up north…you’ll see the Cup again this summer.  Helm and Cleary, Bertuzzi and the boys will bring it for a visit.

Again.

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Comments

hockeychic's avatar

Don Cherry and subtelty don’t go in the same sentence or even the same universe.

His premise is silly.  Everyone knows that fighting has no relevance in the playoffs.  You can be tough without fighting.  Just ask anyone who has been on the receiving end of a Kronwall hit.

Posted by hockeychic from Denver, CO on 02/22/12 at 04:34 PM ET

hockeychic's avatar

Oh and last I checked, I don’t think San Jose was feeling all that solid about Niemi.

Posted by hockeychic from Denver, CO on 02/22/12 at 04:36 PM ET

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As a Red Wings fan living in the “hockey capital of the world” (where Leaf fans’ October predictions of a playoff berth are being exposed, once again, as completely absurd) I’d just like to point out that no sane hockey fans share Donald S. Cherry’s blinkered view of the world. His argument that the Rangers fight and look how well they’re doing in the standings is completely specious, since, you know, the Red Wings ARE FIRST OVERALL. What a buffoon.

Posted by Arthur2sheds from Toronto on 02/22/12 at 04:36 PM ET

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Sorry for the double-post, but I’m keen to hear the 19’s thoughts on reports that Bertuzzi is close to re-upping for another two years. I know he’s a polarizing presence among Wing fans, but I think he’s proven his value this season. I just wonder how much he’ll have left in the tank two years from now.

Posted by Arthur2sheds from Toronto on 02/22/12 at 04:41 PM ET

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where Leaf fans’ October predictions of a playoff berth are being exposed, once again, as completely absurd

I guess to some people, currently sitting in 8th place means that making the playoffs is “absurd”.

Posted by Garth on 02/22/12 at 04:55 PM ET

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My bad. Perhaps just more wishful thinking on my part. I just want to avoid hearing the honking horns in my neighbourhood after every single playoff win.

Posted by Arthur2sheds from Toronto on 02/22/12 at 05:03 PM ET

Cwix's avatar

That the Red Wings aren’t tough is as true as Don Cherry’s attire is classic conservative. And fuch Weekes and his lame article. They’re all scared that the Wings will bring home 12. They should be.

Posted by Cwix from Grand Rapids, now Roanoke, VA on 02/22/12 at 05:31 PM ET

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Posted by Arthur2sheds from Toronto on 02/22/12 at 02:03 PM ET

The honking horns that occur on the last day of the season if they make the playoffs will be unbearable, but I wouldn’t worry too much about any crazy celebration after any “playoff win”.

Posted by Garth on 02/22/12 at 05:55 PM ET

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Of course, I actually want the Leafs to make the playoffs.  They haven’t done that since I moved here and it would be cool to experience the playoff atmosphere.

Posted by Garth on 02/22/12 at 05:57 PM ET

BrendonR's avatar

Id second that Garth, the city was great the night of the Olympic gold medal win (sorry Americans, from Stevie, Kenny, Uncle Mike and myself).  I think theyll make it this year as long as Reimer returns at least partially to form.  As well Chief, despite the Canadian media being in denial of the Wings’ excellence, most people, at least in Toronto, have a lot of respect for the Wings because at the end of the day people here know hockey.

Posted by BrendonR on 02/22/12 at 06:20 PM ET

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Maybe Weekes has fallen into the same Eastern Conference bias that the rest of his broadcast colleagues have. Just because Montreal, Toronto and Ottawa are in the East doesn’t make it a better conference. That may be where a bigger chunk of the networks money comes from but better hockey ?  Puh-leeeeeze.

As for the Donald S. bashing ... keep in mind he’s in his 80’s and is very old school. He doesn’t speak english, he speaks hockey. As for the Red Wings not fighting enough, I’ve been of that same opinion ever since the Bash Brothers retired. I suppose other teams fear playing us for different reasons these days but, when you’ve had the best fighters in the sport on your team, its hard to watch this fluffy non-fighting european style stuff as long as we have. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again ... get rid of that stupid instigator penalty and things will change (for the better). When you’ve sat first row in a corner and Mickey Redmond gets into a fight right in front of you maybe you’ll understand where I’m coming from.

Lastly, Arthur and the Bertuzzi question. He’s playing some impressive hockey these days. Maybe not as dominant as his old Vancouver days, but when you’re part of the Red Wing system, things are more spread out over the entire roster. He doesn’t have to be the end all be all that the Naslund, Morrison, Bertuzzi line was. He’s got at least one more good year left in him.  Maybe Kenny Holland will rescue Morrison from that Chicago hell hole he’s in. We could always use some depth for the playoffs, and if Morrison setting up Bertuzzi to score more isn’t depth then I don’t know what is.

Posted by Hockeytown Wax from W.B. on 02/22/12 at 06:22 PM ET

tuxedoTshirt's avatar

Reimer returns at least partially to form

This guy is pathetic, so you might want more than partial form.

As for the jingoism, please.  Let’s not let Kevin Weekes act as the representative of the whole country. 
And Cherry knows hockey.  He really does.  But even his biggest fans roll their eyes at half of his stuff.

Posted by tuxedoTshirt from the Home of the 1937 World Champions on 02/22/12 at 06:45 PM ET

SYF's avatar

I’d be hard-pressed to find a Wings fan who’s “polarized’ about Bert.  We bitch at his play but we don’t bitch about what a great personality he is in the Wings dressing room.  A good man given a chance to salvage his career?  I think it’s a great comeback story.

Posted by SYF from Zata's Epic Viking Beard on 02/22/12 at 06:48 PM ET

Red Winger's avatar

The fact a long run in the playoffs will cause great consternation in large portions of the Great White North just makes it all the more wonderful when they eventually reach the Finals.

The ‘72 Series proved quality hockey does not have to revolve around an all-Canadian squad. The Red Wings of the last twenty years have only confirmed as much.

Sorry, jingoists up north.

Posted by Red Winger from Sault Ste Marie on 02/22/12 at 08:14 PM ET

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Every fan of every team can stand up and scream bias at the top of their lungs but I’m surprised to see it here.  So what if a couple outlets don’t agree with your view of things?  I don’t think it’s worth of a rant like this.

I agree with some of your points but on the whole your article screams of a whiny child desperate for attention.

Posted by Michael from Edmonton on 02/22/12 at 09:58 PM ET

monkey's avatar

Nobody beats Detroit in the playoffs by fighting them until they lose. It just doesn’t happen.

Also, the idea that half the league has no need of any upgrades in goal is *#$%@& absurd.

Posted by monkey from Finland on 02/22/12 at 10:27 PM ET

monkey's avatar

Too many men on the ice, Don.  Too many men on the ice.

Posted by monkey from Finland on 02/22/12 at 10:30 PM ET

cigar_nurse's avatar

Cherry and ol Stan Fischler need to go to the assisted living wing of the old folks home with a daily regimen of geodon and halidol to keep them from ranting and raving. Put it in the tapioca along with a happy meal.

Weekes must have asked Tick Tock for a job once and told to go piss up a rope.He never ever has anything good to say About the winged wheel.

Posted by cigar_nurse from Greenville South Cakalakee on 02/23/12 at 01:21 AM 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