Abel to Yzerman
by IwoCPO on 04/21/09 at 10:06 AM ET
Morning bitches. Typically, I save the “bitches” for after the jump, just in case any sensitive Dive bloggers are reading the main page.
But today I’m going rebel. We’re back aboard after an extra day off. Back aboard the Stress Train, where every bit of news causes stomach acid and the clouds start to hover around 0900 each game day.
Do you understand why we stress? I’m positive each of you understand the physical condition. But I’m not sure we’ve all looked deeply enough at the cause of it. It’s not the very basic fear of the Wings losing, or of having a series lead cut from 2-0 to 2-1. That’s not it.
What really causes the stress is the dread, the horrible anticipation of what tomorrow will be like if the Wings lose. Do you get that? It’s not the game itself, it’s the blood-chilling fear of having to live through two full days before Game 4. Nothing is worse for us than the days following a playoff loss. Holy fu**. That’s what’s causing the knot in your stomachs today. None of you actually believe Columbus will win this series even if they take Game 3.
But every one of you knows that tomorrow will be fetal if bad things happen tonite. And none of us handle those days well.
You know who does handle these losses well?
Tubby McBitchcock. That’s who.
For the young Jackets, seeing how the Red Wings elevate their competitive level has been a staggering experience. They didn’t know it would be like this.
“I don’t think it’s just been our young guys,” Jackets coach Ken Hitchcock said. “I think it’s been an eye-opener for anybody that’s played them. I think it’s been an eye-opener for people watching on television, I think it’s been an eye-opener for our team.
“I’ve said this before: These are unbelievable lessons. This is exactly what you need to grow.
That big bastard’s got something up his sleeve and it’s not just putting Vermette on Nash’s line. Tubby’s much too smart to just keep rubbing Wing tummies in the press without have an alterior motive or two. He’s one big devious man and this is a media-driven trap. The BJ writers have no clue they’re participating in it, but they are.
There is no way Tubby’s telling his BJs the same thing he’s telling the Columbus lap dogs. None. He can’t.
He’s got last change so he’s got that going for him. How will he use it? Not sure. Obviously, he’s going to try and keep Lidstrom/Rafalski away from his big kid. What’s Nick averaging over the first two? 22, 23 minutes? I’ll bet he’s upward of 28 or 29 tonite as our Uncle Mike double shifts him to try and get that matchup. But he’s not going to go nuts about it.
We know this: we know that Lidstrom’s not the only guy capable of defending Nash. If Uncle Mike can’t get the captain out there, then he’ll roll Zetterberg against him and throw in some Kronwall too, just for some physical presence if Hank loses 61 in the corners or…vomit…between the circles. If Lidstrom is one on one, then Zetterberg/Kronwall/Stuart/Franzen/Hossa and the BIG FRIGGING RIG are playing a zone, handing Nash off as necessary.
Oh. Right. Got it. Noted. The “first ten minutes” are going to be essential tonite. It’s bigger than that. Not just the first ten minutes. The first lead. And not just the first lead, the first two-goal lead. Wings get it? This series is over. BJs? It may be just getting started. But not so fast. You wait one damn minute. Because I’ve got a sneaking suspicion a two-goal lead may be a pipe dream.
For the love of sweet baby Jesus, I have a feeling we’re going OT tonite bitches. Oh yes. And I’m never wrong about that stuff. Ever. Over the last three playoff seeasons I’ve predicted OT 6 times and each time an overtime has ensued.
That is a total frigging lie. It’s never come true. Not once. But I feel it tonite. And if that’s the case then you can just line ‘em up Voox. Keep the shots coming, because the Stress Train? The steam that drives the Stress Train is overtime playoff hockey. Holy hell.
Enjoy your day. Riggghhhht.
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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: email@example.com