Kukla's Korner

Abel to Yzerman

The Last Quick Recap Of The Season- DRW/CBJ

Not a bad game for both teams playing their last game of the season.  With nothing to play for but bingo balls, there was a bit of nastiness to this game.

With the sore tied 2-2 after forty minutes, the Blue Jackets scored first in the third, but the Wings evened the score.

Columbus scored with jus over five minutes left to make it 4-3.  But Detroit tied it up with under four minutes to play.

You knew OT was in the plans for the last game of the season.

Blue Jackets win 5-4 in OT.

Team Stats

Detroit goals are below.

Now Steve Yzerman gets to work.

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Sixty Minutes To Go

To begin, I would like to thank Paul Kukla for giving us a home, and our Chief, Bill Houlihan. He is A2Y. Most of all, I would like to thank all 19 of you loyal Wingaholics that show up for game after torturous game. It's a wonderful thing that through think and thin, the 19 have stuck together here at A2Y. To say this season  has not been the best season of Red Wings hockey would be a gross understatement. We all pretty much knew going in what to expect this year, and true to form, the Wings performance was as anticipated. There were ups and downs, but, that's okay, because it seemed to even out during the end of the season.

One upside was acquiring Jakub Vrana, Richard Panik, and draft picks at the trade deadline from the Caps, in a surprising trade for Anthony Mantha, who was once considered part of the "core", and, the rebuild.  Who said trades are hard?

Vrana continues to impress, making this deal look all the better. We have been able to watch some of the youngsters, who, going forward, will be a part of this team. Veleno, the most recent, looks good. We don't know yet who will be back as far as some of our familiar guys that have been on the team for years. So for now, the Yzerplan seems to be on track, but, only time will tell. 

This one's for you, Mom.

For the next sixty minutes, its a Live Blog!

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The Season May Be Over Tonight For The Wings But The Work Doesn’t Stop

Before the puck drop on the Wings' final game of the season tonight, I wanted to thank all of you for your visits to A2Y/KK and to let you know I will be here.

The last game of the NHL regular season is Wednesday, May 19th and the playoffs start shortly thereafter.

I will be around for all of it plus any news coming from the Red Wings.

We still have the draft lottery, the actual draft and UFA period to look forward to.

I expect to be able to rest starting the second week of July and I just may hibernate for a month.

Again, thanks to making A2Y what it is, it would not be the same without you.

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Watching The Wings Tonight

If I hear back from them, I will let you know.

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Videos- Wrapping Up A Win In Columbus

from Ted Kulfan of the Detroit News,

Anyone who was wondering how seriously the Wings were taking these final two games, got their answer the second half of the game.

Instead of calling it a night, the Wings scored five unanswered goals.

"This group has been a group that's fought and competed and worked on a daily basis," coach Jeff Blashill said. "That showed tonight. Listen, we know we're playing two games and at the end of the day there's not a lot on the line.

"But I've talked about the importance of every NHL game and our guys understand that. They way they played, they didn't fold or quit, but kept grinding and we grounded our way back into the lead and did a good job in the third (period) of finding a way to win the hockey game.

"I like our group. I've said it a lot this year, there's a lot of character in the room."

more

from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,

Joe Veleno showed what he can do with the puck, and Jakub Vrana continued to make Detroit Red Wings general manager Steve Yzerman look smart.

Vrana set up Veleno for his first NHL goal Friday at Nationwide Arena and then scored one of his own as the Wings played the first of back-to-back games against the Columbus Blue Jackets to wrap up their season.

The Wings rallied from a two-goal deficit to win, 5-2.

"It was a great second period," Veleno said. "We didn’t have the greatest of starts but we found a way to bear down and put it in the back of the net. It was a good effort from all the guys on the team."

continued

Below watch Joe Veleno's post game, on ice interview, Mickey Redmond and the extended game highlights

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Videos- Post Game Talk After A 5-2 Detroit Win In Columbus

First up we have Joe Veleno and Jeff Blashill, below are the game highlights.

 

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Quick Recap- Detroit/Columbus

Columbus lead the game 2-0 and it looked like one of those games where Detroit competes but can't score.

3:02 changed all that when the Wings went on a scoring rampage with 3 goals.

After 40 minutes the Wings were up 3-2.

Detroit added two empty net goals in the 3rd and the Wings win 5-2

Goals are below.

Team Stats

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A Lose, Lose

Do the Wings end the season with a couple of wins? Will they lose the last two games for possible better draft position? We all know the draft is always a gamble.

There are 19 Wingaholics anxiously awaiting the outcome of these last two games, which we all know could end up being a lose, lose for the Wings.

 We’ll soon find out...

It’s a Live Blog!

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Adam Erne And Michael Rasmussen Have Shown Much Improvement

from Ted Kulfan of the Detroit News,

Anyone who would have wagered that Erne would be leading the Red Wings in goals when this season ended is likely a very, very rich person today.

But given a larger opportunity — not necessarily just personal improvement — as the season progressed, Erne flourished with it.

“If you asked him, it’s more about getting more opportunity and he’s done a good job with it,” Blashill said. “With him, it’s getting more opportunity and he’s capitalized with the opportunity.”

Erne, 26, was a 2013 second-round draft pick of Tampa Bay, so there was always potential of being a good offensive player.

But his best season in three years in Tampa was a seven-goal season, before being traded to the Wings in one of general manager Steve Yzerman’s first moves in the summer of 2019.

Erne only had two goals and three assists last season with the Wings, but he heads into this final weekend with a career high in goals (11) and having tied a career high with 20 points.

As for Rasmussen, it is a case of a young player putting in the work during the long offseason and improving on the ice.

“From a year ago, and you include the summer as part of it, he’s clearly a better skater, clearly playing with more confidence and clearly a better defensive player,” Blashill said. “He’s come one of the furthest in terms of development.”

more

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Reasons To Play

from Shawn Windsor of the Detroit Free Press,

...here are the Wings, two games from season’s end – they finish with consecutive games in Columbus this weekend – pushing themselves all over the ice as if there were something for which to play.

Actually, there is. 

Don’t forget this. 

Whether contracts or momentum or pride or love of the game, this group is fighting. Again, Blashill deserves some credit for this. 

It wouldn’t be a stretch for Yzerman to extend Blashill’s contract another season or two. It’s not like the Wings are going to compete for the Cup anytime soon anyway. And as long as the team keeps improving, and as long as the young players keep developing, why not?

Familiarity can be helpful during a rebuild. So can a fresh voice in the locker room. Which is why it wouldn’t be stunning if Blashill is gone, either. 

No matter Yzerman’s choice, he obviously thinks a lot of his coach. He wouldn’t have kept him around the past two seasons if he didn’t.

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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

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