Kukla's Korner

Abel to Yzerman

Same Old Story: Hasek and Cleary

I'm back in Tennessee for the weekend. Just crossing into this state seems to slow my brain down. There's an all-star injustice brewing and it has nothing to do with Rory Fitzpatrick. Unless, of course, Fitzpatrick is voted in as a starting goalie...which isn't out of the realm of possibility at this point. Dominik Hasek, not even listed on Little Gary's ballot, has played as well as any goalie in the league up to this point. And, no longer is he the product of just a stingy defense. Now he's becoming the difference.

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Shots Across The Bow From Minny

I guess three games against the Wings has at least one Minnesota blogger feeling frisky.

What has happened to the self-proclaimed Hockeytown USA? Every time I tune into a Wings game I see scores of empty seats, many near ice level. Maybe everyone's using the restrooms or something. Or maybe the charm of having a winning hockey team has worn off a bit. Or it could be bad traffic. Or maybe, just maybe, Detroit isn't the hockey hotbed it claims to be.
Every time you tune into a Wing game? Don't you mean every time you read a Detroit paper on game day? image Yeah, that's today's Free Press. Pure coincidence, I'm sure.

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Thorne:  Hasek A Gift Partially Unwrapped

Via USA Today,

The Wings figured they could play half a year with him and if it didn’t work, there would be an available goaltender on the trade block.

Open this package halfway, because Hasek knew what the deal was. The first half of the season was a “prove us wrong” set. Now that he is No. 1, Detroit has to hope his first half performance will last all season long.


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Dave At Gorilla Crouch Is A Genius

Why? You know the answer. You know my definition of "genius." Anyone who thinks like me is, well, a genius. I opened up all the Wing blogs in separate windows this morning, with the intent of taking you on a tour of the Wingsphereoblogs. But found Dave had beaten me to the punch. Have at it. Good stuff.

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A Gift For Wing fans….A New Rival

You know…the more I think about it, the more I’m warming to the idea of an eventual hate-hate relationship with Columbus and their admirable corps of bloggers. 

The Wings are adrift…floating at sea in search of a team to replace the downtrodden ‘dique as a primary rival.  Oh, I know…there’s always Bubba.  I don’t like ‘em either.  But, the prospect of a hate-fest with the Jackets is so much more appealing, on so many levels.

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Friday Deep Digging

The Wings are mystified at this season’s drop in attendance.

Shawn Windsor/Detroit Free Press

But too often lately, the Wings’ brass have looked out and seen chunks of empty seats.

“It’s hard to put your finger on it,” said Jimmy Devellano, the team’s senior vice president.

I’ve got ten fingers.

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Rory an All-Star??!!...Who Cares?

Oh, the horror. Just three days before Christmas and we're wringing our hands because write-in 'Nuck Rory Fitzpatrick has vaulted ahead of St. Nick The Captain. Ted Kulfan was astounded this morning, as we've already mentioned. Thankfully, James Mirtle sees the campaign for what it is.

...the impetus behind Fitzpatrick's rocket up the all-star balloting vote has been nothing more than a clever program that votes for the blueliner. Over and over — and over again.
Please tell me you're not stressing over this. If you are, and you've voted, you have only yourselves to blame. Fan all star voting is the biggest common joke in all of sport. A popularity contest, a finger stamina exercise. Wing message boards are rife with outrage. Anguished cries of protest, demands to go Chicago on the ballots through 2 January when the "polls" close. Until the all star rosters are determined by the players themselves, with maybe the exception of one write-in for each side, who represents each team means nothing. We, the fans, proved long ago that we can't be trusted to vote based on stats and talent alone. Would you have voted for Patrick Roy in '97? I know I wouldn't have. I, for one, hope Fitzpatrick not only starts, but ends up the top vote getter for defensemen....just to see how Little Gary handles that one.

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Frei:  Hasek Bargain Of Year So Far

'dique apologist Terry Frei writes for ESPN today that Dominik Hasek tops a list of ten "best bang for the buck" goalies.

That's right, the Red Wings are getting far more than their money's worth from Hasek, who will be 42 when the playoffs begin. Of course, all bets are off if he breaks down before the postseason and Detroit has to count on either Chris Osgood or Joey MacDonald in the playoffs.
Wouldn't it be something if Hasek DID break down, only to leave the team in the hands of Osgood...and he succeeds? I guess his $900,000/year deal would qualify as a bargain then too, eh?

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Wings PP Will Reach Top 10


Babcock thought his group was moving the puck and doing the things necessary for power-play success. Basically, he thought the unit, led by four-time Norris Trophy winner Nicklas Lidstrom, would find its way. And, it seems, they have. In their first nine December games, the Wings have converted 13 of 53 power-play chances. In other words, they've scored one more power-play goal in their last nine games (entering Wednesday's tilt vs. Columbus) than they did in their first 23.

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Mailing It In

Yes, the Wings won last night. Yes, Dan Cleary's a remarkable story. And, yes, Dominik Hasek was brilliant. But you knew he would be. You knew he'd get the start and you knew he'd be even more motivated than usual. Everyone knew that right? Ansar Khan(!)/MLive, 20 December

Chris Osgood, who stopped 14-of-15 shots over the final two periods in relief of Dominik Hasek Monday, is likely to make his first start in goal tonight since Nov. 2, when the Blue Jackets visit the Wings.

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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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