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Abel to Yzerman

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.

First: proximity.  They’re just down the road.  A huge ingredient in building a rivalry is a maddening lack of distance.  Columbus is so close you can smell it.  How long’s the drive from Detroit, 2 hours?  Close enough to visit on a weeknight and get the Hell out after a win.

Second: Consistent interaction.  Like it or not, Little Gary’s stuck us with this piece of crap division (getting better, I know) and a schedule that blows.  We can whine or we can accept it and look for the benefits. If we can work the hate, capitalize on it, let it warm us during the winter months…we may end up liking the arrangement after all. Plus…eight BJ’s in one year?  There are plenty of hockey fans out there who would see that as a positive.

Third: Personnel.  You’ve got one Wing expatriot, one former Dive who played a huge role in Detroit’s last despisalitory relationship, a fat coach we used to love to pick on when he was drawing plays with BBQ-sauce stained fingers in Dallas, a budding star who kicks our butts and a player who allows himself to be called Duvie.  On this Christmas weekend, take a moment to hate each one of them.

Fourth: UM/OSU.  This is so simple. It’s so raw.  You’re born in Michigan.  You crawl, then eat a little solid food.  And then you begin to despise Ohio State….in that order.  I’d like to think Little Gary placed a team in Columbus to take advantage of the natural outright blood hate between those two fan bases.  That may be giving him a bit too much credit, but it’s there.

Fifth: the BJ Blogosphere.  Go visit a Nashville blog and get back to me.  Can’t find one?  Oh.  Neither can I.  Illiteracy, apathy, rotary phones, generator power…whatever the reason, the Tennessee internets (where it was invented, right Al?) just don’t care about little Bubba the hockey team.  The Jackets?  Now they’ve got some bloggers brother, and good ones.  And, oh….they hate them some Wings.

Death Cab For Woody

It is worth the penalty to absolutely lay out a Datsyuk or Zetterberg when they come in the zone with their head down or across the middle just to put the thought in their head that they might get killed coming into the zone in that manner.

The Men of Scarlet and Gray (bring me the frigging bucket now)

I’ll infuriate you with a quote from AP sports:

“We know we’re a better team,’’ Hasek said. “And if you want to be a contender, a top team in the NHL, you can’t lose two games in a row to a team like Columbus.”

I love that quote.  Take issue with it Columbus?  Prove him wrong.

And you all remember this one from “Truth Serum”.

End of the Bench (Dose of Reality)

Maybe last night’s game will be the one that makes the obnoxious Red Wing fans show some respect when they come to town.

First sign of a team that probably isn’t deserving of respect?  When they demand it.

Is this a rivalry yet?  Not really.  On the Columbus side? Sure.  The mere mention of the Detroit Red Wings is enough to induce an Osgoodian rash.  But on our side of the border? Not so much.  Not yet.  One other factor to consider…that team is getting better.  The first period in Columbus the other night?  Kind of surprising wasn’t it?  Naturally, the BJ’s fell into a shell of mediocrity that continued for five periods after that.  But, they showed something.

So, there you have it Wing fans.  My gift to you this Christmas.  A rival.  Consider it.  Ponder the idea of hating a team so close, such a frequent adversary, one with fans and bloggers who glory in your sorrow.  We may want to give it a shot.

Hate the BJ…errrrr, the Jackets.


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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: [email protected]