Kukla's Korner

Abel to Yzerman

Game Day Preview: Wings at Canucks

Well, well. How times have changed and the bandwagon has filled since the last foray into the CONUS and provincial West. If you don't recall, the Wings flew left October 15th with a reasonable 2-1-1 record, only to head back six days later on the heels of three straight spankings. They beat LA, but slid downhill fast after that getting outscored 12-3 in consecutive losses to Anaheim, San Jose and Edmonton. But, by all accounts, that may have been the trip that turned this early season around. Since that loss at Rexall, Detroit has won 8 straight allowing an average of 1.25 goals/game.

During that three-game skid, the Wings gave up an average of 26 shots/game.  Since? 20.5.

Tonite, the Wings head to Vancouver to face the Canucks who defeated Detroit 3-1 on opening night.

The Canucks, facing the league’s toughest defense, are in a sad, gloomy place offensively and trying new and exciting ideas to snap out of a scoring slump that has featured seven consecutive games with fewer than three goals.

Brad Ziemer/Vancouver Sun

Vigneault has tried everything he can think of to create some offence. He has planted players in the press box, juggled his lines and introduced some drills the players may not have seen since their minor hockey days.

On Monday, for example, small pieces of plywood were placed in front of parts of two of the four nets on the ice, forcing the players to roof shots.

Also from the Sun, the guy I wanted most at the deadline then during the Summer of Ken?  Willie Mitchell. He’s been out with a concussion, but could return tonite.

“I’ve had a few days here where I have felt really, really good so I’m kind of anxious to get back going,” Mitchell said. “I feel great but whether I play or not, I guess that’s the coach’s decision. I have just had one skate so far, so we’ll see. We’ll talk about it tomorrow.”

The Vancouver Province brings us a story detailing Detroit’s defensive dominance (alliteration…thank you), and a line that, for me, is becoming a little stale.

It’s also hard to score against a team that has the puck more often than you.

“We know what their game is all about—it’s about puck possession and we’ve got to try and eliminate that and play them tight,” said Naslund.

If the Wings continue to play the gritty, hard, battling style they’ve shown the last few weeks that “puck possession team” label is going to have to be revised a bit.

Wacky reading for your game day enjoyment:
SI Wing/Canuck Preview

Message Boards
Cooties Wing Forum Game Day Thread
Wings/Canucks Game Day Thread at LGW
Kukla’s Forum Game Day Thread
Canucks.com Game Day Thread

On The Wings
Vancouver Canucks Op Ed
Canucks Fan
Canucks Hockey Blog
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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