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Abel to Yzerman

Liking 1st Less and Less

Oh….good.  Bubba lost last night. They’re floundering, as we knew they would.  3-5-1 over their last nine, two of those wins against the listless Oil.  As we’ve said here before, their playoff will be over after the first-round.  We know the look of a team headed in that direction, so it’s not exactly a dangerous prediction. Thankfully, Anaheim’s picking it up so maybe they’d like that 1 seed? 

Because we don’t want it, Duckies.  Take it if you must.

We don’t want to open with a Calgary team in the midst of what could be a ten-game winning streak (they’ve won six straight).  We don’t want a Flames team with Jarome Iginla playing his very best.  And we definitely don’t want to see Calgary with Kiprusoff at the top of his game.  If it’s ok, we’d kinda prefer that cozy 4, with a nice Dallas matchup in the first round.

If we’re going to face Calgary to start the tournament, we’d need to be at our very healthiest…which is an impossibility with three of our Swedes done, questionable and worrisome.  First: Kronwall. 

The Afton Blade

Niklas Kronwalls bad luck with damages continues. During your treåriga NHL-karriär has he already had time to with a broken leg and a serious knee damage.
Against Dallas, next report came.
After only 24 seconds’ playing might he a heavy tackling of the country man Joel Lundqvist.
- the each no ugly tackling, I came only entire error in in the situation, says Kronwall.

Has spine problems
To a beginning, one believed that the willed be enough with that he rested in some weeks. Now shows the itself that the can to dwell as long as eight weeks before he is restored, types Swedish News Agency.
Moreover is drawn Nicklas Lidström with spine problems and fails the day’s game against Columbus. Some bigger danger with” be suffered” will the however not product.
On plussidan can Detroit near count in Henrik Zetterberg. ” Zäta” has accustomed with the team the last days and can possibly do comeback already this night.

Further translation:  it looked like Kronwall may be ok with a few days rest, but further tests disproved that little glimmer of hope.  The Wings are being cautious with Lidstrom and Zetterberg may be back as early as Tuesday.

All the Diggers have reports on Kronwall’s condition today, and all say pretty much the same thing.  Freep. Detnews. Mlive.

Helene St. James has an optimistic ditty about Datsyuk and Zetterberg this morning, a hopeful piece about the pair being ready to lead the team this Spring.

Datsyuk used March to silence critics who wondered how he’d play without Zetterberg. Datsyuk has emerged as a strong player, so capable in all situations, that he, too, will be aided by that experience when the playoffs begin.

To their coach, Mike Babcock, both are so much better today than they were a year ago, he said, “it’s not even funny.” To elaborate: Both are backing up last year’s breakout seasons with stellar performances this year, and that breeds an innate confidence that will make a difference when the games get really tight.

“Why are they better players now? Because they know,” Babcock said. “They know. Last year they had career years. Now they’re not having career years, they’re just having good years, because that’s what they are. They’re high-end players in the league. They’re that good. They’re driving the bus now.”

Granted, Datsyuk was playing well before Zetterberg went down, but he’s really picked it up since he’s been solo.  He seems to have responded to a leadership role, the opportunity to be “the man.”  Hmmm.  Sound familiar?  Anyone?  Ring any bells?  A Russian Wing who flourishes when he doesn’t have to share the spotlight?  Yeah…I thought you might find that interesting. 

And Lidstrom.  A lower back strain.  Rest him Mike. Rest him the next four.  Do us all a favor and send him to the press box until Game 1.  Does that hurt our chances to secure the 1 seed?  Yep. 

Bruce MacLeod/Journal News Service

You watch hoping for your team to win, but analytically you realize that you’re better off with your team losing and being healthy than winning and losing a player to injury.

This isn’t a hockey-only problem with the regular season. North American sports all proudly point to the playoff winners as that year’s best. The theory is that playoff games are played with everything on the line. No excuses. You’re better than me? OK, then beat me here and now. This one counts.

Rest Lidstrom. Rest Chelios.  Don’t hurry Hank.  Keep an eye on Bertuzzi.  Let Osgood start two of the last four.  Stay healthy and roll the dice.  Hope for the 4 but prepare for the 1.

And I might as well say it for the first time this year…I hate the frigging playoffs.

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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