Kukla's Korner

Abel to Yzerman

There’s No Place Like Denver, No Place Like Denver

You know, blowing out the Dive in Denver isn't as fun. If the Wings are going to win there, and there's no reason to think otherwise since they've done nothing but win in Denver since '03, it's much more fun to watch the "announced 18,007" collapse back in their seats after a tight one. Admittedly, considering the post I made yesterday, which some in the Rocky Mountain time zone considered in poor taste (note to Av bloggers: sarcasm does NOT equal anger. When I write angry, it's rarely about Denver because we don't lose to Denver), I was feeling a little pressure.

Apparently, I was the only one feeling it.  The stress of the renewed rivalry didn’t deter Dique fans from asking the hard questions of Adrian Dater in his weekly Mailbag.

Adrian - How about a quick breakdown of Avs roommates on the road? Thanks!
—Chelle, Fargo, N.D.

Chelle: you make blasting Dique fans fun….and easy!  Thanks! BFF!

Oh alright. On to the game.  And now’s the time we should mention that Pavel Datsyuk is no longer slumping.  8 points (4g, 4a) his last five games and he pretty much owned the Dive last night.  He set up Zetterberg for the first with a great backhand pass across the crease, then scored on a funky, falling, toe-dragging highlight reel of a goal in the second. 

Adrian Dater/Denver Post

The Avs were outshot 43-25 and spent much of the game chasing around Detroit’s skilled Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk with the puck.

“Datsyuk was pretty amazing tonight,” said Avs captain Joe Sakic.”

Yes, Joe, he was.

Brett Lebda? Not so much.

Our very own Domer somehow intercepted a pass, then immediately returned it to sender—Wolski (jersey retirement ceremony scheduled for December 12, 2014) in the Wing zone, who one-timed it past Hasek.

And following Datsyuk’s brilliance was a shorty that Lebda had a hand in too, as he watched the puck float over his head like a puffy cloud, out of the zone and onto the stick of Av legend Ben Guite (jersey retirement ceremony set for 5 October 2011) who beat Hasek for his first career goal.

So there we were, down 3-2, mid-third and the Enigma decides he’s Steve Yzerman.  R. Lang, hair flowing, winking, performing breathing exercises as he glides to the dot.  He wins the faceoff, and it was a strong faceoff win, not one of those tippy-tappy wins, a rifle shot back to Kronwall. 

Your Enigma then churns across ice and waits for his boy Sammy to find him, which he does.  One-timer past Budaj (who played great…that Theodore money was well spent Pierre), tie game, happiness. Eventually…overtime.

But overtime means 1 point, either an immediate 1 or an eventual 1. Never 2 because we can’t get 2. 2’s too tough to get for the Wings.  We lose on breakaways, deflections, soft goals, great goals.  We lose shootouts consistently. We lose when our stars stumble, miss the net or hit crests.  We lose when their shootout experts throw their sticks, get punished and score again.  It’s all about the 1.

Unless we’re in Denver.  Hank likes Denver.


It’s the same move his fellow countryman, Peter Forsberg, used to win the gold medal for Sweden in the 1994 Olympics vs. Canada. The country minted a stamp in honor of Forsberg after that goal. Zetterberg said he first saw the move done by another Swede, Kent Nilsson, at the 1989 World Championships.

“When it works it looks nice, but when the goalie just stands there you kind of look foolish,” Zetterberg said. “I probably have to figure out another move next time. It probably won’t work anymore.”

Said Wings captain Nicklas Lidstrom: “It was as good as Peter’s move. It might be worth a stamp here.”

A stamp.  Hell yes.  Not a national stamp, a Denver-only stamp. Is that legal?  Sure.  A stamp for Denver residents only that features Hank Zetterberg beating the Dique on a shootout slo-mo miracle.  I frigging love it.  I’ll keep you updated.

Mikey liked it too.

The Mike Babcock Consolidated Quote of the Day

“Hank started moving in on Brouhaha and I was so happy. I was hopping on one foot, then the other. Paulie was laughing at me and pointing at my feet. I think he started hopping too. I hope so. I like it when the coaches stick together.  Next thing I know Hank was moving left and I started to laugh because when he moves left I know we’re in there. Then it was so weird because he moved right and the puck was going sooooooooo slow. Was that wild or what? How long did that take, ten, twelve minutes to cross the line? Move puck, move puck, go puck, go, go, go.  That’s what I was saying to myself, ‘go puck go.’  Went out for Calzone afterward.”


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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