Saw this quote on another site. The first game (hopefully) will be interesting.
MURRAY: “We know it’s going to be a real revved-up series, a real hard series. Everything I read, from the San Jose players talking, it’s going to be a bit of a gong show, with fighting. I’m reading about Clowe’s bloody nose and Ben Eager all over the place and Mayers fighting. So we’re going to gear ourselves up for that kind of a game. We’ll keep Westgarth in the lineup. That’s the way they’re setting it up, so we’re going to be ready to battle.”
One: Abby has barely played in the playoffs, and hasn't really been a factor when he has. A bit early to say he "elevates his play magnificently". Bert also not someone I'd think of as a clutch playoff performer.
Two: Top defensemen will be matched up against Pav and/or Hank as much as possible. Teams won't waste a top D-pair on a line centered by Abby. At least not on a team with so much other firepower.
Three: Abby, right now, can't score for s***. You can't expect him to produce at a top-6 level in the playoffs.
Four: Like every other 'phenomenal, unstoppable, can't-possibly-imagine-splitting-them-ever line' we've had in the past few years, they'll have one mediocre game and everyone will forget they ever even dreamt of keeping them intact.
Abby has 5 points in 21 playoff games- not bad for a fourth liner. Also, Abby has scored this season when put with skilled players. He was hot with Cleary and Modano, and he is now hot with Bert and Franzen.
Abby has what the team lacks- physical play.
Your example of top pairing not being used against Abby/Franzen/Bert is evidence for the line to stay together. If they will play against the third pairing d, than the line should definitely be successful.
UK is the only one that'd like to see Tardiff. Who would want to see iFlip over someone?
Mursak, Joakim, Tatar, Smith, Meech and our goalies will most likely be black aces. Maybe even Nyquist
Tardif should be up, but I don't think he'll play (or should). He's been great (and patient) with the organization and should be a black ace to practice with the team and enjoy the atmosphere. This organization treats its players well, and Tardif has paid his dues.
Agree with both, especially Bettman. Also, I'd be in favor of dropping the league to 26 teams. The only players the league would lose would be the goons.
Edit: Again, great profile pic. I was listening to that album in the car tonight. I can't get enough of "Dead End Friends".
The goons wouldn't be gone. Most teams with 'enforcers' have better players in the minors. When you're fourth line plays ~5 min a night, that isn't a place for a player to develop. Further, the amount of skilled players on the bottom four team (financially) is low. Most likely, the 4th line players who don't fight would be the ones losing their careers in the NHL.
Correlation doesn't equal causation. Also using Bert's scuffles as an argument that fighting helped win the game for the Wings probably isn't a good way to go considering it was Nashville who scored consecutive times after the two fights to eventually take a 3-0 lead.
Babcock and Cleary both said the fights ignited the team in their post-game interviews. Is that enough proof for you?