Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the Calgary Flames,
And now it is playoff time. We are playing the Detroit Red Wings, my former team.
I would have to say that the leader of that team is the guy nobody mentions, Niklas Lidstrom. He is the calming influence on that team. The emotional leader is Kris Draper.
They have skill in players like Pavel Datsyuk and they have Tomas Holstrom who is tough to play against. You add Todd Bertuzzi to that line, too. I think he is the wild card for them. We all know how well he can play.
from the Windsor Star,
Barring a last-second setback, Detroit Red Wings forward Henrik Zetterberg declared himself ready to play in Thursday’s opening game of the Western Conference quarter-final against the Calgary Flames.
Zetterberg, who hasn’t played since Feb. 24 because of an inflamed disc in his back, participated in a full practice for the first time Monday at Joe Louis Arena.
“I feel better than I did last week,” Zetterberg said….
Babcock said Todd Bertuzzi, who was diagnosed with a mild concussion after colliding with goalie Chris Osgood in a game last Thursday, will be re-examined by doctors later this week before he’s cleared to play.
“I think he will (play), but I don’t know for sure,” Babcock said.
from Dave Dye of the Detroit News,
According to a report Saturday on CBC-TV’s Hockey Night in Canada, around 2,500 Wings season-ticket holders declined to buy playoff tickets.
“I couldn’t tell you either way,” Hahn said when asked about the report. “I don’t know who they got that number from.”
As for an estimate on the number of tickets available, Hahn said, “I don’t have a specific count.
“But there’s less available for Game 1 than Game 2 and 5 and 7, and there’s more for Round 2 than in Round 1.”
added 6:54am, Make sure to read IwoCPO’s take on this at A2Y.
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
According to Regehr, Datsyuk can present “a lot of challenges sometimes. He’s an extremely good one-on-one player. He’s probably top-10 in the NHL in that department. If you get caught watching the puck on him, you’re in a lot of trouble.
“There’s also his passing — he’s a very good set-up man. It depends upon who Detroit has playing with him, but if those guys get open, he’s extremely talented and able to find them with good passes, so you’ve got to make sure you’re on him all the time quickly and be very physical on him to try and take away those options.”
All this presupposes that Regehr will be available for the opener. He injured his leg in the first period of last Thursday’s loss to the San Jose Sharks and hasn’t played since.
From the Detroit Free Press,
Every issue that bothered the Wings last season has been addressed. In goal, they went from untested Manny Legace to proven Dominik Hasek. Up front, they added grit and size by trading for Todd Bertuzzi and Kyle Calder. Leadership-wise, Lidstrom took over the captaincy with expected fluidity. "We're a better team than we were last year, even though we don't have as many points," forward Dan Cleary said. "I like our team. I just feel that, top to bottom, we can skate and we're a lot more physical. I think we're more gritty as a team. I believe we're more playoff-ready."More
From the Calgary Sun,
Despite a 3-2 loss to the Edmonton Oilers last night in their regular-season home finale, the Flames had their playoff ticket punched for them. They clinched the spot thanks to the Nashville Predators, who beat the Colorado Avalanche earlier in the night. Still, nobody cared about backing into the playoffs. "We put ourselves in this situation and deserve to be where we are," said centre Matthew Lombardi. "We worked hard all season. "We came out strong, guys had good energy and we were excited in the room. We played well the first half of the game, we'll take that out of it and we'll move on to the next game."Read more
With Anaheim losing in a shootout tonight, the Wings are guaranteed the #1 seed in the West.
The Alchemist Foundry of Kalamazoo, MI have finished working on Lou Cella’s sculpture of Gordie Howe. Visitors to Saturdays tilt agains the Blackhawks will see a treat right inside the Gordie Howe Entrance.
continued... great pics too!!!
Radio station WDFN in Detroit is reporting Pavel Datsyuk has signed an extension with the Wings.
Art Regner, who is now a part-timer with DFN, called in the news.
update 11:27am, Wings holding a 1:00pm press conference.
update 12:44pm, via TSN,
The contract is believed to be a six or seven year agreement that will pay Datsyuk between $6 and 7 million per season.
update 1:31pm, via the AP,
“Everyone in the organization wanted him to stay with us,” said team owner Mike Ilitch.
Ilitch singled out longtime captain and current team executive Steve Yzerman for his insistence that the Red Wings’ management retain Datsyuk.
“We felt it was extremely important to lock this player up for as long as we can,” Yzerman said at an afternoon news conference at Joe Louis Arena.
“This contract was extremely important to me,” Datsyuk said. “Especially since I have been a Red Wing since 2001.”
update 3:38pm, per TSN, $46.9-million, seven-year deal
from Ansar Khan at MLive,
Are the Detroit Red Wings closing in on a contract extension with star forward Pavel Datsyuk?
Datsyuk’s agent, Gary Greenstin, believes they are.
“I believe it’s very close,” Greenstin said on Thursday.
Asked about the likelihood of a deal getting done before the playoffs, when Wings general manager Ken Holland stops all contract discussions, Greenstin said, “We’ll see.”
Greenstin declined to provide any other details, saying, “I cannot make comments during negotiations.”
Holland was not prepared to declare a deal is close but said he’s had productive talks and planned to have one more discussion with Greenstin in the next couple of days.
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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