Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the Detroit News,
Henrik Zetterberg expects to be ready for the playoffs—but he’s realistic.
With any back injury, it’s a bit of a guessing game.
“If it’s the same progress as it’s been the last week, I’ll be playing,” Zetterberg said. “But you never know with the back. A little tweak, or something, and you’re right back at the beginning.”
from Damien Cox at his blog, The Spin,
For a guy who hadn’t played since October following back surgery, he looked fine, if neither imposing nor particularly dangerous and probably a little tentative.
At 32 years of age with a lot of water under the bridge, this is Bertuzzi’s best chance to re-establish himself as a top-flight NHL attacker. The Red Wings, unlike the Canucks when Bertuzzi was in Vancouver, are a team that relies on skill, speed and experience to win games, and at his best Bertuzzi has always been more of a finesse player than a muscleman.
Whether he can produce enough to stay with Datsyuk will be interesting to see. Henrik Zetterberg didn’t play for the Wings last night, so there was ice time available for Bertuzzi to take in a variety of offensive situations.
Two days after Detroit Red Wings coach Mike Babcock criticized goaltender Dominik Hasek for diving on a play that led to the winning goal for Calgary, the two cleared the air in a private meeting Thursday morning.
“We explained to each other what we feel about it,” Hasek said. “I don’t agree with him that I embellished or whatever he said, but we were talking about it and I don’t have any problems with the coach. He called the meeting and he explained to me everything. No problems, no bad feelings from him to me or me to him.”
Holmstrom & Bertuzzi trying to perfect the double screen tonight.
A few months ago, a lot of interest was generated in the stick Pavel Datsyuk has been using recently. Now, a little more info…
from the AP via the Centre Daily,
Datsyuk has been using the stick with seven strategically placed holes toward the bottom of the shaft since December. He says it has improved his game and enticed him to put more shots on goal.
The holes are meant to reduce wind resistance by more than 20 percent. And Datsyuk says it has made his shot more powerful and allowed him to block shots without breaking his stick during the middle of a shift.
However, there is one problem with the stick: “Now it’s colored green and black,” he said, jokingly. “What I need is (one that’s) colored red and black because I’m on the Red Wings.”
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
In a year when the Red Wings got bigger, tougher and stronger — Todd Bertuzzi, their latest acquisition, is scheduled to make his debut Thursday against the Columbus Blue Jackets — they took a calculated risk by bringing back Hasek for one last hurrah. So far, his brittle bones and problematic groins willing, it’s worked out.
“Spending last summer in Toronto, people were almost laughing at us,” recalled Kris Draper, the team’s veteran centre, about the Red Wings’ off-season moves. “I was taking the brunt of it in the summer over us signing Dom. People were saying, ‘what’s your team thinking?’ Everyone kind of forgot, until his injury at the Olympics, he was as good as any goalie in the league.
from the Calgary Sun,
Call this one a gift from one of the greats.
The Calgary Flames can thank Dominik Hasek’s tribute to Keanu Reeves last night for helping the hosts out of a tailspin that threatened their playoff chances….
While Hasek tried to defend his juvenile actions after the game by suggesting he was walloped by someone’s elbow as two players fought for goalmouth position, a furious coach Mike Babcock would have none of it.
“It wasn’t interference at all—our goalie tried to draw the penalty and he dove and they shot it in the net,” spat Babcock, who said he’s warned Hasek of such well-known hijinks in the past.
The Wings radio flagship station decided to talk some hockey before the game tonight. They would have been better off listening to their program director, who has told them to keep the hockey talk to a minimum because no one cares about it.
First, the host asks the listening audience, “Can the Wings Compete?”. Uh no, Mr. radio host, they win tonight, they are back on top of the NHL standings.
Then he decides to talk about Bertuzzi and mentioned he was schedule to return this Thursday, but won’t play until Saturday or next Monday (reports are Bert will play on Thursday night if his morning skate goes well).
He then stated he would try to get more information on the Wing injury status at the Joe tomorrow, if they practice.
If they practice?. Hey, they are playing in Calgary tonight, won’t arrive home until 3-4am, Babcock may whip them into to shape at times, but believe me, tomorrow will not be one of those days.
On air guys at the Wings radio flagship station, listen to your PD, you are embarrassing yourselves.
from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press (Tuesday edition) via the Santa Barbara News,
When Calder came to Detroit on Feb. 26, the night before the NHL trade deadline, he had just nine goals and 12 assists in 59 games with the Flyers, far and away the worst team in the NHL pretty much all season. On a team that stank, Calder retained a touch of noxious notoriety for having the worst plus-minus rating in the league at minus-31.
Since joining the Wings, he’s been a minus player in only two games. He has developed instant chemistry with linemate Robert Lang. Calder has, in short, started enjoying going to work again.
‘‘You feel rejuvenated,’’ he said Monday. ‘‘That’s what it is. It seems like so long ago now that I was in Philly, and the memories from there, there weren’t a lot of positive ones. When you play on a team that’s struggling, not a lot of things go right. To come here, with a different view and where every one is really upbeat, it’s just a good atmosphere. I just want to keep that going. This is a great team, good guys here, so that helps a lot.’‘
added 3/20, link to Detroit Free Press now available…
from Ted Kulfan of the Detroit News,
The Canucks look like they will be a force in the playoffs. I have a suspicion they might be the Oilers of 2006 or the Flames of 2004.
The Canucks have an all-world goalie in Roberto Luongo. (Now, really, did anyone think the Wings were going to rally from that 3-1 deficit after two periods Saturday?) It’s similar to what the Wings enjoy when Dominik Hasek is on his game.
It makes all the difference in the world when you have the confidence of knowing that your goalie will not surrender a lead in the third period.
a little more on the Nucks plus a little Wings talk…
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.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
Email Paul anytime at email@example.com