Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 12/28/10 at 07:25 PM ET
Henrik Zetterberg participated in a tele-conference today.
Q. I just wanted to know in the lead?up to your Winter Classic was there ever a point when you were worried about the potential bad weather affecting your game?
HENRIK ZETTERBERG: A little bit. I think we are always worried like it’s going to snow, or even rain; it would be a little tough to play that game.
But for us, I would say that we had the perfect conditions. You know, it was a great atmosphere. It was a little cold for the fans maybe, but for us we kept ourselves warm and we had some heaters going on the bench. So we were fine.
Q. What about growing up as a kid, did you ever play any route door hockey in some rain or bad weather like that?
HENRIK ZETTERBERG: Yeah, you had a few. Most of our games were indoors, though. But I think my first few years, we had a few away games where we had to play outdoors. Sometimes it was real cold and it snowed, too. But that’s the way it was.
Q. In relation to the injuries your team has suffered, Cleary, Pavel Datsyuk; last year it was a big problem that you just kept having, time after time, and it wasn’t until after the Olympic break that you kind of got your whole lineup together. So I guess my question is, one, are injuries cyclical? You’ve been relatively healthy until now and then so many in such a short period of time; and two, does the fact that your team has experience dealing with injuries, will that make it easier to overcome losing two really important guys?
HENRIK ZETTERBERG: Well, I think it all started with Mike Modano, when he went down. That was a big adjustment for us. He was a big part of that line and a big part of the power play. So, you know, we kind of find a way to play without him.
And then, you know, Pavel goes down with his hand injury, and you know, it was tough. It’s tough to fill that hole. Everyone got discouraged a bit. And then you lose Cleary, too; basically I think he scored 16 goals for us this year, 15 or 16 goals.
So it’s definitely tough injuries, but as you say, we have been there before. We just have to find a way to win hockey games, and players that used to play with us in scrimmage have to play a little bit more, and we have to take advantage of that. When Pavel ?? and Pavel, and I also think everyone will be back, and we will have players to have games to get us going again.
Q. Do you think that there’s a cyclical nature to it? Because I think in the first month of the season, there’s a lot of stories about so many players injured again, and then it almost seemed like really it wasn’t too bad there for a bit and suddenly you guys lost a couple, at with a lost, Buffalo lost Roy, but the injuries seemed to be all different. It’s hard to pinpoint why all of the sudden everybody ?? three or four teams have all lost their leading scorers in a week.
HENRIK ZETTERBERG: Yeah, but I think there is a lot of games. You play a lot of hockey and injuries will happen. Part of it is it’s a physical game.
So it’s just what it is. You’ve just got to deal with it and when the injuries come, you just have to deal with them and make the best of it.
Q. Knowing what Ozzie means to your team and the fact that his role has changed over the last year; how much did it mean for all of him to finally get that 400th victory?
HENRIK ZETTERBERG: It meant a lot. It was the first time we had a chance to do it, and the way we did it, too, last night with that game; I think he had 49 saves. And he really played that game by himself. We were battling the puck back?to?back, but you know, we found a way to win. When Kronvall put that goal in, it was almost like a playoff win. It was good to see everyone being that happy for him; it was a good thing for him.
Q. With Ozzie getting the 400 wins, do you feel that he’s a Hall of Fame goaltender at this point?
HENRIK ZETTERBERG: Absolutely. Overall, 400 wins, Stanley Cups, he’s definitely a Hall of Famer in my eyes.
Q. Do you feel that he gets a bit lost in the shuffle in Detroit with the great players there and maybe doesn’t get the respect he deserves?
HENRIK ZETTERBERG: Yeah, I think so. If you look at it, what he has accomplished, he’s definitely one of the top goal stoppers. Maybe a little bit, but you know, I think everyone in our locker room and our organization knows what he’s done and he knows how much he means to us.
Q. Having played in a Winter Classic yourself, are you a fan of the event? Do you pay attention? Do you watch?
HENRIK ZETTERBERG: I think some of the players are watching it. I have seen bits and pieces and they seem to do a good job on it. You know, I thought it was fun to be in the Winter Classic once. It was a great experience. It was fun to have the family over and that practice day, when the players brought their kids on the ice and skated with us, it was a great time.
I think it is a good thing, and especially when you have good rivalries playing, it’s better.
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