The Malik Report
by George Malik on 06/24/13 at 01:19 PM ET
This afternoon's Red Wings-related stories are "quickies":
- The Detroit Free Press reports that Michigan sports fans picked the Wings' 1997 Stanley Cup win over the Detroit Tigers' 1984 World Series title as the best championship in Michigan sports history;
- Via RedWingsFeed, "Dominator," "The Captain," "Mr. Hockey" and "Terrible Ted" have advanced to the second round of the Free Press's best sports nickname bracket, and Pavel Datsyuk's goal against the Predators is leading his goal against Los Angeles in TSN's Play of the Year final;
- As you might expect, while Crain's Detroit Business's Bill Shea reported that a $12.8 tax collected by the Downtown Development Authority from downtown businesses and a tax designated to be spent for very specifically downtown Detroit development-related projects, not for public school funding or anything else, but Field of Schemes and Ryan Lambert are ripping the City of Detroit regardless.
I can think of many, many things that are more worthy of $12.8 million in spending for the next year, never mind the next 30-plus years, from schools to firefighters, police services, programs directly designed to aid Detroit's poor, to restore city services, etc. etc., but the City of Detroit's bankrupt regardless, and Wayne County's still exceeded its budget for the new Wayne County Jail by over $100 million regardless as money from both the City and County tends to find its way into the pockets of contractors and elected officials as opposed to the citizens they serve. It ain't right or fair, period, but that's how the world works;
- I have NO idea who the Wings are going to draft on Sunday, but the Hockey News's Ryan Kennedy believes that the Wings will pick Swedish defenseman Robert Hagg with their 1st round pick (18th overall);
- And in translated Swedish, Expressen's Gunnar Nordstrom spoke with Douglas Murray, Johan Hedberg and some guy named Nicklas Lidstrom about the rigors involved in playing playoff hockey in the NHL (and he also reveals that Jonathan Ericsson played through a broken finger suffered at some point during the Wings' playoff run). Here's what Lidstrom had to say, at least roughly speaking:
Nicklas Lidstrom played for the Red Wings for 20 seasons before he retired last summer. he was in the playoffs every year and went all the way become a Stanley Cup champion 4 times.
"I very regularly played on painkillers during the playoffs. As recently as last season, I had a broken foot that wouldn't heal, and in the series against Nashville, I had to take injections to keep playing," says "Lidas."
He suffered an injury to the abdomen in the semifinal series against the Blackhawks in 2009, and was operated on during a Sunday in Chicago so that he could be ready to play the following Saturday when the final series against Pittsburgh began.
Yeah, abdomen. He got speared in the testicles, and some Wings fans insist that he didn't just suffer a rupture--that he in fact lost his testicle, though I've never been able to confirm that as anything other than, "Lidstrom's so tough, he played after losing a ball!" legend.
"Of course it's both physically and mentally stressful having to reload for new games every day for two months. And you also have to hold yourself accountable to the media every day at the rink. It takes a toll."
Lidstrom's seen it all in an NHL team's locker room. The story that he most vividly remembers is from the playoffs in 2002.
"Our team's captain, Steve Yzerman, came back from the Olympics in Salt Lake City with a knee injury, but there was no time for surgery if he wanted to play during the rest of the regular season and playoffs with the Red Wings. For two months, he only played in games, and skipped every practice. You could see how much pain he was in during warm-ups before his painkilling injections kicked in. But he struggled on and we won the Stanley Cup before he had knee surgery after the season."
"When the next season's training camp began, he was still in a cast. He had to undergo pretty serious surgery, which moved the center of gravity of 'Stevie's' knee to change the weight load."
Lidstrom's Swedish teammate, Tomas Holmstrom, played in an exposed position in front of the opposing team's net, where he continued to receive slashes and hits from opponents.
"'Homer' took an enormous amount of abuse. They cross-checked him constantly in the back and in the knees. He was a warrior out there who stood there and took all those hits."
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The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.