The Malik Report
Hockey Night in Canada's George Strombolopoulos spoke with Sergei Fedorov, Phil Housley, Nicklas Lidstrom and Chris Pronger about a whole bunch of topics over the course of a nearly 9-minute-long roundtable, discussing what it felt like to be called by the Hockey Hall of Fame, at the other end, the draft (for Pronger), the Soviet era (for Fedorov), playing against Pronger, career highlights (mostly winning the Stanley Cup), etc.:
The Hockey Hall of Fame held its Fan Forum today, and Yahoo Sports' Greg Wyshynski, NHL.com's Dan Rosen, the Detroit News's Gregg Krupa and the Canadian Press's Stephen Whyno listend to the players' answers.
From NHL.com's Rosen...
What is the role of a captain in the NHL?
"You have to back up your words from the locker room," Lidstrom said. "If you say we are expected to do things out there, you have to lead by example. You have to rally the troops. You have to get everyone on the same page. And you have to have good communication with the coaches to get a feel for how the group is doing."
The question, and Lidstrom's answer, gave master of ceremonies Gord Stellick the window to ask the inductees about the best leader they ever played with.
Fedorov's answer should have been obvious.
"I think Nick would agree, it's Steve Yzerman," Fedorov said.
When Pavel Datsyuk becomes a little playful, it's a good sign, and Datsyuk spoke rather playfully regarding his health (it's assumed that he'll return by the end of this upcoming week), per the Windsor Star's Bob Duff...
“Not bad,” Datsyuk said of how he’s feeling. “Think positive.”
Datsyuk believes he’s on pace to meet his original prognosis of a mid-November return to action.
“We’ll see,” Datsyuk said. “But it’s probably another week. It’s coming slowly, but at a good pace.”
Datsyuk playfully declined to reveal what aspects of his game were still lacking.
“You think I just tell you my secrets?” he asked, while admitting his anxiety to suit up for real grows with each day he’s absent.
And MLive's Brendan Savage:
awood40 has you covered with 40 minutes of Henrik Zetterberg goals...
Updated at 4:09 PM: The Red Wings held an afternoon practice and delayed media availability on Saturday, but good news was to be had from all the beat writers: according to Ted Kulfan, Brendan Savage and George Sipple, Mike Green will return to the Wings' lineup for Sunday's matinee game vs. the 11-and-3 Dallas Stars, and Pavel Datsyuk "is about a week away" from returning.
MLive's Brendan Savage spoke with Green and assistant coach Tony Granato regarding #25's return from an "upper-body" (shoulder) injury:
"Although it's been two weeks, it feels like it's been a month," Green said. "I can't wait to get back out there. I'm hoping it's going to be easy. There's always that first period trying to get the speed back. We've been working hard here, doing our skates and making sure I do whatever I can to prepare for that."
Assistant coach Tony Granato, who spoke to the media while coach Jeff Blashill tended to a family commitment, said he thought Green was coming into his own with the Red Wings when he got hurt.
"When you come into an organization, you got new players, you got new systems, a lot of things that are probably just a little bit different and I thought he handled it well," Granato said. "As the games progressed and he got a little more ice time I thought he felt more comfortable. I thought his last game was the best. Everybody that's watched Mike Green over the years knows that he has offensive instincts and skills ... not many defensemen have. So it's something that will help all of our defense. I think we can all become a little more aggressive offensively and he's certainly a guy that knows how to do that."
Green told Savage that there's been exactly one bonus to being out with an injury:
Update from the Detroit News's Ted Kulfan:
Mike Green (upper body) said he's playing tomorrow....Landon Ferraro (lower body) out for Sunday..Datsyuk maybe next week at some point
MLive's Brendan Savage confirms:
#RedWings Mike Green says he'll play Sunday vs. Dallas. Pavel Datsyuk says he's about a week away
Update #2: The Free Press's George Sipple weighed in, too:
Landon Ferraro (lower body) won't play Sunday against Stars. #wings
Ericsson missed practice, but Tony Granato said it was just maintenance day. #wings
Pavel Datsyuk (ankle) said he's at least a week away from returning to play for the #wings
On Saturday afternoon, the Red Wings got back to work after Friday's 2-1 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs, and ahead of tomorrow's matinee tilt (3 PM EST start) against the Dallas Stars.
With a Big Sean back-to-back concert at Joe Louis Arena, the Stars practiced in Taylor, as noted by the Dallas News's Mike Heika (see also: this is why the Wings are building a practice rink at their follow-on rink)...
Imagine oil and water being inducted in the same Hall of Fame class.
OK, strike that: Imagine oil and a bag of rusty nails that will make you bleed if you even look at them the wrong way being inducted in the same Hall of Fame class ...
That’s essentially defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom, medium build machine-like hockey deity who spent 1,564 games with the Detroit Red Wings; and fellow defenseman Chris Pronger, 6-foot-6 blunt instrument of destruction who intimidated the NHL in 1,167 games with five franchises – six if you count the fact that he’s not yet retired and the Arizona Coyotes control hold his contract.
Yet there they were, under the stained glass dome of the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto, accepting their Class of 2015 rings, having reached this unmatched level of individual achievement in the NHL through two divergent very paths.
Wyshynski continues at extended length...
Of Red Wings-related note this morning:
In the Hockey Hall of Fame category, NHL.com's Dan Rosen tells the tale of how the Wings "found" Nicklas Lidstrom...
[Christer] Rockstrom discovered Lidstrom through contacts in Vasteras. He mentioned his discovery to Neil Smith, then Red Wings chief amateur scout. They made a pact not to say anything to anyone outside their inner circle, which included general manager Jim Devallano and Holland. They even had to ward off agent Don Meehan, one of the top power brokers in the game, from talking about Lidstrom to other teams.
"Donnie said to me, 'Do you know a kid in Sweden named Lidster?'" Smith said. "And I said, 'Lidster? I don't know Lidster. Doug Lidster?' He said, 'No, no, Lidstrom.' I go, 'No, I don't know any kid named Lidstrom.' Well, I've known Donnie forever and he goes, 'Neil, come on.' So I said, 'OK Donnie, but don't you tell anybody about him.'"
Smith said he told Meehan not to bring Lidstrom to the draft in Minneapolis out of fear someone would see him, figure out who he was, and get curious.
"Christer wanted it to be a secret that I had a lot of potential," Lidstrom said.
Word never got out. How could it?
New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist (Sweden): "For a goalie to have a defenseman that's so calm and mentally in the right place, it calms you down. He's always making good decisions, good reads, and then you got to know him off the ice and it all made sense. He always seemed to be focused, but relaxed. He's a smart guy, and very humble. I think it struck me just how calm he is."
Washington Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom (Sweden): "I understand why they call him 'The Perfect Human,' because that's what he is. Such a pro. Smooth at everything. Nick is unbelievable."
Ottawa Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson (Sweden): "My main memory from him is probably the '06 Olympics, when he scored the game-winning goal in the final. When I was young, it's not that long ago, but the coverage wasn't the same. We didn't get the same info and coverage of games throughout the year, so for me I didn't really watch that much hockey other than Swedish hockey. It was more when I came over here that I realized how good he was and how good he'd been for a long time. I think not only the stats show that, but I think if you ask pretty much anyone who's played with him or against him, they would all say the same thing: He did a lot for the game and he did a lot for Swedish hockey players growing up. Kids like me. That's the reason why people start playing hockey."
Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman: "He never looked down, always had his head up. He was moving the blue line with his head up. He never looked down at the puck. That's hard, way harder than it looks. Just to be able to control the puck, walk the blue line, find a lane, take a slapper, and rarely get a shot blocked. He just made everything look so easy. Smooth."
many more in the hockey world on Nick Lidstrom...
A win is a win.
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