Tag Archives: henrik zetterberg

Wings do move into first place in Eastern Conference

DETROIT >> The Wings will go to bed Wednesday night and wake up Thursday morning knowing the same thing.

They’re in first place overall in the Eastern Conference.

The point the Wings earned in a 2-1 shootout loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs at Joe Louis Arena, moved them a point ahead of ideal Tampa Bay and Pittsburgh for first overall in the East.

“Getting points is good when you can get them,” Henrik Zetterberg said. “Obviously we wanted two here at home, but one point is better than no points. If you look how the game ended with a 3-on-4 there for almost a minute I think we’re going to be OK with this tomorrow and move on.”

Niklas Kronwall was sent off for goalie interference with 57 seconds left in overtime.

“I thought we played good,” Wings coach Mike Babcock said. “It’s over with to me. We got a point. They stole two points but I’ll take it every night. If you play like that you’re going to win.”

Wings’ new found success on power play will be tested Friday against Blackhawks’ top-ranked PK

DETROIT >> We’re going to see how much the Wings’ power play has improved Friday night.

Chicago has the top ranked penalty kill in the league, allowing just four goals on 48 chances (91.7 percent).

Detroit has scored two power play goals in each of their last three games, going 6-for-13 with the man advantage.

“The power play has been working better and better here,” Gustav Nyquist said. “Obviously, we want to keep that going, so it will be a good test tomorrow, for sure.”

The Wings went 5-for-46 (10.9 percent) with the man advantage their first 12 games.

“Obviously, it was a really slow start for us on the power play and now we’ve got some goals,” Henrik Zetterberg said. “Even if we don’t score, you have to get the momentum, and we’ve done that the last couple of games.”

Detroit, which finished 18th (17.7 percent) on the power play last season, is up to 17th this year (18.6 percent, 11-for-59) with the man advantage.

“I know the power play started slow, had trouble getting into rhythm, maybe had trouble trying to find the back of the net,” assistant coach Tony Granato said on Monday. “But I think all along it’s been building. I think it’s been really big for us the last week.

“I think the confidence that group has gained certainly moving forward should be a good thing for us,” Granato added. “You put Pav back in that mix it’s going to be even better.”

The Wings’ penalty kill (90.6) is second in the league.

“We looked good for a while and maybe didn’t get the results that we maybe wanted or deserved there and no lately we’re getting pucks in,” Jonathan Ericsson said. “It’s about getting in the groove when the pucks are bouncing and things are going your way, but sometimes it’s not going to go like that.

“Like the PK, we had bounces going with us at the beginning of the season and maybe pucks have gone in a little easier lately,” Ericsson continued. “That’s how it always happens throughout the season. We’re not going to be perfect. You have to go through those things. We work on the things we need to get better at. It’s all about the confidence level and pucks are going to start dropping in.”

Datsyuk a game-time decision Tuesday; Franzen on short-term IR; Howard starting

DETROIT >> Quick update after Wings practice at Joe Louis Arena before they travel to Montreal for Tuesday night’s game.

Pavel Datsyuk appears to be a game-time decision.

“Say, day-to-day,” Datsyuk said afterwards. “I hope. You never know but what I’m looking (forward to it).”

Datsyuk practiced on a line with Henrik Zetterberg and Justin Abdelkader.

‘We had him on a line, but I had him on a line last Monday,” Wings coach Mike Babcock said.

Datsyuk was expected to miss roughly four weeks from the time he suffered a separated shoulder on Sept. 22.

Datsyuk said his shooting and stick work has been fine for some time.

“It’s only the contact still,” Datsyuk said. “But I had (it) last week. We’ll see what happens (Tuesday).”

The news isn’t so good on Johan Franzen, who was placed on short-term injured reserve with a groin injury.

Franzen, who’s tied for second in points with five, missed Saturday’s game against Toronto.

Jimmy Howard was back in goal and will start Tuesday. He was unable to back up Jonas Gustavsson Saturday due to a slight groin strain.

“It was a little sore so I just wanted to be cautious,” Howard said. “I wasn’t planning on playing from the get-go Saturday so we decided to use caution with it.

“The ice just gave out underneath my foot in Toronto there late in the game when I went to push across,” Howard continued. “So those things really can’t do anything about it. It rebounded quickly so it was nice to see. It wasn’t that bad.”

Why wasn’t Nyquist on ice in OT Wednesday? “It drove me crazy that I did that,” Babcock sayd

DETROIT >> Wings coach Mike Babcock still can’t explain why the team’s leading scorer, Gustav Nyquist, watched from the bench most of overtime against the Bruins.

“It drove me crazy that I did that,” Babcock said. “Even though we worked with those other guys, how the heck was I dumb enough to let that happen? We even talked about it and I still did it.”

Nyquist, who has a goal in each game this season, had one shift in OT and wasn’t on the ice during the Wings’ 4-on-3 power play in the final minute. Instead Babcock went with the unit they practiced that scenario with the day before, Henrik Zetterberg, Johan Franzen, Riley Sheahan and Niklas Kronwall.

“We thought that was the best chance to score,” Babcock said. “But then when we scored another goal in that game on the power play wouldn’t you just put him on the ice?

Wings coach Mike Babcock: ‘Howie was good, that’s about it; netminder earns Detroit a point in loss to Bruins

DETROIT >> It didn’t take long for Detroit Red Wings coach Mike Babcock to sum up Wednesday’s 3-2 shootout loss to the Boston Bruins at Joe Louis Arena.

“Howie was good, that’s about it,” Babcock said.

Jimmy Howard stood on his head stopping 37 shots.

“Howie stole us a point,” Babcock said. “We felt we got ripped off the other (Saturday) night, but Howie stole one back for us tonight.”

Howard stopped all 11 shots he faced in the third period and then four more in overtime.

“He saved us big time,” Henrik Zetterberg said of his netminder. “Without him we wouldn’t have that point.”

“He was great, he was great for us,” Tomas Tatar said. “He made lots of unreal saves. We can be really happy for the one point because he was holding us most of the game, just a good job from him.”

Howard has started all three games this season for the Wings and has been quite good. He’s got a 1.95 goals-against average and a .927 save percentage.

Albeit just three games into the season, but those are out of this world for the Wings netminder.

“I thought he was fantastic all game through,” Niklas Kronwall said. “After two periods, he’d stopped them quite a few times there. I thought singlehandedly he got us a point.”

“He was phenomenal,” said Gustav Nyquist, who netted his third goal in as many games in a losing effort. “He was the one that kept us in the game and saved a point for us there. Obviously, the last minute there, minute and a half there, he made some real nice stops. And all the way throughout the game he was our best player I thought. He played a real nice game.”

Howard was named the second start of the game.

And with the Wings’ offense struggling to score goals, potting a total of six goals, two in each of the first three games, getting these type of performances out of Howard are key.

“Jimmy played a great game and kept them in it,” said Boston goalie Tuukka Rask, who made 18 saves.

Babcock keep Nyquist on top line; fourth line logging minutes through two games

DETROIT >> Quick update from Wings’ practice Monday at Joe Louis Arena.

It appears as if coach Mike Babcock is going with the same group he’s played with the first two games of the season as Stephen Weiss, Daniel Cleary and Pavel Datsyuk (shoulder) all wore gray jerseys.

Weiss and Cleary were healthy scratches the first two games, while Datsyuk is still coming back from injury.

Babcock did keep Gustav Nyquist on the top line along with Henrik Zetterberg and Johan Franzen.

That moved Justin Abdelkader down with Darren Helm and Andrej Nestrasil.

A lot of the talk after practice was how well the fourth line of Drew Miller-Luke Glendening-Joakim Andersson have done thus far.

Miller and Glendening have after 14 minutes of ice time a game, while Andersson is just under 13.

“I think we’ve played both games good,” Andersson said. “We’re a hardworking line, play smart and good defensively. We worked hard down low in their end and some success there, we didn’t score, well Glenny scored there without us. We played well.”

That line was elevated to check Anaheim’s second line in Saturday’s 3-2 loss at Louis Arena.

“(Babcock) probably thought we’d play against him so we’re happy we got a lot of minutes there even though we started on fourth line,” Andersson said.

“You get out there, try and have as much O-zone time as you can and put pressure on their D,” Miller said. “I thought our lined played well (against Anaheim) and on top of that I think our penalty kill has been doing good.

“Even looking at last year there are nights where we’re matched up defensively against one of the top lines so you’re going to play more minutes,” Miller continued. “It’s just whatever the circumstances call for, but most teams four line minutes are 6-7 whereas here it’s like 9-10.”

Wings hope youthful experience carries over to 2014-15 season

DETROIT >> The Detroit Red Wings’ roster for the 2014-15 season may look eerily like last year’s squad that squeaked its way into the playoffs.

But it’s different due mainly to the fact that the youngsters who helped extend that playoff streak are a year older.

“I’ve had some people say that the roster is the same, but there are six forwards different (from last opening night) so it’s night and day different from what it was,” Wings coach Mike Babcock said. “It’s a much quicker team, a much more useful team.

“We were at a snail’s pace last year at the start of the year,” Babcock added. “I didn’t even like watching us practice, we were so slow. We were able to pick things up during the year and get way quicker and ideally we’ll continue to do that. We think we’re really going to be able to fly.”

The Wings’ youngsters filled in when stars like Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg, who both played just 45 regular season games, sat with injuries.

“If we’re fortunate to have Pav and Z play, and stay healthy, we’re a better team that way,” Babcock said. “It’s about growth. You’ve done it once, but you’ve got to do it again. There’s a whole bunch of guys that have done it one time. So time is going to tell. I know they’ve worked hard and competed in the summer to get stronger and quicker and they’re more confident now and it just has to translate on the ice.”

Darren Helm, Johan Franzen, Stephen Weiss and Jonathan Ericsson also missed considerable time that led to Detroit having the second most man games lost a season ago.

“The young guys took a huge step for us last year and they got a good taste of what the playoffs are like,” Niklas Kronwall said. “They gained a lot of experience that way. With them taking another step and the health of our big guys, Hank, Pav and E, hopefully he can stay healthy too. We’re very familiar with all the players. We know the system so I think we should be in good shape.”

The Wings don’t ever want to say they’re rebuilding, but the need to thrust the youngsters into key roles last season has allowed them to at least stay in contention to qualify for one of the eight playoff spots.

“It’s interesting to me that we’re getting better again now, but we’re not getting better with old guys, we’re getting better with young guys,” Babcock said. “Last year was a breakthrough year for us. When you’re on the outside looking in you might not see it, but to me, since ’09 we’ve still been a good team. We’re a Cup team. You could say the whole league is a Cup team because it’s so tight.”

Babcock admits the Cup contenders continue to be the same as the last few seasons – Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston and Pittsburgh.

“The rest of us are fighting to be in that pool,” Babcock said. “We’ve crawled into the playoffs two years in a row. Last year we crawled in with kids though, the year before we did it with unbelievable goaltending down the stretch. I like the direction that we’re going. The issue is always, to win the Cup you need some stars, and we have stars, but they have to be healthy. But we eventually have to have guys to replace those stars because they are 35 and 34 (years old).”

Not being a favorite to win the Cup is nothing new to Zetterberg.

“I think it’s been like that since Nick (Lidstrom) retired,” Zetterberg said. “Ever since then we haven’t been a sure thing for the playoffs. Somehow we’ve found a way to make it there and we’re going to do the same this year.”

“When I look at our group, we’re a group that’s going to have to earn our way and earn our confidence,” Babcock said. “I don’t think anyone has got us pegged to win the President’s Trophy, so we’re going to have to grind.”

The Wings have reached the playoffs 23 consecutive seasons.

“It’s about making the playoffs and about being healthy and playing your best hockey at the right time,” Wings general manager Ken Holland said. “It’s a league that’s got balance and parity. We need a little better luck with health with the continued development.”

“The young guys did a tremendous job for us last year helping us keep the playoff streak alive,” Jimmy Howard said. “I think a lot of veterans are a lot healthier than compared to most years. It’s just going to be going out there and proving people wrong.”