Monthly Archives: November 2010

Modano out indefinitely

DETROIT — The Wings will be without center Mike Modano for an indefinite amount of time after suffering a lacerated right wrist in the second period of Friday’s 2-1 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets.

He severed a tendon and suffered some slight nerve damage.

He underwent surgery Saturday morning at the Detroit Medical Center.

He will be out of the lineup indefinitely.

Chelios heading to Russia?

Is there a little professional hockey left in Chris Chelios’ tank?

Not at this time at least.

Chelios denied a tsn.ca report that he is interested in continuing his career in the Kontinental Hockey League.

“Two different teams were looking for two defensemen,” Chelios said. “I told the guy I’m happy where I’m at.

“Right now I’m really happy watching the kids,” Chelios added. “It was more important to be home with the family.”

Chelios retired from the NHL this summer and took a job as a hockey operations advisor with the Wings.

Chelios, a three-time Norris Trophy winner, said an agent-friend, Tom Reich, mentioned to him that two Russian teams were looking for defensemen and asked if he was interested.

Chelios told Reich to look into it, but nothing came of it.

“It would have to be a great offer for me to reconsider,” said Chelios, who added he hadn’t spoken to any KHL teams since August. “But I’ve changed my mind before.”

According to the tsn.ca report, Chelios was said to be in negotiations with Vityaz of the KHL, where former NHLers Chris Simon and Danny Markov currently play.

Chelios, 48, who played in more than 1,600 career games and won three Stanley Cup rings, said enjoys watching his sons play hockey at Michigan State and his two daughters play hockey at Cranbrook-Kingswood.

When Chelios took the job with the Wings, general manager Ken Holland gave him the option to be at his kids’ games first.

Chelios spent most of last season with the American Hockey League’s Chicago Wolves. He did play seven games with the Atlanta Thrashers.

Red Wings ready for food-fest at Drapers’ place

DETROIT – Julie Draper is going to be the busiest she’s ever been in the kitchen this Thanksgiving.

“It’s going to challenge my wife, no doubt, but she’s up for it,” Kris Draper said.

The Drapers will hold their annual Thanksgiving Day feast today with the largest list of invited guests to date.

Draper said he expects up to 20 people to attend including Todd Bertuzzi, Darren Helm, Dan Cleary, Jiri Hudler, Justin Abdelkader, Jakub Kindl and Patrick Eaves.

“It’s become a great tradition for our family,” said Draper, who has been holding the annual dinner the last five years. “We have families over and they bring their kids and the younger guys come over. It’s a great time of year.

“It’s nice to be able to do it,” Draper added. “To have some of the younger/single guys over and have dinner. Watch some football. My son is probably the most excited one to play all these guys in mini sticks. He’ll play whoever wants to play. He’ll never stop.”

Draper said a 25-pound turkey had already been ordered. But he still didn’t know if another turkey order was going to be placed or if the second main course would be a ham.

“I’ll leave that up to my wife,” Draper said. “All I know is I’m getting turkey.

“We’ll have lots of food,” Draper added.

Hudler was playing in Russia last season and missed last year’s festivities.

“We don’t have Thanksgiving at Czech Republic,” Hudler said. “The tradition is we go to Drapes’ house. Kind of have a nice turkey meal and play mini sticks with kids in the basement. There’s a lot of action going on. It’s a lot of fun.

“(Julie) does a great job with the food,” Hudler added. “It’s going to be the same thing like years past. I’m so happy to have that turkey again.”

Hudler couldn’t stop talking about the turkey and the desserts.

“I don’t eat turkey that much, I’m excited,” Hudler said. “Drapes says it’s a big one this year. I told him I’m going to eat a lot so make sure he’s ready. I’m not eating breakfast that day. I’m going to be empty and ready to go.

“We get ice creams and cakes and stuff,” Hudler added. “It’s delicious. I love pumpkin pie.”

One of the biggest questions will be who will be sitting at the kids table.

“Usually Huds sits there and we have a place setting for Helmer and Abby as well,” Draper said. “We’ll see who pulls rank and gets to sit at the adult table this year.”
Abdelkader will sit anywhere.

“I’m just happy to go over there and have Thanksgiving,” Abdelkader said. “(Helm) was over there last year so he’s probably going to try and pull rank on me.”

Abdelkader didn’t attend last year’s feast.

“I’ll go, chat it up with the kids,” Abdelkader said. “I don’t care where I eat as long as I eat and leave with a full stomach.”

The oddest request at the dinner table comes from Cleary … white vinegar.

“You’ve got to try it,” Cleary said. “Put it on the turkey and mashed potatoes.”

Hudler out

As I thought might be the case after practice Tuesday, Jiri Hudler will be a healthy scratch tonight against the Atlanta Thrashers.

“We know Huds is a very good player. We need him to be an important player for us, Wings coach Mike Babcock told mlive.com. “I’m going to make a deeper rotation. He’s in that rotation. When he plays, he’ll play on the power play and on the top three lines. He’s got to win his confidence back and he’s got to earn his job back.”

The means Drew Miller and Patrick Eaves will both dress together for the first time since Nov. 3 in Calgary.

Hudler has been pointless in his last three games. He has just one goal and four assists in 16 games and is a minus-5.

“The bottom line is you got to find a way to be in every night, that people aren’t questioning whether you’re in or not,” Babcock added. “We need him, we need his scoring, his gift of knowing how to play. He’s played a lot of big games for us, helped us win the Cup. We need that back. That’s the challenge for him. he’s not going to like this, but that’s just the way it is.”

Who’s sitting?

DETROIT — If the rotation of sitting Drew Miller and Patrick Eaves every other night continues, Miller will be sitting tonight against Atlanta.

“I don’t have any idea what I’m doing yet, I’ve got till (this) morning to figure that out,” Wings coach Mike Babcock said. “It’s difficult when you’ve got good guys that are playing real well that are sitting.

“We’ve had a two-man rotation with Miller and Eaves and they’ve both played excellent,” Babcock added. “Maybe it’s time to go a little deeper.”

If practice was any indication of who’s sitting, it may by Jiri Hudler, who worked in with the line of Mike Modano, Cleary and Justin Abdelkader.

Miller, Eaves and Darren Helm skated together the entire practice.

Babcock also had Tomas Holmstrom back with Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg, while Johan Franzen was back Valtteri Filppula and Todd Bertuzzi.

Cleary good to go

DETROIT — Dan Cleary skated at practice and feels good enough to play tonight against Atlanta.

Cleary was checked into the glass by Calgary’s Mark Giordano in the second period Sunday and never returned.

He said that he hit his head along the glass and his body went numb for a few seconds.

“I had to regroup myself,” said Cleary, who was held out the rest of the game as a precautionary. “I’ve never felt like that before. I’ve been hit hard, been knocked out actually before, but nothing like that.”

Cleary said he did have a bit of a headache still.

“It was a weird feeling,” Cleary said.

Cleary is OK

DETROIT – The prognosis on Dan Cleary’s injury looks good.

Cleary left Sunday’s 5-4 overtime win over Calgary late in the second period after colliding with the Flames’ Craig Conroy and taking a hit from defenseman Mark Giordano.

Wings general manager Ken Holland said Monday there’s ‘nothing significant’ to Cleary’s injury.

“From what I was told it’s nothing significant,” Holland said. “He banged his head and his shoulder was sore. He didn’t return for precautionary reasons.”

What day off?

DETROIT — Defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom ‘day off’ Thursday was spent at Joe Louis Arena.

“I was here, road the bike and got some treatments, that was it, that was my day,” Lidstrom laughed.

Wings coach Mike Babcock told Lidstrom to take the day off from skating.

“Sometimes it’s good to get a day off,” Lidstrom said. “That’s what he thought would be a good idea, especially with the stretch of games we have coming up.”

Is Danny Cleary supersitious?

DETROIT – Danny Cleary isn’t like one of this pitchers you can’t talk to during a no-hit or perfect-game bid.
Cleary has been very much approachable during his current streak.

“If anything they’re on me more,” said Cleary, who has yet to start taping sticks for teammates. “Athletes tend to be superstitious, but you can’t let that creep into your mind if you forget to do them.

“Your mind can play tricks on you,” Cleary added. “But you definitely stick with a similar routine that’s for sure.”

Which leads to the question … how superstitious is Cleary.

“It’s nothing crazy like that,” Cleary said. “My routine doesn’t deviate much. You get your stretch, do your thing and soon you’re getting into game time.

“You can’t let little things affect your mind,” Cleary added. “You can’t worry about if you’re doing things the same way.”

Cleary entered Friday’s game against the Minnesota Wild riding a six-game goal scoring streak. He has eight goals during that stretch.

“I’m not to anal, no too crazy,” Cleary said. “I always try and keep the same routine I do.”

“A lot of these guys have there only little routines,” said goalie Jimmy Howard, whose position on the team is known for being the most superstitious out of any in hockey. “They probably say they don’t.”

Howard asked Kris Draper if he had superstitions or just routines on game day.

Draper smiled as he walked by and said, “I have a ton of superstitions.”

After further questions were asked, there are two things Cleary is superstitious about and one he just started during the streak.

Cleary has new laces put in his skates before every game and the newest thing is does is put on new Under Armour wrist bands before every game.

“I should have been, I wasn’t good enough,” Wings coach Mike Babcock grinned. “I don’t know if all those good players are superstitious at all, they just play.”

(One more interesting superstition … Henrik Zetterberg needs the water he drinks at room temperature.

Cleary extended his goal-scoring streak to six games on Wednesday night just by putting the puck on net and getting it to deflect off a St. Louis Blues defenseman and past the Blues netminder.

“It goes like that, it’s weird,” Cleary said. “I’m a big believer if you put the puck on net good things are going to happen. That was a good example.

“Then you see it go the other way,” Cleary added. “You can have a lot of great opportunities and you don’t score. You can’t settle. You have to stay hungry and go for it.”

Cleary’s previous longest goal scoring streak took place during the 2008-09 season where he put together a four-game streak. He scored a total of five goals in those four games.

“He’s having success because he’s playing hard, first,” Babcock said. “Secondly, the puck is going in because he’s shooting the more than he normally would. There must be a message in that. The guys who score the most goals every year shoot the puck the most.

“You’d think everyone would shoot the puck, but that’s not how it works,” Babcock added. “When you don’t score you don’t shoot the puck. That doesn’t make any sense to me.”

The lines they are a changing again

DETROIT — Midway through Wednesday’s win against St. Louis, Mike Babcock shuffled up a couple of his lines and then his power play units.

The lines he changed remained the same at practice today.

Johan Franzen moved to the top line to skate with Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk, while Tomas Holmstrom went to the fourth line to skate with Darren Helm and Drew Miller. (Patrick Eaves also worked in on that line).

Justin Abdelkader moved up to play with Valtteri Filppula and Jiri Hudler.

Just the line of Dan Cleary, Mike Modano and Todd Bertuzzi remained the same.

“Sometimes just changing things gets guys going,” Babcock said. “Sometimes they get mad at you. It doesn’t matter to me, I just want to win.”

Babcock said he won’t know until Friday morning if he’ll keep the lines like when the Wings play the Minnesota Wild at Joe Louis Arena.

After the win Wednesday, Babcock said he was switching Datsyuk and Zetterberg on the power play.

However, the team didn’t work a bit on special teams.

“All I know for sure is that 13 and 40 aren’t on the power play together,” Babcock said. “Because it isn’t working that way. I want our power play to work harder than it has been. I want it to have more urgency.”

After the switch the Wings scored two power play goals late against the Blues.

Babcock said his best power-play unit on Wednesday was when Filppula, Cleary and Hudler were sent out together.