Daily Archives: February 11, 2012

Howard shooting to return next Friday against Nashville

DETROIT — Jimmy Howard took a step in returning in goal, taking shots for the first time in practice since breaking his right index finger on Feb. 2.

“The finger felt good, the rest of me felt…,” Howard said shrugging his shoulders. “I guess that comes with the territory after taking 10 days off with no shots. Now we’ll see how it feels tomorrow and hopefully it keeps getting better.”

Howard is targeting next Friday’s home game against Nashville to return.

“There’s no reason to rush back,” said Howard, who added that the pain in his finger has gone away. “This will give it a couple more days to heal and allow me to get a couple of more practices under my belt, so I can get my game back to where it was.”

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Wings not talking about nearing NHL’s home win streak record

DETROIT – Like a goalie in the midst of recording a shutout or a pitcher in baseball closing in on a perfect game or a no-hitter, teammates tend to avoid bringing up certain subjects.

The same can be said of the Wings’ franchise-record 19-game home winning streak, which they look to extend and tie the longest such streak in NHL history Sunday against the Philadelphia Flyers.

“Guys haven’t talked a whole lot about it,” Nicklas Lidstrom said. “We’re kind of going about our everyday business, day-by-day, game-by-game, getting ready for the next one. (Friday) night we didn’t play our best but still got away with a win. It’s a matter of continuing to play well and try to get points.”

The Wings can tie the mark set by the 1929-30 Boston Bruins and 1975-76 Flyers for longest home winning streak at 20 games.

“You come this far, now you want it,” said Jimmy Howard, who has been between the pipes for 18 of those wins before breaking his right index finger. “Everyone in this dressing room, you’re not really talking about it, but you know it’s in the back of everyone’s mind. To put this many consecutive wins together at home, now you want to continue to keep it going.

“Now it’s right on top of us,” Howard added. “We’re not really talking about it in the dressing room but I think it would be an absolute great achievement.”

Detroit last lost at home on Nov. 3 to the Calgary Flames.

With a win Sunday the Wings, who play 16 of their final 26 games at home, could set the mark on Tuesday against the Dallas Stars.

“We still try and avoid talking about it,” Henrik Zetterberg said. “We just focus on every game. Tomorrow it’s going to be fun meeting Philly. It’s going to be a tough game and hopefully we’ll get out with two points.”

Detroit is 22-2-1 this season at home after struggling last year on home ice and finishing 26-11-4.

“We really wanted to play good at home this year after struggling last year,” Zetterberg said. “I think we’ve been playing good all year and all of a sudden you start winning games. We haven’t really thought about it until it was 12 to 13 games in a row. Because we lost so many games on the road we weren’t feeling all that good about ourselves. Then all of a sudden it’s 15, 16 and now we’re one game away from tying it. We’re excited about it. We’re going to do our best to win the next one.”

Because of the amount of time the Wings have spent on the road coming back with a win streak intact takes time to get used to.

“It’s nice we have a few at home so it starts to feel like it,” Zetterberg said. “If we win the next one it’ll be really special and then we’ll go from there. Hopefully we can keep it going a few more games at home.”

Wings surprise Holmstrom with snowmobile

DETROIT — As practice was about to end Saturday at Joe Louis Arena, the Zamboni entrance opened and out comes a snowmobile the team had purchased for Tomas Holmstrom in honor of him reaching 1,000 games Friday night.

Holmstrom describe what was going through his mind at the time.

Saying to himself, ‘What’s going on? What’s Al doing? Is the Zamboni coming out? There’s something strange going on and then there’s a snowmobile out there.

Then he started to read the sign.

“Oh nice, it’s mine,” Holmstrom laughed. “That was nice for the boys. I’ve got some nice teammates.”

Holmstrom sold his other snowmobile he had during the lockout.

“I’m never home during the winters,” Holmstrom said. “It’s lots of fun. I love being outdoors. I’ve got no time to drive anything. During the All-Star break we went up snowmobiling up north and last year too.”

Henrik Zetterberg was the first to take it for a spin on the ice.

“They are fast, he has to be careful,” Zetterberg smiled. “I love snowmobiling. Never gone with him.

Selanne a future Wing? He’s avoiding those questions

DETROIT — For now, Anaheim’s Teemu Selanne is trying to avoid all questions about his immediate future with the Ducks.

“Everybody in this room still believes we can make the playoffs,” Selanne said Friday morning. “That would be almost wrong to even think of any other options. That’s not in my mind right now. Let’s see what happens. The main focus is right now, today.”

Selanne, who’ll turn 42 this summer, leads the Ducks with 50 points and is the type of the player the Wings would be interested at the trade deadline.

“Don’t go that far,” he said laughing when asked about the possibility of coming to Detroit.

Milestone night

DETROIT — Tomas Holmstrom played in his 1,000th game with the Wings and Nicklas Lidstrom tied Alex Delvecchio for most games played for Detroit at 1,549.

“Real nice night for both of them,” Babcock said. “I was bugging Tommy, saying he missed the game a while back just so he could (reach the milestone) at the same time as Nick. They do everything together, so why not do this together.

“Any time you get a chance to tie Mr. Delvecchio it’s a special, special thing,” Babcock added. “I don’t know if Nick wants to hang around long enough to tie Gordie (Howe) but good for us and good for them.”

Lidstrom is 138 games from tying Howe and Holmstrom is 137 away from trying Kris Draper for fifth on the all-time list. Both are four-time Stanley Cup champs.

“They’ve been very important parts of this team and they still are with leadership from Nick and just the enthusiasm and drive Homer brings to the rink every day,” Babcock said.