Tag Archives: Zetterberg

Zetterberg still has yet to score in series

DETROIT >> Henrik Zetterberg is on the verge of doing something he’s never done as a member of the Detroit Red Wings … not score a goal in a series.

Zetterberg has scored in each of his previous 21 series with the Wings.

“Obviously you want to produce more than I have done,” Zetterberg said. “I had more looks during these games. Game 1 and Game 2 I didn’t play good. After that it’s been better, but obviously it would be nice to see the back of the net.

“You just try to do everything right,” Zetterberg added. “Play good defensively, good at face-offs, and try to lead by example. That’s what I’m trying to do.”
Zetterberg has three assists through six games.

“I haven’t (talked to him) and I’m not going to either,” Wings coach Mike Babcock said. “Just play hard (Wednesday) and do a good job.”

He has just two goals in his last 35 games dating back to Jan. 27.

“I think Hank’s doing a lot of good things,” linemate Justin Abdelkader said. “Hank’s a player that even if he’s not on the score sheet he’s going to positively affect the game. He’s our leader. Playoffs are all about different guys chipping in. It’s not always going to be your big-name guys. You see (Steven) Stamkos over there hasn’t scored any goals. I imagine they’re talking about him, too. I think playoffs are about your depth as a team, different guys chipping in. It’s not always going to be your all-stars or superstars.”

Zetterberg does have a knack of stepping up in the big game. In six previous Game 7s he’s appeared in, the Wings captain has three goals and three assists.

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Zetterberg feeling much better after being reunited with on-again, off-again linemate

DETROIT >> Henrik Zetterberg was feeling kind of down after the morning skate Tuesday at Joe Louis Arena.

A goal and an assist later in the evening after being reunited with on-again, off-again linemate Pavel Datsyuk helped change his confidence level at least for one game.

“I was obviously excited to be back with Pavel,” Zetterberg said. “It’s been awhile. It’s good when we get an opportunity to play together to produce. I have to give a lot of credit to Helmer being in front of the net on both of the goals. He really created a lot of space for us and gives us a lot of time.

“It was going pretty good with Abby and Gus too, but sometimes you just need a little change to get a different feel,” Zetterberg added. “It’s no surprise we like to play together, but we haven’t played together that much lately. Today was good when we got a chance we went out and scored some goals.”

It was Zetterberg’s first goal in 13 games and just his second in the last 28.

“I just think the big thing there is he scored a big goal and set up a big goal,” Wings coach Mike Babcock said after the team’s 3-2 come-from-behind win over the Carolina Hurricanes. “You know, everyone here takes responsibility for their play and as a coach you take responsibility when your team’s not ready. But we’re all in it together. So it doesn’t go on one guy and you’re not carrying the weight of the world around on your back. That makes no sense.”

Zetterberg called himself out Tuesday morning after the morning skate about his lack of production.

“This time of year I’m supposed to be there, score goals, put up points for my team,” he said. “I haven’t done that lately. That’s something I’m not happy about.

“I think I create chances, but some games I’m not,” he continued. “It’s kind of a new position for me, going this long, this time of the year is not common. You start to think too much. When you’re supposed to pass you shoot and vice versa. It’s going back to the basics and believing in yourself, believe in yourself and work hard. If you work hard the offense will come.”

Babcock said he had a talk with the Wings captain after hearing what he had said this morning.

“I mean, Z’s a good player and he’s a proud guy and wants to play well,” Babcock said. “He’s trying. I think as long as you’re putting the effort in things are going to turn of you. Sometimes it doesn’t go the way you want it, but if you do good things, as I always say, good things will happen. Good for Z tonight. We’re proud of him. He’s got to be proud of himself and now we have to get ready for the next game.”

Zetterberg not concerned about Wings’ lack of offense this preseason

DETROIT >> Goals have been hard to come by this preseason for the Detroit Red Wings.

That was once again the case Wednesday night against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Joe Louis Arena.

Blake Comeau and Oskar Sundqvist each scored for the Penguins, while Marc-Andre Fleury turned away all 25 shots he faced in a 2-0 win over Detroit.

“Preseason, you can’t be frustrated in preseason it’s way too long of a season,” Henrik Zetterberg said.

The Wings have scored just 10 goals through six preseason games.

Zetterberg’s line – Johan Franzen and Gustav Nyquist – has yet to register a point in three preseason games.

“Well I don’t see a lot of points, don’t see a lot of goals, but I think we create more and more chemistry for each game,” Zetterberg said. “We should be ready when the season starts.”

Wings coach Mike Babcock was happy with their performance.

“I thought they were good, they had multiple, multiple opportunities,” Babcock said. “I’ve got no issue with them.
“We have to figure out our backend,” Babcock continued. “That’s a concern for me. It’s been all year. We’re going to keep giving guys an opportunity up front over the next two games and we’ll have all problems solved by Monday.”

Jimmy Howard made 21 saves.

Babcock was less pleased with the line he’s been pleased with all preseason – Riley Sheahan, Tomas Tatar and Tomas Jurco.

“They’ve been the dominant line for us,” Babcock said. “They didn’t take care of the puck good enough, especially when we matched them up against (Sidney) Crosby. If you don’t take care of the puck against real good players you never have the puck and you spend a lot of time chasing it and getting frustrated. So, it’s a little life lesson.”

The Wings’ penalty kill was again stellar, holding Pittsburgh off the score sheet on three chances to improve to 26-for-26 on the PK this preseason.

The power play however was 0-for-4.

“I like (Nick) Jensen on the back,” Babcock said. “I thought Howie had a real good game in the net. Our fourth line was a dash-2, that’s tough.”

Stephen Weiss, who centered the fourth line, was a minus-2 and has yet to record a point this preseason. Weiss played the second fewest minutes amongst the Wings’ forwards.

The Penguins opened the scoring before the midway point of the game.

A shot from the point by Rob Scuderi was redirected to the front of Howard’s pad by Nick Spaling where Comeau was able to dig out and slid into the open net.

Pittsburgh doubled its lead when Sundqvist blasted home a juicy rebound off the left pad of Howard from a shot by Spaling.

Wings’ final grades add up to an average season

DETROIT – Once again the Detroit Red Wings scratched and clawed their way into the postseason for a 23rd consecutive season, but the ouster in five games by the Boston Bruins wasn’t what they had planned.

“I’m general manager of a team that this ownership, this fan base, they want us to be a playoff team,” Ken Holland said. “Nobody seems to have an appetite to miss the playoff for four or five consecutive years to try and replenish and build up this core of players that you can build around for 10 or 12 years.

“Where we draft, we don’t draft high enough to move players from junior to the National Hockey League to make the playoffs,” Holland continued. “We can have the youngest team in the league next year, we’re going to miss the playoffs. How do I know? I just look at other teams and other situations.”

The youth movement was this year’s theme as eight players make their NHL debut in the regular season.

“I want to be a playoff team and I think that when players are ready to help us win, they’ll be here,” Holland said. “The one guy that wasn’t here that probably should have been here at the start of the season was (Gustav) Nyquist. Other than that, Tomas Jurco, when we called him up in November, he was the eighth leading scorer in the American Hockey League. This isn’t a league where you’re going to learn to score in. You’re going to score in other leagues. You don’t come up here and learn to score. If you can’t score before you get here, the coaches aren’t going to give you enough time to learn to score because they want to win. They’re going to put people out there that they know have got a track record to do it. If you can’t defend, it doesn’t matter how many points you get.

“This is a hard league to be a real player in at 22 and 23,” Holland continued. “We don’t have a 22-year-old (Steve) Yzerman. We don’t have a 22-year-old (Nicklas) Lidstrom. We don’t have those players. I’ll be the first to tell you. Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg, they weren’t Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg at 22. They became Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg at 26.

Forwards Riley Sheahan and Luke Glendening, along with defensemen Brendan Smith and Danny DeKeyser also played huge roles this season.

“That’s why young players get traded to other organizations,” Holland said. “Because they get there too quick, they’re not quite ready for the challenge and then people get down on them. The manager and the coach, then they go to another city. I’m hoping to leave these players away from here as long as possible so that when they do get here, the growing pains are as short as possible.”
Here are the final positional grades, which includes playoffs and has each of the first three quarter grades after.

Forwards: C+ (B-, B, B)

Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk combined to play 90 regular season games. Zetterberg still was third on the team in scoring.

The duo shined in the playoffs with Datsyuk leading the team with five points and Zetterberg had a goal and an assist in just two games.

Daniel Alfredsson, when healthy, was a fine addition, finishing tied for the team lead with 49 points.

Johan Franzen was a complete no show down the stretch.

Gustav Nyquist had a magnificent regular season, leading the team with 28 goals in just 57 games.

However, he and the rest of the young forwards found it difficult to produce in the postseason. The only newbie to register a point in five games was Luke Glendening.

Injury-riddled Darren Helm potted 12 goals in 42 games. His speed is unmatched in the league.

Justin Abdelkader was like a yo-yo with linemates, but still managed 10 goals and 18 assists.

Drew Miller was the lone forward to play the entire 82-game regular season schedule.

The trade for David Legwand didn’t pan out like hoped and Todd Bertuzzi’s best days are behind him.

The signing of Daniel Cleary haunted them all year as did the two-year deal they struck with Mikael Samuelsson two seasons ago.

Defensemen: B (B, B+, C+)

Niklas Kronwall has truly taken over as the leader on the blue line having to mentor a mistake-prone Brendan Smith once Jonathan Ericsson’s regular season ended with a fractured finger.

Danny DeKeyser is here to stay.

Despite getting off to a rough start in the plus-minus category, Kyle Quincey recovered and finished just a minus-5. He was the lone defenseman to play all 82 regular season games.

And just like last season Brian Lashoff leaped over Jakub Kindl on the depth chart when playoffs rolled around.

The team also got a look at a few youngsters on the blue line – Ryan Sproul, Xavier Ouellet, Alexey Marchenko, Adam Almquist – this season to see if they’re ready to make the leap to the NHL.

Goalies: C (C+, B-, C)

Jimmy Howard admitted, “I thought it was an OK season, by no means was it a good or great season.”

He finished the regular season with his worst goals-against average (2.66) and save percentage (.910) since his second season as the Wings’ starter.

Battling injures from groins to shoulders, Jonas Gustavsson appeared in just 34 regular-season games with the Wings over two seasons.

When he’s healthy he’s a reliable backup, going 16-5-4 this season. He also started the final two playoff games because Howard at the flu and gave them a chance to win.

Petr Mrazek will likely spend one more season in Grand Rapids before coming to Detroit fulltime.

Coaching: A- (B+, B-, A-)

When the finalists for the Jack Adams Award is announced on Tuesday, look for Mike Babcock to be on the list of final three.

With the amount of injured players, many of them were the core of the franchise, Babcock changed up his coaching style and put his trust in the kids and it paid off.

“The way I look it the coach of the year gets to raise the Stanley Cup and the rest of us are trying to get better,” Babcock said. “I thought we did lots of good things here this year. It was spectacular to get in the playoffs because our guys worked so hard.”

Gustavsson will start Game 5; Zetterberg will play also; Alfredsson anticipates he’ll be back in

DETROIT >> Quick update from Detroit Red Wings practice Friday at Joe Louis Arena.

Wings coach Mike Babcock has pegged Jonas Gustavsson to start Game 5 in Boston, Saturday afternoon.

He expects Jimmy Howard, who didn’t practice, to be well enough to be the backup.

Henrik Zetterberg said he’ll play as well.

“First and second was better than the third and overtime,” Zetterberg said when asked how he held up. “That was expected. We tried to have cap minutes, but when overtime came that kind of went out the door. You want to play. You want to be out there. I felt good enough to go out in overtime. Unfortunately we didn’t get the result we wanted to but today’s a new day.”

Daniel Alfredsson practiced and said he won’t know if he’ll play until after the pre-game skate in Boston, but he anticipate he’ll be ready.

Pavel Datsyuk was the only other regular that didn’t practice.

Besides picking Gustavsson to start, Babcock said he told the team he would post who’s playing in the locker room Saturday.

The Wings have experience of how tough it is to win that fourth game in the series. Last year they were up 3-1 on Chicago before losing the next three.

“We know it’s tough to get the fourth one,” Zetterberg said. “That’s the toughest one to get. We played really well in the first one in Boston. We just have to go out and win one game and bring it back home to the Joe. That’s our mindset and attitude. Just play well.”

Brendan Smith: “But to get Z back is like getting an ace in your deck when you’re playing cards.”

DETROIT >> It’s still not official, but all signs point to Henrik Zetterberg returning to the Detroit Red Wings lineup Thursday night against the Boston Bruins.

Wings officials said Zetterberg was on his way to see his doctor and would not be able to speak to the media about his status for Game 4 of the Wings’ Eastern Conference best-of-seven opening round series with the Bruins.

But many of his teammates talked like they would have their captain back in the lineup.

“The fans are definitely going to erupt,” Brendan Smith said Thursday. “They should. I erupt when I see him on the ice, imagine what the fans will be like. He’s a fan favorite. He’s well spoken. He’s humble. He’s one of the best players. It’s going to be cool and good for everybody. We have to channel it in the right direction and towards the game.

“You saw what last year’s playoffs were like with him, so I suspect it will be very similar,” Smith added. “He’s one of the guys we feed off of, he’s a leader, he’s our captain and he does everything right and he plays both ends of the ice. Obviously if we can get him back it will be huge for our squad. It would be awesome. We’ve done well without him and I think the biggest thing for us right now is for us to play our system and that will help us out a lot more. But to get Z back is like getting an ace in your deck when you’re playing cards. Anytime you get your captain back it’s a huge bonus.”

“He’s a competitor,” Darren Helm said. “He’s going to come out with a performance that can hopefully spark this team.

“Everybody’s kind of feeling that excitement, too,” Helm continued. “He’s been out for a while, you can tell he’s extremely happy to be back, we’re all extremely happy that he has a chance to play tonight. It’ll be great if he gets a chance to play.”

Zetterberg began skating with the team last Thursday after undergoing successful surgery on Feb. 21 to remove part of a disc which was rubbing against a nerve, which caused severe back pain.

Zetterberg took the morning skate and was on a line with Pavel Datsyuk and Justin Abdelkader.

“He looked great, he’s been looking really good for the last little and it would be huge boost getting our captain back, kind of unexpectedly,” Abdelkader said. “Hopefully, he’s ready to go, but we’ll have to find out.”

He never ruled out the possibility of returning in the first round of the playoffs, but the target always seemed to be the second round. The Wings trail Boston in the series 2-1.

“He’s been feeling good, I think he’s kind of raring to go, it’s just when he gets the clearance,” Abdelkader said. “He’s excited.”

Zetterberg has been sidelined since the Winter Olympics after playing just one game with Sweden.

“I asked him this morning he said he was going to the doctor,” Wings coach Mike Babcock said. “But because we were even talking about it I put him on a line, I put him on the power play, and the doctors decide not me. So I’m hopeful. We’ll know at game time after warm-ups.”

He was on the first power play unit with Datsyuk, Johan Franzen, Todd Bertuzzi, who’ll be making his playoff debut, and Niklas Kronwall.

“I think he’s overshadowed me a little bit,” smiled Bertuzzi, who’s replacing Tomas Jurco in the lineup. “Listen, Z’s captain for a reason. He carries the torch around here and he leads by example. Obviously, the guys have done a great job while he’s been out but at the same time it’s a huge hole when he’s not in the lineup. I think the power play is going to be that much more effective and we’ll be tougher to play against.”

Despite playing in just 45 of the Wings’ 82 games this season, Zetterberg finished tied for third on the team in points with 48.

“Z would be a huge impact for us and maybe he’s the guy who can bring more offense to the team and spread the lines out a little bit more,” Tomas Tatar said. “I would be really excited to have him back.

“When you’re injured, you’re practicing hard, you’re trying to get ready, you’re in the gym, you do lots of stuff to make sure you’re ready when you get back,” Tatar continued. “I know the start can be rough, but at the same time, you can start really hot, too. You’ve just got to go with the wave. It all depends on how the game will go. You can’t expect one game to change the whole game, but it the teammates are helping, it’s a start.”

Zetterberg, 33, missed 11 games in December with a slightly herniated disc. He also missed two games in January due to it.

Zetterberg began having issues with his back in 2008, which made him miss the All-Star break.In 2007, he injured his vertebra and missed several weeks.

Zetterberg in for Game 4 tonight against Boston … at least that’s how it appears

DETROIT >> After 24 hours of speculating, Henrik Zetterberg appears to be in the lineup for Game 4 against the Boston Bruins

Zetterberg began the morning skate on a line with Pavel Datsyuk and Justin Abdelkader.

Todd Bertuzzi also appears to be in the lineup, replacing Tomas Jurco.

Zetterberg was on a power play unit with his same Johan Franzen, Datsyuk, Todd Bertuzzi and Niklas Kronwall.

After practice Wednesday, Zetterberg said the decision to return was up to the doctors.

“The good thing is (the decision’s) not in my corner,” Zetterberg said after practice Wednesday at Joe Louis Arena. “I’ve got to be cleared by the doctor. I’ve got to do all those exams. I’m just preparing myself to get into better and better shape, try and get as much game like situations as I can in practice. Today was a good day of that.

“This is just part of the process,” Zetterberg added. “The more I amp stuff up in the gym and on the ice now we just have to wait and see the reactions. If I don’t feel any setbacks or don’t feel anything bad that’s when I’ll probably start that conversation, but still this was the first practice I’ve really had where I’ve been in all the drills and skating a line.”

Zetterberg began practicing with the team last Thursday.

Zetterberg has been sidelined since the Winter Olympics after playing just one game with Sweden.

He hadn’t ruled out possibly returning in the first round of the playoffs, but it appeared like he would likely come back if the Wings advance to the next round.

That appears to not be the case anymore.

“I have to feel ready to play,” Zetterberg said Wednesday. “Today was a good step in practicing. We’re still saying round two, but we all know we gained a couple days. I can’t really say anything now. I’m just happy I had my first real skate and now we’ll see how I feel in the morning.”

Despite playing in just 45 of the Wings’ 82 games this season, Zetterberg finished tied for third on the team in points with 48 and led the team with a plus-19.

“It’s tough to find good practices in the playoffs,” Zetterberg said. “You don’t practice. You only play games. So one of these days you just have to make a decision. The conditioning you’ll get when you play games. It’s tough when you’re skating on your own because you won’t get the same thing. Once I feel good enough to see if I’m cleared that’s probably when I’ll be playing games. I’m going to have still go through a few more steps before I have that conversation.”

Zetterberg, 33, missed 11 games in December with a slightly herniated disc. He also missed two games in January due to it.

Zetterberg began having issues with his back in 2008, which made him miss the All-Star break.
In 2007, he injured his vertebra and missed several weeks.

“I think he’s looking great out there since he started skating,” Tomas Tatar said. “He’d be a big power boost for us. That would be really good and really helpful, but I don’t know how far away he is. I don’t have any updates. I just know he looks really good out there.”

“He’s our captain, our leader, huge boost,” Gustav Nyquist said. “I don’t have a timetable so I don’t know if it’s possible he’ll be back. I have no idea. But obviously it’s great to see him out there especially when you saw him in that much pain when he first got back from the Olympics. That’s not fun to see a guy you look up to and your leader being hurt like that. So it’s great to see him back.”