Around the Rink is the new Hockeytown Blog feature that will highlight Red Wings coverage from the media and blogs every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
The Wings fell 4-3 to the Nashville Predators last night in the shootout at Joe Louis Arena, keeping the Preds alive in the hunt for that number eight seed in the Western Conference. Anaheim, St. Louis and Nashville currently sit tied with 88 points as they duke it out for the last two playoff spots. While Minnesota has 85 points in the standings, the Wild still have a shot at the last seed. As of Friday morning, the Wings would face off against the Anaheim Ducks in the first round of the postseason if they playoffs were to start today. So which two teams do you think will grab the last two playoff berths?
Damien Cox of The Toronto Star believes that head coach Mike Babcock is the leading candidate for Team Canada’s position for the upcoming Winter Olympics.
His status as the frontrunner for the job is partly about what he’s done, and partly about the way he does it, or at least has come to do it as the bench mastermind of the Detroit Red Wings, winners of 213 regular-season games since Babcock arrived after the lockout.
All those wins and the 2008 Stanley Cup title speak for themselves, and winning gold at the 1997 world juniors and 2004 worlds shows he understands the dynamics of short tournaments. Having Yzerman, a Red Wings executive, in the position of choosing the Olympic coach probably doesn’t hurt Babcock, just as Brian Burke only had to walk downstairs to give Ron Wilson the U.S. job earlier this week.
In this week’s issue of Sports Illustrated, Michael Farber writes a great feature, detailing why Pavel Datsyuk is one of the best all-around forwards in the league. Farber references Datsyuk’s Dr. Rahmani commercial throughout the piece, which you can view on YouTube.
Ansar Khan at MLive.com also wrote a piece about Datsyuk making a case for MVP. Khan talked to GM Ken Holland and Datsyuk’s teammates about what makes him a worthy candidate for the Hart Trophy.
The Wings are giving fans a chance to join the players as they grow playoff beards for the 2008-09 Stanley Cup run. Participants in the Red Wings Beard-A-Thon can invite their friends, family and associates to pledge money for their playoff beard with the fan who raises the most money winning a team signed Red Wings Winter Classic jersey. The proceeds will benefit the Detroit Red Wings Foundation.
The Red Wings close out the 2008-09 regular-season home schedule on Saturday afternoon vs. the Chicago Blackhawks (3 p.m. EDT) by looking back on a historic season and thanking their fans for their tremendous support with Fan Appreciation Day. Those in attendance will have chances to win some great prizes, including an opportunity to win $1 Million in the Gold Star Mortgage Financial Group Million Dollar Minute.