Photo by Jamie Sabau/NHLI via Getty Images
It’s another installment of Around the Rink — your look at Red Wings’ stories from around the web. Between the signing of power forward Johan Franzen and the impending start of the 2009 playoffs, we have plenty to talk about this Monday morning.
2009 NHL Playoffs
It’s our favorite time of the year, the Stanley Cup playoffs, and the Detroit Red Wings will start to defend their title this Thursday evening at 7 p.m. EDT against the Columbus Blue Jackets. We want to hear your first round predictions — which team to you see winning the series and how many games will it take them to do it? Please leave your picks in the comments section below this post or vote in the poll below.
The Red Wings have made it to the postseason for 18 consecutive seasons, while the Blue Jackets head into the playoffs for the first time in franchise history. NHL.com has a breakdown of this quarterfinal series, which they say has the makings of a classic underdog story. Be sure to check out the Red Wings’ own Playoff Central for all things Wings hockey during the postseason run.
The Wings will face off against a Calder Trophy candidate, rookie goaltender Steve Mason. The netminder leads the league in shutouts (10) and posted the second highest GAA in the NHL (2.29). Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press talked to Henrik Zetterberg and head coach Mike Babcock about what makes this 20-year-old goaltender so dangerous in the crease. NHL.com featured seven questions with the rookie netminder as well as questions with Detroit forward Marian Hossa.
Speaking of goalies, we know all eyes will be on Chris Osgood this postseason. Last year, he entered the 2008 playoffs as the backup goaltender before nabbing the role as starter from Dominik Hasek during the first round series. Dan Rosen at NHL.com has a piece on the pressure Ozzie will face in this year’s postseason run.
Detroit will only have to make a short trek to Columbus for its road games this series, which makes the travel sound ideal after it looked like the Wings would face off against Anaheim in the first round. The Ducks would have been three time zones away, making the first round even more of a grind.
For a schedule of all the other playoff series going on in the Eastern and Western Conferences, you can visit the NHL.com page here. Dan Rosen at NHL.com quickly breaks down each series and it’s easy to see how exciting this postseason should be.
11-year signing of Johan Franzen
Before Thursday’s game against the St. Louis Blues, the Detroit Red Wings announced that they had re-signed power forward Johan Franzen to an eleven-year deal. The Wings got a hometown discount from the Swedish winger in terms of the salary cap hit according to the Detroit Free Press, while Franzen received security in knowing that he would be in Detroit for the rest of his career. The Mule spoke about his long-term deal to Red Wings TV.
Before he was injured last postseason, Franzen looked to be on track to win the Conn Smythe trophy for playoff MVP. Even with the injury, the Mule managed to tally 13 goals in 16 playoff games. Wings’ fans will get to watch this exciting player for many more years and I know we can’t wait to see what he has in store for us this postseason.