Around the Rink – April 24th Edition

FranzenCBJPhoto by Jamie Sabau/NHLI via Getty Images

24 Hockeytown Blog readers picked the Wings to take the series in four games before the start of the postseason. With a 6-5 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets last night, the Detroit Red Wings did just that — sweep.

Wings sweep CBJ in opening round

Detroit advanced to the Western Conference semifinals thanks to a game-winning goal from Johan Franzen with just 46.6 seconds left to break a 5-5 tie. The Wings never lost their cool, playing with the same composure they had all series.  Bob Wojnowski of The Detroit News wrote in his column that the Wings simply wore Columbus out.

According to Dave Dye of The Detroit News, the Wings became the 15th team in NHL history to never trail their opponent in any game of a playoff series. With the win, Detroit also became the first defending Stanley Cup champion to advance to the conference semifinals since 2003.

LIVE chat during the game

Last night, the Wings had a few special visitors during their LIVE chat. Chris Chelios, Derek Meech, Kris Draper and Andreas Lilja stopped by the chat room to answer a few questions from fans.

Just before 8 p.m., the chat had 1,362 participants, which the Wings said was the largest live chat on the Internet at the time. It drew chatters from as far away as Australia.

You can read a transcript of what they had to say at DRW.com.

Lidstrom named a Norris finalist

Michael Caples of DRW.com notes the statistical benchmarks Nicklas Lidstrom has reached season after season during his illustrious career with the Wings.

While [Mike] Green enjoyed a breakout campaign, Lidstrom still managed to top the 50-point plateau for the 14th time in his celebrated career, and he finished with a plus-31 rating, which was his sixth plus-30, or better, season.

According to the Detroit Free Press, Lidstrom has now been selected a finalist for the Norris Trophy for the 10th time in the last 11 years.

Ericsson making an impression

Rookie defenseman Jonathan Ericsson may not be a finalist for the Calder, but he certainly has made an impression with the Wings and the Blue Jackets in this round. Head coach Mike Babcock wanted Ericsson in Detroit for three years now, but GM Ken Holland knew that they had to wait before he could make serious contributions to the team. That time seems to have finally come for the 25-year-old Swede.

Holland jokingly refers to their practice as “red-shirting.” He says “coaches always want a new toy,” but he feels strongly that patience is crucial to a player’s development. “Prospects are ready when they are ready,” is how Holland puts it.

At 17, Ericsson was drafted as the last overall player in the 2002 draft with the 291st pick. The Wings came across him by accident writes Helene St. James at her blog for the Detroit Free Press.

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3 Responses to Around the Rink – April 24th Edition

  1. onbrands says:

    I’m pumped. Go Wings.

    I’m still reeling from that Brad Stuart hit, by the way! I felt Umberger’s pain from the comfort of our family room.

    Bring on the Canucks or the Ducks. Either series will be a challenge in different ways. I believe we’re up for it. Anaheim might be the more formidable foe with a solid D, a hot goalie and some dangerous forwards like Getlaf. They’re not far removed from 07, let’s not forget.

    C’mon, Wings!!! Let’s go!

  2. boots205 says:

    Would someone tell me why HONDA is advertised on the boards at the Joe??? I thought that Detroit was the home to the AMERICAN automakers. I found it extremely offensive especially when Chicago fans chant “Sell more cars” when we are playing in their town.

    I say that Detroit fans should chant “BUY AMERICAN CARS” since 50% of the cars you see in Chicago are foreign!

    • onbrands says:

      What’s offensive about it?

      Honda may be foreign owned, but they build plants here in the U.S., employ American workers in their plants, create employment elsewhere, pay big in taxes, contribute to our communities… and they are a world-class enterprise. Many of the foreign vehicles you see around you were built right here in the U.S.

      We are living in a global world… Yes, I’d like to see our American automakers do well. To do so, they need to go through some painful changes AND they need to produce vehicles that consumers want to buy and can feel good about buying. If they want to compete for wallet share here at home, then they need to contend with higher quality and more reliable vehicles.

      The Red Wings have a large number of Europeans playing for them… but I don’t stop cheering any less for them… they give me a quality product… show a lot of heart and grit and create a lot of excitement… and they win… It doesn’t matter where they come from. Maybe we should stop cheering for the Wings and cheer for a team that has the most North American players?

      Borders are collapsing all around us. While I’m supportive of the American automakers and see good reason to support them (I own a Jeep), I also believe we should create the right environment for automakers based in other countries to operate and create value here.

      We need to change our thinking and adjust to a new world. If our American automakers do that, they’ll also survive and thrive… albeit in a different form and shape than we’ve known.

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