Around the Rink – February 24 Edition

Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Winter Olympics Update

  • Team Canada squared off against Germany yesterday to fight for the right to play Russia in the quarterfinals at 7:30 p.m. EST on Wednesday. They weren’t disappointed, routing Germany 8-2 to set up the showdown between two NHL superstars — Sidney Crosby (Russia) and Alexander Ovechkin (Russia).
  • Wings’ GM Ken Holland commented on Sunday’s loss and not overlooking Germany in his piece for the Detroit Free Press on Tuesday. Ken’s daughter Julie continues to blog about her experiences in Vancouver for DRW.com.
  • USA, Sweden, Russia, and Finland did not play on Tuesday after they earned automatic byes into the quarterfinals, which begin later today.
  • USA will take on Switzerland, who beat Belarus in a shootout, 3-2, to advance to the quarterfinals, later today at 3 p.m. EST on NBC. The U.S. beat Switzerland during preliminary play, 3-1, but the Swiss did force their game against Canada to a shootout but lost 3-2. For a complete list of the TV schedule, visit NHL.com.
  • The Detroit Free Press makes an interesting observation about Wings’ defenseman Brian Rafalski: “Nobody could have predicted that Red Wings defenseman Brian Rafalski would have twice as many goals as Sidney Crosby after three Olympic games.”
  • Kevin Allen of USA Today profiles Rafalski and his unassuming role for USA Hockey.
  • DRW.com posted an article about Rafalski’s veteran leadership and the influence he has on this year’s USA squad.
  • Michael Rosenberg, a columnist for the Detroit Free Press, writes that it’s insulting to compare USA’s win over Canada on Sunday to the 1980 Miracle on Ice.
  • DRW.com posted a video spotlight on the Wings’ and Team Sweden’s captain Nick Lidstrom.
  • Former Red Wings’ coach Dave Lewis coached in the Olympics, but not for his native country (Canada) rather as an assistant coach for Belarus according to the Detroit Free Press.
  • After Sunday’s 3-0 loss to Sweden, Finland looks to rebound on Wednesday against either the Czech Republic or Slovakia in quarterfinal play at 10 p.m. EST.
  • Sweden doesn’t mind being overlooked in this tournament according to NHL.com. The Swedes will play the winner of the Slovakia-Norway later tonight at 12 a.m. EST.
  • Two former Wings, Igor Larionov and Slava Fetisov, hope to see the gold medal awarded to Russia as noted by NHL.com.
  • Snapshots blogs that the entire Wings’ team (those playing in the Olympics and others on vacation) will benefit from the Olympic break.
  • The DRW bloggers are still talking about USA’s upset win over Canada on Sunday night and Rafalski’s role in it: Babcock’s Death Stare, Motown Wings, Nightmare on Helm Street, On the Wings, Snipe Snipe, Dangle Dangle, The Production Line, and Winging It In Motown.

In Red Wings News

  • Ilitch Holdings announced the hire of Tom Wilson, who was the former CEO and President of Palace Sports & Entertainment until last week. Wilson’s biggest responsibility will be getting a new arena built for the Red Wings in downtown Detroit. His official title is also that of president and CEO “of a newly created enterprise, which has yet to be named, and will report directly to Ilitch.” He will oversee business operations for both the Tigers and Wings. However, Holland and the Tigers’ GM Dave Dombroski will still report directly to owner Mike Ilitch. Motown Wings comments on the new hire.
  • You can view video of the press conference announcing the hire at DRW.com as well as a one-on-one interview with Wilson.
  • Snapshots notes that the IIHF honored 22 hockey players who are part of the “Triple Gold Club,” which means the player has won a Stanley Cup, gold medal, and a world championship. Three current Red Wings were honored, including Nick Lidstrom, Niklas Kronwall, and Henrik Zetterberg. Former Wings who are part of this club include Brendan Shanahan, Igor Larionov, Vyacheslav Fetisov, Jiri Slegr, and Mikael Samuelsson.
  • Red Wings Central reports that Wings’ prospect Landon Ferraro appears to have rebounded from his knee injury earlier in the season. Ferraro had been drafted in the second round (No. 32 overall) by the Red Wings in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft.
  • Winging It In Motown takes a look at some interesting statistics, including Olympic-related numbers.
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