Around the Rink – February 26 Edition

Photo by Jasper Juinen/Getty Images

Winter Olympics Update

  • USA will face off against Finland later this afternoon at 3 p.m. EST on NBC. Wings’ defenseman Brian Rafalski and the rest of the American squad are only focused on the Finns, which include Wings’ forward Valtteri Filppula.
  • Fans attending the MSU hockey game Friday evening at Munn Ice Arena are encouraged to arrive three hours earlier and watch the USA-Finland game. Visit The Detroit News for more information.
  • NHL.com notes the key to Finland’s success is that of its goaltender, Calgary’s Miikka Kiprusoff.
  • Canada takes on Slovakia on Friday evening at 9:30 p.m. EST on CNBC. Despite beating Russia 7-3 on Wednesday, Canada knows it cannot overlook Slovakia according to NHL.com. Steve Yzerman allowed himself to enjoy the win Wednesday night, but set his sights on Slovakia when he woke up on Thursday.
  • Slovakia upset Sweden in a 4-3 win on Wednesday evening, sending the 2006 gold medalists packing. Former Wing Tomas Kopecky scored the game-winning goal for Slovakia. The loss marked Wings’ captain Nick Lidstrom’s last game in the Olympics as he told reporters afterward that he would not participate in the Olympics again in his career.
  • Julie Holland, the daughter of Wings’ GM Ken Holland, continues to blog about her experiences in Vancouver.
  • The Detroit Free Press cites the Michigan connection on this year’s Team USA squad.
  • Wings’ forward Drew Miller has cheered on his brother Ryan, USA’s goaltender, from afar and admits to MLive.com that it is nerve-wracking.
  • To help you visualize, here is a bracket breakdown of this year’s Olympic tournament at NHL.com.

In Red Wings News

  • Defenseman Andreas Lilja will enter the Wings’ lineup for the first time in just over a year on Monday according to DRW.com. Veteran forward Kirk Maltby will have season-ending shoulder surgery next week and has been placed on the long-term injured reserved list, allowing room for Lilja under the salary cap.
  • On Wednesday, Maltby and goaltending coach Jim Bedard “volunteered on a truck on the city’s west side, passing out hot meals and drinks. They also distributed new hats, gloves and socks to those who needed them” per DRW.com.
  • DRW.com notes the push the Wings will need to make upon returning from the Olympic break to make the playoffs this year.
  • Enforcer Brad May accepted his assignment to the Grand Rapids Griffins and will likely get his first GR practice in next Tuesday writes MLive.com.
  • With the Frozen Four taking place at Ford Field in Detroit this spring, former Spartan and Griffins’ forward Justin Abdelkader fondly remembers his NCAA championship experience.
  • The latest episode of The Obstructed View — a podcast by DRW bloggers — is ready for download.
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