The Detroit Red Wings held two practices at Prospera Place in Kelowna, B.C., on Wednesday and Thursday. They opened the two practices to the public for the cost of a donation to the Kelowna Food Bank. For just Wednesday’s practice, the fans donated an impressive $25,000 worth of food, which turned out to be 11,200 pounds of food, in addition to $1,500 in cash donations. The Detroit Free Press adds that the Wings “raised eight tons of food, valued at nearly $40,000, and $3,700 in cash donations” when adding Thursday’s numbers to Wednesday’s total.
MLive.com noted that the team relaxed on Tuesday with goaltender Chris Osgood hosting a video golf tournament with some of the guys at his summer home.
The Wings will play on Friday night against the Edmonton Oilers before traveling to face Vancouver on Saturday evening. If Wings’ fans were hoping to see former Wing Mikael Samuelsson wearing a Canucks’ jersey on Saturday, they’re out of luck as he suffered an upper-body injury earlier this week.
Head coach Mike Babcock told reporters that rookie netminder Jimmy Howard will start in net on Friday and he will swap Brett Lebda out of the lineup for Jonathan Ericsson. Captain Nick Lidstrom said that the team understands the importance of getting a win and two points in the Western Conference standings over the Oilers, who sit at the bottom of the NHL. The Wings hold a narrow one-point edge over the Flames, who beat Colorado on Wednesday, and sit three points behind Nashville.
Speaking of the standings, Motown Wings takes a look at what record the Wings need to hold down the stretch to likely tie down at least the No. 8 seed. Wings Win, Eh? examine the playoff race and possible first-round matchups in both conferences.
In Other News
- Tomas Holmstrom scored a game-winning goal on Monday night in a critical win over Calgary. The goal was his 20th of the season notes the Detroit Free Press.
- Holmstrom told The Detroit News that he is open to a contract extension anywhere between one and three years. Both sides believe that Holmstrom will sign a new deal, but GM Ken Holland says that may not happen until after the playoffs conclude.
- The Detroit Free Press and MLive.com point out that Johan Franzen’s return from his ACL injury has sparked the play of Pavel Datsyuk. His return may have also jump-started the team’s power play according to The Detroit News.
- Ansar Khan of MLive.com reports that the Wings could have their eye on 22-year-old Norwegian forward Mats Zuccarello-Aasen. As an undrafted player, he is free to sign with any NHL team similar to the situation with Ville Leino and Fabian Brunnstrom two seasons ago.
- Want the chance to get an autograph from the likes of Mickey Redmond, Kirk Maltby and Darren McCarty among other Detroit pro athletes like the Lions’ Calvin Johnson? Check out 97.1 The Ticket’s SportsFest event this Saturday from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. at the Rock Financial Showplace in Novi. Admission is free, but parking will cost you $5. For more information, check out 971TheTicket.com.
- Nightmare on Helm Street started a discussion about which jersey numbers should be added to the rafters. Fellow DRW bloggers at Eight Legged Freaks and Fight Night at the Joe chimed in with their own thoughts on the matter.
- The discussion then got Casey at Winging It In Motown to select his all-time Red Wings team. Who would you name to your team if you could choose anyone in the history of the Red Wings’ franchise?
- Hockeytown USA continues to use this three-day stretch without a game to talk about the Wings’ options in free agency this summer.
- After taking a couple weeks off, The Obstructed View is back with Episode No. 12 as a handful of DRW bloggers talk about the playoff race, Jonathan Ericsson, and Tomas Holmstrom to name a few topics.
- Winging It In Motown compares Jimmy Howard’s stats this year with the likes of five other goalies, who have won the Calder Trophy for best rookie.
- Babcock’s Death Stare highlights some of the positives over the last two games.
- The Grand Rapids Press writes that Justin Abdelkader is doing his best to lift the Griffins out of last place in their division.