Detroit Red Wings presented by AT&T
2015-16 Ticket Plans Available Follow @DetroitRedWings on Twitter! Follow the Red Wings on Facebook! Follow @DetroitRedWings on Instagram! Follow the Red Wings of YouTube! Follow DetroitRedWings on Periscope! Follow the Red Wings on Vine! Follow the Red Wings on Google +! Follow OfficialDRW on Snapchat! Follow the Red Wings on Pinterest! Follow the Red Wings on Tumblr! Get Red Wings Email Updates Get Red Wings Text Updates Get the Detroit Red Wings Official Mobile App

  • RSS

Rookie Ericsson steps right in on D

Sunday, 05.3.2009 / 4:39 PM ET / News
By Brian Compton  - Staff Writer
Share with your Friends

Rookie Ericsson steps right in on D
DETROITJonathan Ericsson can't help it. Sometimes, as he lines up alongside defense partner Nicklas Lidstrom, he almost has to pinch himself.

You could hardly blame him. It's not every day a former ninth-round draft pick finds himself skating alongside not only a fellow countryman, but one who just so happens to be the best defenseman on the planet.

 "I was fortunate to play with him my first year in training camp," Ericsson said on Saturday, roughly 12 hours after helping the Red Wings earn a 3-2 victory against the Anaheim Ducks in Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinals. "I think at that time, it was even bigger. I had never met Nick before. When you meet your friends back home (in Sweden), that's when you really stop and think about it."

Ericsson was moved into the coveted role as Lidstrom's defense partner for Game 1 after the Wings learned that Brian Rafalski would be out with an upper-body injury. The 6-foot-5, 205-pounder did not look out of place and played a solid physical game -– including a fight with Corey Perry in the second period. Not bad for someone who spent most of the regular season with the AHL's Grand Rapids Griffins.

The two will be paired again for Game 2 on Sunday, as Rafalski has already been ruled out.

"I thought he stood up for himself and he stood up for his teammates," said Lidstrom, a six-time Norris Trophy winner and a finalist again this season. "We don't want him to fight … we want him to be out there killing penalties and playing a lot of minutes. But he showed that he can stand up for himself. He's a feisty player."

Lidstrom was arguably the biggest reason for Detroit's victory on Friday night, as he scored a pair of goals. His game-winner came with just 49.1 seconds left in regulation.

Ericsson –- who appeared in just 19 regular-season games for Detroit -- was asked what he thinks makes Lidstrom so great.

"He's always in the right position," Ericsson gushed. "He always gives you really good support. He never leaves you alone back there. He always talks to you. It's very easy to play with a guy like Nick."

And when Lidstrom's talking, Ericsson makes sure he's listening. Unless Ericsson has a question, the 25-year-old doesn't have much to say.

"If I'm talking, it's questions for him," Ericsson joked.

Lidstrom and Ericsson had the task of containing Anaheim's top line of Perry, Ryan Getzlaf and Bobby Ryan in Game 1 -- and were successful for the most part. Perry scored an even-strength goal in the first period, but Teemu Selanne's goal in the second came during a 4-on-3 power play.

 "He's a big man and he played well against that top line," Lidstrom said. "He's good at skating and moving the puck. We're very happy with the way he played. He had a lot of poise."


H. Zetterberg 77 17 49 -6 66
P. Datsyuk 63 26 39 12 65
T. Tatar 82 29 27 6 56
G. Nyquist 82 27 27 -11 54
J. Abdelkader 71 23 21 3 44
N. Kronwall 80 9 35 -4 44
R. Sheahan 79 13 23 -3 36
D. Helm 75 15 18 7 33
D. DeKeyser 80 2 29 11 31
S. Weiss 52 9 16 -2 25
J. Howard 23 13 11 .910 2.44
P. Mrazek 16 9 2 .918 2.38 is the official Web site of the Detroit Red Wings. Detroit Red Wings and are trademarks of the Detroit Red Wings. NHL, the NHL Shield and the word mark NHL Winter Classic are registered trademarks and Original Six is a trademark of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks as well as all other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. Copyright © 1999-2015 Detroit Red Wings and the National Hockey League. All Rights Reserved.
© NHL 2015. All Rights Reserved.

Advertise/SponsorshipsOlympia Entertainment | Code of Conduct | Privacy Policy | AdChoices | Employment | Contact Us | Terms of Use | Site Map