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Notebook: Lecavalier admired former Red Wings Yzerman, Fedorov

Cleary, Filppula continue to work toward returns to ice

Thursday, 12.17.2009 / 2:49 PM ET / News
By Michael Caples  - Detroit Red Wings Staff Writer
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Notebook: Lecavalier admired former Red Wings Yzerman, Fedorov
DETROIT -- Tampa Bay captain Vincent Lecavalier never made it to Joe Louis Arena as a youngster, but that didn’t stop him from making the Red Wings his favorite team.

Lecavalier, 29, said it’s always exciting to come to Detroit for a game.

“It was my favorite team growing up, so I enjoy playing in this rink,” he said. “It’s loud, they probably have one of the best teams in the last 15 years, so it’s exciting to play against an organization like this.”

The Ile-Bizard, Quebec, native said that watching Steve Yzerman on TV was what led him to the Wings.

“Steve Yzerman was my favorite player growing up, so from watching his moves on ‘Rock ‘em, Sock ‘em’… I’ve always liked the Red Wings,” Lecavalier said. “Obviously the last 15 years they’ve been great. When I was a kid I liked watching Steve Yzerman and (Sergei) Fedorov and these guys. They’ve had some pretty good teams.”

However, Lecavalier has struggled in his prior appearances at JLA, recording only two assists in six games. The former first overall pick in 1998 hopes to turn that around Thursday night.

“It’s an exciting rink tonight,” he said, “so hopefully everybody comes out and plays a full 60 minutes. We’re coming in here for a win and nothing less.”

CLEARY UPDATE: Dan Cleary said his injured shoulder is healing well.

“It’s coming, it’s getting better,” the Wings’ forward said. “I’m off the pain medication now, so I’m trying to get over that hump.”

Cleary, 30, is anxious to get back on the ice, saying that a little pain won’t keep him from rejoining his team in practice. He is currently limited to lower-body workouts and riding the exercise bike.

“Once it gets to the point where there’s only a little pain, I have to start skating and just go through it,” Cleary said.

When asked about his feelings on the hit that injured him, Cleary said he has mixed feelings. Barret Jackman hit Cleary in the neutral zone in the Wings’ home game against St. Louis on Dec. 9.

“I’m kind of in between,” Cleary said. “It was clean…I’ve only seen the replay once. I didn’t see him, that’s for sure. He’s a physical guy that likes to play hard, so it is what it is.”

FILPPULA CONTINUES WORKING:
Forward Valtteri Filppula has been able to practice with the Wings this week, as he continues to recover from a broken wrist.

“I feel pretty good; it’s a lot of fun to be out there and get to practice with the guys,” Filppula said. “I’m happy about that. The wrist feels OK, still pretty stiff and a little bit sore, but I think it’s coming along well.”

Filppula said he has few limitations on what he can do with the puck at this point.

“I haven’t took any slap shots or anything like that, but I can shoot wristers and do pretty much everything with the puck,” he said. “I feel it’s still a little weak, but I’m pretty happy with how it’s moving along. I definitely can’t wait to start playing.”

The native of Vantaa, Finland, said that Wings’ fans can expect him back shortly.

“I think after Christmas,” he said. “I don’t have an exact date, but I hope sooner than later after Christmas.”




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EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 WSH 49 36 9 4 161 110 76
2 FLA 51 31 15 5 141 112 67
3 TBL 51 29 18 4 137 118 62
4 NYR 51 28 18 5 146 132 61
5 BOS 51 27 18 6 149 136 60
6 NYI 49 26 17 6 134 121 58
7 DET 51 25 18 8 125 130 58
8 NJD 52 26 20 6 117 118 58
9 PIT 50 25 18 7 129 128 57
10 CAR 53 24 21 8 129 141 56
11 PHI 49 23 18 8 117 128 54
12 MTL 52 24 24 4 137 141 52
13 OTT 52 23 23 6 142 164 52
14 TOR 50 19 22 9 116 134 47
15 BUF 52 21 26 5 119 137 47
16 CBJ 54 21 28 5 135 168 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
D. Larkin 50 17 18 23 35
H. Zetterberg 51 9 25 2 34
T. Tatar 50 14 16 -3 30
G. Nyquist 51 14 13 -4 27
J. Abdelkader 51 14 12 -4 26
P. Datsyuk 36 6 18 10 24
M. Green 45 3 17 -8 20
N. Kronwall 45 3 14 -10 17
D. DeKeyser 47 6 8 10 14
R. Sheahan 50 7 6 -15 13
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Mrazek 18 10 4 .931 2.06
J. Howard 7 8 4 .904 2.89