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Holmstrom is a latter-day Esposito

Thursday, 01.7.2010 / 9:39 AM ET / News
By Phil Coffey
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Holmstrom is a latter-day Esposito
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Back in the day, Phil Esposito used to set up shop in front of the opposition net and deflect shots, screen goalies and make life incredibly miserable for the opposition.

Today, Esposito's in the Hall of Fame.

And in today's game, the Red Wings' Tomas Holmstrom is a latter-day Esposito. He proved that once again Sunday night when he deftly redirected a pair of Nicklas Lidstrom shots into the Phoenix Coyotes net in a 4-1 win, notching his 14th and 15th goals of the season.

"That's the way I score my goals," said Holmstrom, who has spent most of his career in front of the net, making life miserable for goaltenders. "Sometimes they go in, sometimes they go out."

"He's just determined," Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said of Holmstrom, who will be facing his coach in the Olympics when he suits up for Sweden. "He's going to go there. It doesn't matter what they do to him, he's going to go back there. The thing about him that makes him good is he can tip the puck, he can score."

What's Holmstrom's secret besides a high pain threshold?

"I think his hand-to-eye coordination is fantastic," Lidstrom told Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press. "And he's not afraid -- some guys kind of go to the side a little bit and just try to get the stick in front of the goal, but he stands right in front of the goalie and screens the goalie all the time and still is able to get sticks on pucks, whether it's on his forehand or backhand. He's been so good at it for so many years, and he's tough to move once he gets to the front of the net."

"'Homey' gets hit into boards and hit in front of net, and he just kills himself, but he tries to pass or tip the puck," Pavel Datsyuk said. "Homey (is) not good skater, but he has good balance, especially in front of net."

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 WSH 54 40 10 4 178 124 84
2 FLA 56 32 18 6 153 132 70
3 NYR 55 31 18 6 157 140 68
4 BOS 55 30 19 6 163 150 66
5 DET 55 28 18 9 138 134 65
6 TBL 54 30 20 4 144 130 64
7 NYI 54 29 19 6 153 137 64
8 PIT 54 28 19 7 139 136 63
9 NJD 56 28 21 7 124 124 63
10 CAR 56 25 21 10 137 146 60
11 PHI 54 24 20 10 128 140 58
12 MTL 56 27 25 4 151 151 58
13 OTT 57 25 26 6 159 177 56
14 CBJ 57 23 28 6 144 175 52
15 BUF 56 22 28 6 131 155 50
16 TOR 54 20 25 9 127 151 49

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
D. Larkin 54 18 20 25 38
H. Zetterberg 55 10 28 5 38
T. Tatar 54 16 17 -1 33
G. Nyquist 55 14 16 -1 30
P. Datsyuk 40 9 21 14 30
J. Abdelkader 55 14 15 -2 29
M. Green 47 4 17 -7 21
N. Kronwall 45 3 14 -10 17
B. Richards 41 5 11 6 16
D. DeKeyser 51 7 8 12 15
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Mrazek 21 10 5 .933 1.94
J. Howard 7 8 4 .904 2.89