Detroit Red Wings Follow @DetroitRedWings on Twitter! Follow the Red Wings on Facebook! Follow @DetroitRedWings on Instagram! Follow OfficialDRW on Snapchat! Get Red Wings Email Updates Get Red Wings Text Updates Get the Detroit Red Wings Official Mobile App

  • RSS

Must-see Olympic events

Wings' players hope to watch more than hockey in Vancouver

Tuesday, 02.16.2010 / 1:29 PM ET / Features
By Bill Roose  -
Share with your Friends

Must-see Olympic events
In order to view this page you need JavaScript and Flash Player 9+ support!
DETROIT – It’s no surprise that hockey players are fans of other athletes that push themselves to the limits and risk bodily harm for the pursuit of competition and Olympic glory.

After all, hockey players are cut from a similar cloth.

So it stands to reason, that those Red Wings participating in the Winter Olympics over the next two weeks would like to have a fans’ experience at some of the many events going on in and around Vancouver.

“I would love to go to Whistler,” Wings and Team Sweden captain Nicklas Lidstrom said. “I would watch the downhill events; I’m a big fan of that. I like the speed skating, too, the short track. Even on TV, I enjoy watching that.

“I don’t know how much time we’re going to have when we’re playing every other day, but we’re probably going to try to get out to some events.”

All of the Wings’ European players mentioned a desire to watch the alpine sports, like ski jumping and downhill racing as some of the events that they would want to watch from the sidelines.

As a youngster growing up in Vasteras, Sweden, Lidstrom did his share of downhill and cross-country skiing. Though Lidstrom didn’t ski at the same level as those competing at Whistler this week, he still has a tremendous respect for those who do.

“It’s just the speed that they’re going and just how quick they have to react,” Lidstrom said. “You have to adjust to the track and just everything that they have to do to prepare themselves is fascinating.”

The Swedish contingent in Vancouver will have plenty of support from the four Red Wings’ representatives on their country’s hockey roster, especially defenseman Niklas Kronwall, who bleeds blue and yellow.

“I think we have people in most of the events, cross-country skiing and the sprints, and I’m sure that they are probably a lot of fun to watch live,” he said.”

Unfortunately for the players, most of their time in Vancouver will be regimented with games and team practices consuming much of their waking hours.

“Obviously the main focus is going to be the hockey for us,” Kronwall said. “But depending on how much time there will be, really I don’t know, other than short track speed skating I don’t know what else will be downtown. If we end up seeing anything it will probably be pretty close. I think it’s an hour, hour and a half up to the slopes. I hope we do get a chance to go there, but obviously we need to rest a lot.”

Wings and Finland forward Valtteri Filppula has an equal respect for speed skaters, namely because he worksout with a Finnish skater in the summer. Filppula indents to head to the Richmond Olympic Oval to watch his friend, Mika Poutala, in a speed skating event.

“I work-out with him during the summer,” Filppula said. “He’s trying to get tickets if we get the chance to go and hopefully the schedules work out like that.”

Poutala finished fifth in Monday’s 500-meter final. He has one event remaining – the men’s 1,000-meter (Feb. 17). 

“I’ve known him for a couple of years,” said Filppula of Poutala. “I think he’s a real good guy and obviously works real hard and he’s been doing well this year. It would be nice to see him and to see him perform, too.”

One player not performing at the Olympics is Wings forward Dan Cleary, who was invited to Team Canada’s orientation camp last summer, but did not make the final roster. If he were going to British Columbia, he said that he, “obviously would have to see men’s hockey and maybe some of those ski jumps where they come down and jump in the air. I think that would be pretty cool.”

For veteran enforcer Brad May, the idea of the Olympics in his hometown is beyond exciting.

“I’m hearing that it’s just crazy, but for the people that live there, there won’t be a ton of access,” said May before he was waiver by the Wings on Feb. 12.

When thinking about events that he would like to see in-person, May wondered whether or not some events, like those in the mountains, are better seen on TV.

“The ski racing is probably better on TV because you can watch the whole race as opposed to them zipping by,” May said. “But when you’re standing in the mountains, Whistler is an unbelievable place.”

Still there are a couple of events that May would like to be present at.

“Now granted, I don’t know what it’s like to watch it live, but I love the biathalon, the cross-country skiing and the shooting,” he said. “I just think its unbelievable, especially when they get into a race and they have to get their heart-rate down and be accurate. I’ve always liked the biathalon.

“Cross-country ski races are great when they get into a three-man race in the end and they kind of play a cat-and-mouse game. The speed skaters, I’ve never seen it, but it looks pretty awesome. Obviously, just pure speed, I’ve love to see that.”

Even before the death of Georgian luger Nodar Kumaritashvili in a practice run accident last week, May said luge is one Olympic sport that he wouldn’t try.

“That stuff scares the heck out of me,” May said. “But I bet that’s a better event to watch on TV, too. Mind you, being there, just seeing how fast they go would be cool. But you’re really not going to see much.”




1 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69


H. Zetterberg 82 13 37 -15 50
P. Datsyuk 66 16 33 7 49
D. Larkin 80 23 22 11 45
T. Tatar 81 21 24 4 45
G. Nyquist 82 17 26 -2 43
J. Abdelkader 82 19 23 -16 42
M. Green 74 7 28 -6 35
B. Richards 68 10 18 4 28
D. Helm 77 13 13 -2 26
N. Kronwall 64 3 23 -21 26
P. Mrazek 27 16 6 .921 2.33
J. Howard 14 14 5 .906 2.80