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Red Wings' non-Olympians got a break

Wednesday, 03.3.2010 / 4:40 PM ET / News
By Michelle Crechiolo  - DetroitRedWings.com Intern
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Red Wings\' non-Olympians got a break
DETROIT – While millions of people watched the Winter Olympics, many of the Red Wings that weren’t involved in the Games used that time to do everything but think about hockey.

Detroit’s non-Olympians made the most of their opportunity, traveling everywhere from Winnipeg, Canada, to Vine Riviera Maya, Mexico.

Kris Draper and Chris Osgood took their families on a week-long vacation to St. Thomas, Virgin Islands. Their kids got a four-day break from school, and Draper said it was worth every minute.

“I’ve been away with the Osgoods before, both of us only had our oldest children then,” Draper said. “But this one, it was fun. We had a range (of kids) from 14 years to 21 months. We had a lot of laughs, it was a well-needed vacation, so it was good.”

Defenseman Brad Stuart didn’t travel anywhere exotic, but did spend time with his family, traveling to San Jose. Stuart, who was drafted third overall by the Sharks in 1998, spent his first six NHL seasons there and still has a home in the area.

The break was much needed by Stuart, who was averaging 23:43 in ice time before the Olympics. Even though he spent much of his vacation chasing after his two young children, he’s noticed that he has a bit more energy than he did going into the break.

“You come back and feel refreshed, mentally and physically,” he said.

Like Stuart, goalie Jimmy Howard was able to regroup and have a relaxing break, visiting his in-laws back in New York. Despite being a rookie, Howard has played in 44 of the team’s 63 games and has been instrumental in their push to capture a playoff spot.

“It was good just to get away and not think about hockey for a couple days, to pretty much relax and have some fun,” Howard said.

Patrick Eaves, who sustained a sprained ankle before the break, used his time to recover on a five-day trip to Mexico.

He and his wife visited the Vine Riviera Maya, with a side trip to Chichen Itza, which was the highlight of their vacation. Chichen Itza is home to the ancient ruins in the Yucatan Peninsula, built by the Mayans.

“We went on a sightseeing day to Chichen Itza,” he said. “It was about a three-hour bus ride to get there, and it was by far the best part of the trip.

“I’m ready to go now. I’m rested and looking to make a strong push here at the end.”

Young players like forward Darren Helm and defenseman Brett Lebda took advantage of their time off to visit Las Vegas. It was Helm’s first time to the Entertainment Capital of the World, and he was excited to “feel what everybody’s been talking about.”

While Helm didn’t win much at the poker tables or slot machines, he had a good time with his fellow vacationers. The travelers consisted of Helm’s hometown friend from Winnipeg, along with Lebda’s brother and some of their friends from Chicago. After their three-day trip, both players were able to return home and visit with their families.

“I saw my family and I still have lots of friend back home, so it was nice to see all those guys,” Helm said. “They can’t really make it here that often … so it was definitely great to see them.

“It’s great just to get away from the game, get your mind off everything. It gives you a chance to get away and recharge and get ready for this last stretch.”


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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
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

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
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
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Mrazek 27 16 6 .921 2.33
J. Howard 14 14 5 .906 2.80