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Wings look to eliminate slow starts

JLA crowd loves Big Bert; Zetterberg skates alone

Thursday, 04.14.2011 / 2:59 PM ET / News
By Michael Caples  - Detroit Red Wings Staff Writer
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Wings look to eliminate slow starts
DETROIT – When he was asked about Wednesday’s abysmal first period, Red Wings coach Mike Babcock jokingly suggested that he might need to set an alarm prior to the start of Game 2 of the Western Conference quarterfinal.

“I got a text from somebody I know real well – coached in the league a long time – this morning, and he said, ‘Remind your team the game starts at 7, not 7:45,’ ” Babcock said. “We took too many penalties and so you look like you’re bad, but I really thought we took over in the second period.”

Thankfully, the Coyotes didn’t take advantage of the six power-plays, including four in the first period, given to them by the Wings. Detroit managed to kill off any threat from the Coyotes, including a critical 5-on-3 advantage early in the game.

“I was surprised at how tight it was last night,” Wings coach Mike Babcock said. “And yet, we warned (them) before the game, we didn’t make an adjustment in the first period, and we went to the box. That’s our problem; we have to fix that problem.”

Adapting to the playoff rules that referees focus on during this time of year was something that some Wings’ players talked about following Thursday’s option practice. Babcock said the officiating crew, led by former referee Don Koharski, reiterated – to both teams prior to the start of the series – the points of emphasis for the referees calling this best-of-seven game series.

“Sometimes I don’t know why we change,” Babcock said. “I think we made great adjustments to the game a few years back, I think those adjustments should be maintained all the time. … These guys want to ref in the Stanley Cup finals, and in order for them to do that, they have to do whatever they’re told.”

Wings captain Nicklas Lidstrom said that the league’s focus is on making players keep their sticks down.  Eight of the nine minor penalties called in Game 1 were for stick-type violations for hooking, tripping and high-sticking.

“We were told before this series started that they were going to clamp down on sticks parallel to the ice,” he said. “Whether you’re hooking someone or having your stick on someone’s gloves, they were making those calls, so it’s something you have to know going into the game.”

BERT’S BOUT: Danny Cleary hinted that he was a bit jealous of Todd Bertuzzi following the power forward’s second-period fight with Phoenix’s Rotislav Klesla. That’s when the sold-out JLA crowd chanted, “Todd Bertuzzi!”

“I asked him, ‘I guess that’s what you have to do to get your name chanted around here,’” Cleary said. “I told him, ‘I don’t know if I like it because, then you’re gone for five minutes and the lines get all mixed up’. He really wants to win, there’s no doubt about that in my mind. He picks his spots at the right time and is a good momentum builder for us.”

Goalie Jimmy Howard said the team appreciated the momentum boost that the fight provided.

“It’s a good lift,” he said. “A good boost for the team and for the crowd, they really enjoyed it and it was good to hear them chant Todd’s name, it’s good for us.”   

INJURY UPDATE: Star forward Henrik Zetterberg, who missed Game 1 with a lower-body injury, skated by himself Thursday morning. It was the first time that he’s been on the ice since the injury occurred at Carolina a week ago.

When asked if that meant Zetterberg might be ready for Saturday’s Game 2, Babcock joked that day-to-day does indeed mean day-to-day, referring to the Swede’s status.

“There’s always a chance,” Babcock said. “He’s day-to-day. I keep telling you that.”



SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - NYR 82 53 22 7 248 187 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 214 184 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 259 206 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 237 199 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 245 224 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 231 211 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 232 208 99
8 x - PIT 82 43 27 12 217 204 98
9 BOS 82 41 27 14 209 201 96
10 FLA 82 38 29 15 198 213 91
11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 227 248 89
12 PHI 82 33 31 18 212 223 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 176 209 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 183 219 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 206 257 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 153 269 54

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
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
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Howard 23 13 11 .910 2.44
P. Mrazek 16 9 2 .918 2.38

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