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Notebook: Wings 'fresh' for Game 6

Tuesday, 05.10.2011 / 2:39 PM ET / News
By Michael Caples  - Detroit Red Wings Staff Writer
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Notebook: Wings \'fresh\' for Game 6
DETROITTomas Holmstrom may have been playing opossum Tuesday morning.

Following the Red Wings morning skate before Game 6 of the Western Conference semifinal series, a reporter asked him about the health of his linemate, Pavel Datsyuk.

“Everybody’s fresh. Fresh like a daisy,” Holmstrom said with a grin.

However, Monday afternoon, Datsyuk said the exact opposite.

“I think in the playoff times, nobody doesn’t have injuries,” Datsyuk said after the team landed in Detroit. “Everybody still plays. That’s why the NHL is good. When playoff time comes, everybody still plays.”

Judging by the news that Mike Modano will be inserted into the lineup, replacing Johan Franzen (ankle), Datsyuk’s statement was more accurate.

San Jose will also be without some of its firepower as forward Ryane Clowe didn’t make the trip to Detroit for Game 6.

Wings coach Mike Babcock said that Franzen has not been his normal threatening self.

“Mule’s out. He’s basically been out all series,” Babcock said.

Franzen has two goals and an assist in these playoffs. However, he is point-less against the Sharks.

“The thing great about this time of year, it’s them and us, it doesn’t matter if it’s (Joe) Thornton or Clowe or (Devin) Setoguchi, it’s a team game. They’ve got a good team, I’m sure they’ll slide someone in, I didn’t know that Clowe was out, so I just found that news. We’ve got to get our team ready to play, that’s what matters.”

The Wings’ coach said that he was not 100% sure of the Game 6 lineup, but said that Datsyuk will play.

“Pav’s OK,” Babcock said. “I thought Pav looked real good the other night, to tell you the truth. There are these rumors going around that he’s hurt. But he looks good to me. Mule’s not playing.”

When a reporter asked him if Brian Rafalski would play – the veteran defenseman missed morning practice – Babcock said he doesn’t expect to see Rafalski in the morning on game days.

“I don’t know if he knows, Rafi doesn’t like skating in the morning,” Babcock said. “You get over 35, you can do what you want, I guess.”

Meanwhile, San Jose coach Todd McLellan confirmed that Clowe has an upper-body injury and is not with the team. McLellan said he is focusing on the players who are still playing, not the ones who are out.

“Well it puts a little more pressure on other players,” McLellan said. “We’re taking that approach that the players who are actually dressed and involved in the game are more important than the ones that aren’t, so make sure that you show up and compete. Clowe, he’s obviously an important guy to our hockey club, but Johan Franzen, Pavel Datsyuk, Brian Rafalski, are all guys who are playing with injuries who are all important players on their team as well. It’s not about the ones who are out of the line-up, it’s about the ones that are in.”

McLellan denied that Clowe’s injury came from the hit he received from Niklas Kronwall late in the second period of Game 5.

“He finished the game, he was out there in the last three or four seconds, and it had nothing to do with the hit that Kronwall laid on him,” McLellan said. “He finished the game, we think with this injury he’ll be able to play as we move forward, but we’ll have to wait and see until we get back.”

THERE WILL BE MISTAKES: When asked about how he expects Modano to perform in his first game since the Phoenix series, Babcock said that the veteran center will see an incredibly fast pace when he steps on the ice.

“As the series as gone on, it’s racing out there,” Babcock said. “There’s mistakes made defensively by both teams I think that you don’t see during the year because the pace is so high and they’re chasing them from behind so hard. There’s no room, so if you think you’re going to go out there and make a nice little play, that’s not going to happen. You’ve got to go out there and grind and compete and work. If you do that, the offense is going to come off the cycle, not off the rush, so we’ve got to find a way to get him involved.”

EXPECTING SWINGS: Wings captain Nicklas Lidstrom said that from prior experiences, the Wings know the Sharks will control the play during periods of time during Game 6.

“I think it helps having been there before,” he said. “Having said that, you have to show up and play, you have to go out and battle hard, and show up for every shift. There’s going to be some momentum swings in the game. They’re going to have the momentum, and you’ve got to play well in your own zone and you have to defend yourself, and we got to take it to them when we have a chance as well. It’s a matter of staying in the moment.”

McLellan would not say who he will replace Clowe with in the lineup.




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