Detroit Red Wings
RedWingsSeasonTickets.com 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
 

 
  • PRINT
  • RSS

Physical play set Game 6 tone for Wings

Wednesday, 05.11.2011 / 12:12 AM ET / News
By Bill Roose  - DetroitRedWings.com
X
Share with your Friends


Physical play set Game 6 tone for Wings
DETROIT – It’s not every day that a player does acrobatics during a game – at least not on purpose.

But when the physicality of a playoff game hits a fever pitch – as it did throughout the Red Wings’ 3-1 win over the San Jose Sharks – anything is possible, including a summersault by Wings forward Tomas Holmstrom.

In the closing seconds of the second period, Holmstrom ripped a shot from the slot that was stopped by goalie Antti Niemi. But during his follow-through, Holmstrom was simultaneously clabbered by a sub-marining hit by Sharks center Torrey Mitchell, causing the Wings’ forward to windmill through the air.

That was one of 58 collisions in a contentiously played game that was scoreless after 40 minutes of heart-stopping action.

Even Pavel Datsyuk, who only had 54 hits in 56 games this season, got into Tuesday’s hit parade, collecting three of the Red Wings’ 31 hits. He even received an uncharacteristic roughing penalty for a scrap with Mitchell following a whistle in the second period.

“Well I just think that’s the way it’s going to be,” Wings defenseman Niklas Kronwall said. “The longer you get in a series, more emotions come out and the more physical it will get.”

Another big hit occurred on the first period when San Jose defenseman Douglas Murray wrapped Danny Cleary head-first into the dashboards near the Sharks’ bench. Cleary skated back to the bench, where it looked as if he was a little woozy.

“Yeah it was physical,” Cleary said. “Both teams realized what was at stake. San Jose knows if you go seven it’s anybody’s game while we’re just fighting for our lives. It was a big win for us, to say the least.”
Murray, who had three hits, said, “I think it’s been physical since Game 1. It’s playoffs, it’s physical against all teams. You get players who are not normally physical during the regular-season playing physical in the playoffs, it’s just natural in these games. It’s nothing abnormal.”

The hitting in this Western Conference semifinal had already been extreme. But in Game 6, players definitely ratcheted up the physical nature of things, as the Sharks tried to end the series, and the Wings were hoping to force a returned trip to San Jose for Game 7.

“It was picked up, and I think with each game the intensity has picked up,” said Sharks captain Joe Thornton, who had two of his team’s 27 hits. “It’s tight out there and the battle level is up. And I expect that it will get even higher for Game 7.”

The winner of Thursday’s Game 7 at HP Pavilion will advance to face the top-seeded Vancouver Canucks in the Western Conference finals, which is slated to start Sunday.

NEAR NIGHTMARE: Six minutes into the second period, Cleary skated in alone on Niemi. The Wings forward made a deke which fooled Niemi and had the Sharks’ goalie sliding to his left, but Cleary slid a shot that struck the right post.

“Yeah that would have haunted me for a while,” Cleary said. “I saw the empty net and I don’t know what happened, the puck just moved I think and went on its edge and hit the side of the post there.”

SHARK-BITTEN: The Sharks don’t care much for the predicament that they find themselves in following three straight losses to the Wings.

“We have to forget about tonight and just get ready for Game 7,” Thornton said. “We thought that we could steal one tonight, especially when you score that one goal. But we didn’t.

“Before this series you thought these teams were (seeded) 2 and 3 and so you thought it would go six or seven. It’s been a great series so far. And 25 other teams would love to be in this position right now. It’s too bad that we could finish, but we’ll try and do it in front of our home fans back home.”

DertroitRedWings.com Intern Dave Burke contributed to this report.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

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