Found March 14, 2012 on
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The postman delivered nirvana to my front door on Saturday in the form of two issues of THE HOCKEY NEWS.
"Future Watch 2012" and "The NHLs Top 50 as Selected by the Players" are a must for any hockey fan. I look forward to these issues each year because theyre informative and stir debate.
In the Top 50 issue, THN asks five players from each of the 30 teams to vote for the best players in the NHL, with the only rule being they couldnt pick a teammate.
Three Red Wings made the Top 50 -- actually the Top 20. Pavel Datsyuk checked in at No. 2, captain Nick Lidstrom was the top rated defenseman at No. 7, and Henrik Zetterberg rounded out this terrific trio at No. 20.
Datsyuk was second to Pittsburghs Sidney Crosby, who has played in only eight games during the past 13 months. THN points out that the voting was conducted over a couple of months dating back to last December. At that time, speculation was that Crosby's concussion problem was a thing of the past.
Perhaps Crosby's finally healthy now. He will be back in the Penguins lineup on Thursday.
Even with Crosby being No. 1, Datsyuk is the star of this issue. Hes the cover boy and the feature story leading into the Top 50 article.
Datsyuk is labeled the best two-way player in the league. Players seem to be amazed at his almost uncanny ability to steal the puck and never give it back.
Former teammate Mathieu Schneider perhaps sums up Datsyuk as a player better than anybody, telling THN:
He doesnt look like a big man, but he plays like one," he said. "Not only is he shifty, but if you do manage to get a piece of him, hes solid. Its just uncanny, his sense of where opponents are around him.
If he feels pressure on one side, he automatically spins in the opposite direction. There arent many people Ive ever seen in this game try and do some of the things he tries.
One of Pavels greatest gifts has been knowing when to pass the puck and when to hang onto it.
Lidstroms ranking might seem a bit low, but as already stated, he ranks highest amongst defenseman. Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara, at No. 10, finished three spots below Lidstrom.
Consistency, longevity, skill and intelligence make Lidstrom what THN calls, arguably the second-greatest defenseman and second-greatest Red Wings player of all time.
Zetterberg was cited for his versatility, hockey sense and having perhaps the leagues best beard (seriously).
A lot of people would agree that Datsyuk is the best player in the league right now, and Zetterberg isnt that far behind, St. Louis goalie Brian Elliot told THN.
Out of the Top 50, there are 18 centers, 12 right wings, eight defenseman, seven goalies and five left wings.
Zach Parise and Ryan Suter, believed to be Detroits top targets in this years unrestricted free-agent class, each made the Top 50. Left wing Parise is slotted in at No. 29, and defenseman Suter came in at No. 34.
Future Watch is an issue for geeks and non-geeks alike. Every team's prospects are graded, and each organization is ranked 1-30 on its drafting prowess. The issue also rates the Top 50 prospects in the NHL and the Top 10 prospects of each team.
The ratings and rankings are based on the opinions of NHL GMs and scouts from all 30 teams. The Top 50 prospects list was compiled by a panel made up of 14 NHL scouts and general managers.
Detroit had three prospects rated in the Top 50, with Brendan Smith being the top-rated Detroit prospect at No. 16. Swedish center Calle Jarnkrok was next at No. 32, closely followed by countryman Gustav Nyquist at No. 34.
Rounding out the rest of the Red Wings' 10 top prospects, according to THN, are: left wing Tomas Tatar, Notre Dame center Riley Sheahan, right wing Tomas Jurco, goalie Petr Mrazek, right wing sniper Teemu Pulkkinen, defenseman Ryan Sproul and defenseman Xavier Ouellet.
As an organization, the Wings were ranked 21st on drafting, and their prospects overall received a C grade.
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
When a team loses a star player such as the Detroit Red Wings’ Pavel Datsyuk, winning games in a very competitive Western Conference gets that much tougher. When that injury is compounded by a slew of others, winning becomes nearly impossible.
Winning without the services of many key players is exactly the task that the Red Wings will face for at least the immediate future.
A few hours before his team took the ice on Saturday against the Nashville Predators, Detroit Red Wings coach Mike Babcock made a telling statement.
"Right now, their lineup probably is deeper than our lineup,'' he said.
That's not supposed to happen to the Red Wings, who annually rank among NHL's highest in payroll and has represented the gold standard in...
ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Nicklas Lidstrom and the Red Wings are in uncharted territory.
When Lidstrom missed his seventh consecutive game Tuesday night against the Los Angeles Kings because of a deep bone bruise in his right ankle, it set an unfortunate new career high for most consecutive games missed.
The worst part of it is, Lidstrom doesn't seem to be improving. Once the swelling...
Thought MLive’s Ansar Khan’s report about Nicklas Lidstrom being shut down for the weekend was bad? Well it’s not exactly shocking news that the Free Press’s Helene St. James reports that Lidstrom will head back to Detroit, but here comes the crapola: Joey MacDonald tweaked his back, sooo…per St. James...
While the rest of the team flew from Los Angeles to San Jose, where...
As we wait for news from the Red Wings’ morning skate ahead of tonight’s game against the Ducks (10 PM EDT, FSD/FS West/97.1 FM), some off-day chatter merits noting:
• As previously mentioned, the Hockey News’s poll of 150 NHL’ers yielded 3 Wings players listed among the top 50 in the NHL: Henrik Zetterberg was named the 20th-best player, Nicklas Lidstrom was named the...
The Detroit Red Wings remain without the services of Pavel Datsyuk, Jonathan Ericsson, Jakub Kindl and Nicklas Lidstrom, and probably Todd Bertuzzi, as they face off against the Los Angeles Kings tonight (10:30 PM EDT, FSD/Fox Sports West/97.1 FM—and if you’re in LA, the Wings are holding a meet-up at Los Angeles’s Coney Dog restaurant), and they’re heading into a stretch...
The Detroit Red Wings may be playing with Todd Bertuzzi, Pavel Datsyuk, Nicklas Lidstrom and a pair of defensemen who are missed more than we might think in Jonathan Ericsson and Jakub Kindl, and their absences played no small part in Detroit’s 3-1 loss to the Los Angeles Kings on Tuesday night…
But there are no excuses for the Red Wings having given up 4 shorthanded goals over...
Detroit needs a W tonight because it looks like Chicago isn't going to give us much help against the Blues. And to get ready for this battle, Josh has put a little extra effort in to his poster for the game tonight. Here's the man himself:Jimmy's the boss. No matter what happens tonight, we still love him. However, with that said, we need Jimmy to play strong...
Similarities exist between this season and the cup winning 2008 season and those similarities have most of us convinced that the Wings are still the team to beat this year. However, there are some key differences. We'll explore those, then I'll let you decide how much whiskey to add to your glass.Jump to start the exploration:
Okay, so it's late in the season and Lidstrom...
Red Wings got completely smoked tonight. A good first period wasn't enough, obviously. I can't think of anything good to say and if you saw this game, you understand why. If you didn't see the game, I'll let this clip from Team America be your official recap:[youtube]iKqGXeX9LhQ[/youtube]
The Detroit Red Wings (44-22-3) will be look to regain their mojo in California, as they commence a three-game roadie on the West Coast this evening at the Staples Center against the playoff desperate Los Angeles Kings (32-25-12) (10:30 pm EST, Fox Sports Detroit)
The Wings have lost their way over the past 3 weeks with a disappointing 3-5-1 record over that time. It goes without...
LA KINGS 32-25-1276 pts, 11th in Western ConferencevsDETROIT RED WINGS44-22-391 pts, 4th in Western Conference
Detroit Leads Season Series 3-0
7:30pm, Staples CenterLos Angeles, CAFSW
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Many thanks to Paul for the <a href="http://www.kuklaskorner.com/index.php/tmr/comments/practice_update_from_la/'>updates. Back from the doc, mom checked out okay, had a few freckles removed by the doc but continues to remain skin cancer free.
Anyway, from the Red Wings’ practice in Los Angeles, we’re finding out mediocre news on the injury front. MLive’sAnsar...
In the words of Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg, “I know this music.” And the music Mr. Zorg speaks of in The Fifth Element best represents the Red Wings’ 4-0 loss to the Anaheim Ducks on Wednesday, representing the Wings’ fifth loss in seven March games:
It’s the sound of senseless, useless and ultimately futile combat in the film, and for the Red Wings, who have gone 3-8...
Philadelphia Flyer Claude Giroux channels his inner Pavel Datsyuk for this shootout goal over the weekend. Absolutely filthy!