Originally posted on Fox Sports Detroit  |  Last updated 4/19/12
Detroit -- With the Red Wings on the brink of elimination and captain Nick Lidstrom turning 42 in a little over a week, questions naturally turned to Lidstrom's future prior to Game 5. While most NHL players his age have retired, Lidstrom still seems to have a lot left in the tank. After Thursday afternoon's practice at Joe Louis Arena, Lidstrom was asked if let himself think that Tuesday's 3-1 loss might have been his last home game. "No, I don't think like that," Lidstrom said. "I think I've learned from other years. I try to push that aside and just go out and try to play a real solid game, a good game and come out with a win." Lidstrom has nothing left to accomplish. He's won four Stanley Cups, seven Norris Trophies, a Conn Smythe Trophy, Olympic gold and played in 11 All-Star games. He said people around town get the same answer that reporters get when they ask him about next year. "I tell them the same thing I tell you guys, wait until the end of the year," Lidstrom said. "I'll do that (talk to wife) once we're done playing." It was a bit of a down year, points-wise, for Lidstrom, who was hampered by a lingering deep bone bruise in his right ankle. He had 11 goals and 23 assists and was plus-21 in 70 games. Last season he had 16 goals and 46 assists in 82 games. It's the fewest games Lidstrom has played since the lockout-shortened 1994-95 season, when he played in 43. Lidstrom said the ankle injury would have no effect on his decision. "I've been fortunate enough not to have any major injuries throughout my career," Lidstrom said. As for the rest of the Wings, they don't want to think about life without Lidstrom around every day. "It's crossed my mind," goaltender Jimmy Howard said. "You try not to think about it. It's been quite an honor to play with Nick and I hope he comes back. I haven't given any thought of a future without him." Coach Mike Babcock sounded like he planned to be coaching Lidstrom next season. "Ive been hearing that same story for like five years now," Babcock said. "The way I look at it is we have to win a game, so thats our approach. I havent thought much about Nick. "When Nick decides to retire Im sure it will be his wife and then his kids, then I think the community, I dont know, then after that Ill hear it on the news somewhere. Id be shocked if he retires, but Ive been shocked before." Looking for goals After scoring a career-high 23 goals in the regular season, Valtteri Filppula is still searching for his first playoff goal. "Definitely need to score, getting a lot of ice time and getting chances so we hope to get pucks in," Filppula said. "I haven't really got frustrated, it's only going to slow you down, so (I) try and think positive. "We still have hopefully a few more games to play so just gotta try to play through it and hopefully it starts going in." Filppula knows his Finnish countryman Pekka Rinne has a lot to do with that. "Definitely shots coming from further away, he's been able to close right away so we don't even get a rebound," Filppula said. "But (we) gotta try to get a little closer and maybe get shots that he doesn't see, get guys in front, and that way try to create second chances." Babcock, who watched Game 4 three times, said he was not upset with Filppula. "Last game I thought was his best game," Babcock said. "You know (Henrik) Zetterbergs line actually is in a lot of the offense and I think theyve done a good job. We wouldnt be talking about any of this stuff but thats how playoff hockey is if (Jiri) Hudler hits the post and they come down and score instead of 2-1 for us, its 2-1 for them, thats the difference in the game. "I think Fil is doing a good job, hes just got to trust his shot and shoot the puck a little bit more, but I think everyones like that." Defense, defense, defense You never want to make the highlight reel the way the Wings did in Game 4 when everyone on the ice, including Howard, followed Martin Erat. Erat promptly found a wide-open Kevin Klein, who scored the go-ahead goal. The Predators' first goal came when Gabriel Bourque was alone in the slot. "Last game I thought was breakdowns, complete breakdowns," defenseman Niklas Kronwall said. "Its nothing that really has to do with the system. "The first one goes off a skate and straight to the guy, wide open. The second one was just missed communication. We did a pretty good job in general except for those big breakdowns." The Wings know that perfection is not realistic but they can certainly avoid glaring mistakes like those. "Those are mistakes that you dont want to make and cant make in the playoffs," Lidstrom said. "Be more aware of it and kind of sort it out a little bit better than weve been doing. "You cant have two guys going to one guy. You got to be more conscious where the other players are." Experience to draw from The Wings obviously don't want to be down 3-1 in their series to Nashville but the good news for them is they have come back from deficits before. Last year, they rebounded from an 0-3 deficit to the San Jose Sharks, forcing a Game 7. Although they weren't able to win Game 7, coming back against the Sharks is something that could help in their current predicament. "We rally around that a little bit," Henrik Zetterberg said. "We did it recently. We know we can do it. We know we've been playing well. We were bad one game and that game we won, that was Game 2. "We've got a lot of believe in here. We're a good team. We just have to keep playing like we did last game and eventually we're going to score." Playoff hockey is unpredictable so you can never give up until the final horn blows. "You're never down and out," Howard said. "You have to keep going. Momentum can shift in a blink of an eye. You never give up. You just keep pushing." While some have written the Wings off, those in the dressing room are keeping the faith. "I think the biggest thing is to keep believing in ourselves, sticking with the program and believe in what we do," Kronwall said. "I think thats what we did really well last year, we stuck with it and kept throwing pucks at the net and we almost got away with it."Detroit -- With the Red Wings on the brink of elimination and captain Nick Lidstrom turning 42 in a little over a week, questions naturally turned to Lidstrom's future prior to Game 5. While most NHL players his age have retired, Lidstrom still seems to have a lot left in the tank. After Thursday afternoon's practice at Joe Louis Arena, Lidstrom was asked if let himself think that Tuesday's 3-1 loss might have been his last home game. "No, I don't think like that," Lidstrom said. "I think I've learned from other years. I try to push that aside and just go out and try to play a real solid game, a good game and come out with a win." Lidstrom has nothing left to accomplish. He's won four Stanley Cups, seven Norris Trophies, a Conn Smythe Trophy, Olympic gold and played in 11 All-Star games. He said people around town get the same answer that reporters get when they ask him about next year. "I tell them the same thing I tell you guys, wait until the end of the year," Lidstrom said. "I'll do that (talk to wife) once we're done playing." It was a bit of a down year, points-wise, for Lidstrom, who was hampered by a lingering deep bone bruise in his right ankle. He had 11 goals and 23 assists and was plus-21 in 70 games. Last season he had 16 goals and 46 assists in 82 games. It's the fewest games Lidstrom has played since the lockout-shortened 1994-95 season, when he played in 43. Lidstrom said the ankle injury would have no effect on his decision. "I've been fortunate enough not to have any major injuries throughout my career," Lidstrom said. As for the rest of the Wings, they don't want to think about life without Lidstrom around every day. "It's crossed my mind," goaltender Jimmy Howard said. "You try not to think about it. It's been quite an honor to play with Nick and I hope he comes back. I haven't given any thought of a future without him." Coach Mike Babcock sounded like he planned to be coaching Lidstrom next season. "Ive been hearing that same story for like five years now," Babcock said. "The way I look at it is we have to win a game, so thats our approach. I havent thought much about Nick. "When Nick decides to retire Im sure it will be his wife and then his kids, then I think the community, I dont know, then after that Ill hear it on the news somewhere. Id be shocked if he retires, but Ive been shocked before." Looking for goals After scoring a career-high 23 goals in the regular season, Valtteri Filppula is still searching for his first playoff goal. "Definitely need to score, getting a lot of ice time and getting chances so we hope to get pucks in," Filppula said. "I haven't really got frustrated, it's only going to slow you down, so (I) try and think positive. "We still have hopefully a few more games to play so just gotta try to play through it and hopefully it starts going in." Filppula knows his Finnish countryman Pekka Rinne has a lot to do with that. "Definitely shots coming from further away, he's been able to close right away so we don't even get a rebound," Filppula said. "But (we) gotta try to get a little closer and maybe get shots that he doesn't see, get guys in front, and that way try to create second chances." Babcock, who watched Game 4 three times, said he was not upset with Filppula. "Last game I thought was his best game," Babcock said. "You know (Henrik) Zetterbergs line actually is in a lot of the offense and I think theyve done a good job. We wouldnt be talking about any of this stuff but thats how playoff hockey is if (Jiri) Hudler hits the post and they come down and score instead of 2-1 for us, its 2-1 for them, thats the difference in the game. "I think Fil is doing a good job, hes just got to trust his shot and shoot the puck a little bit more, but I think everyones like that." Defense, defense, defense You never want to make the highlight reel the way the Wings did in Game 4 when everyone on the ice, including Howard, followed Martin Erat. Erat promptly found a wide-open Kevin Klein, who scored the go-ahead goal. The Predators' first goal came when Gabriel Bourque was alone in the slot. "Last game I thought was breakdowns, complete breakdowns," defenseman Niklas Kronwall said. "Its nothing that really has to do with the system. "The first one goes off a skate and straight to the guy, wide open. The second one was just missed communication. We did a pretty good job in general except for those big breakdowns." The Wings know that perfection is not realistic but they can certainly avoid glaring mistakes like those. "Those are mistakes that you dont want to make and cant make in the playoffs," Lidstrom said. "Be more aware of it and kind of sort it out a little bit better than weve been doing. "You cant have two guys going to one guy. You got to be more conscious where the other players are." Experience to draw from The Wings obviously don't want to be down 3-1 in their series to Nashville but the good news for them is they have come back from deficits before. Last year, they rebounded from an 0-3 deficit to the San Jose Sharks, forcing a Game 7. Although they weren't able to win Game 7, coming back against the Sharks is something that could help in their current predicament. "We rally around that a little bit," Henrik Zetterberg said. "We did it recently. We know we can do it. We know we've been playing well. We were bad one game and that game we won, that was Game 2. "We've got a lot of believe in here. We're a good team. We just have to keep playing like we did last game and eventually we're going to score." Playoff hockey is unpredictable so you can never give up until the final horn blows. "You're never down and out," Howard said. "You have to keep going. Momentum can shift in a blink of an eye. You never give up. You just keep pushing." While some have written the Wings off, those in the dressing room are keeping the faith. "I think the biggest thing is to keep believing in ourselves, sticking with the program and believe in what we do," Kronwall said. "I think thats what we did really well last year, we stuck with it and kept throwing pucks at the net and we almost got away with it."
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