Posts tagged “Dominik Hasek”

Dominik Hasek retires

Dominik Hasek announced his retirement from the NHL today. It’s the second time he has done so, having stepped away from the game following the Wings’ 2002 Stanley Cup win. However, this time it’s for real. His Hall of Fame career is over.

Dom’s career in Detroit was mostly an “up” one, with just a couple “down” points. He looked good this past season, but his age was beginning to show at times. His less-than-stellar performance in the playoffs led to his demotion to the bench in favor of Chris Osgood, who in turn earned the starting job in 2008-2009 with his own performance.

Hasek leaves the League a winner, if not quite on top (as the backup goaltender).

Good luck in the future, Dom, and thanks for your time here in Detroit. You played major roles in two of the best seasons the Wings have ever had.

As for the Wings, they are in a position to move on. With Chris Osgood’s renaissance and Jimmy Howard on deck, they are looking pretty solid in net next season. That said, it may not be a bad idea to bring in a veteran who could provide some stability in case Howard is still not quite ready to make the leap.

Osgood gets the nod

Update (4:33 PM): Bruce MacLeod has posted another piece on the move. – Matt

Update (2:57 PM): Ansar Khan has more, including quotes from Dominik Hasek and Mike Babcock. – Matt

Bruce MacLeod reports that Mike Babcock has decided to start Chris Osgood tomorrow night.

With Hasek’s confidence in himself at a low point and Osgood looking so steady last night, I think it’s safe to say this is the right decision. After thinking it over since this morning, I’ve come to the conclusion that this is not the time to test Hasek’s tendency to rebound from bad games.

Also, it’s possible we’ll see a changeup in the forward lineup, which would mean the insertion of either Darren Helm or Justin Abdelkader. Babcock told MacLeod he’s sleeping on it.

4/7 Notes

… The Wings wrapped up the 2007-2008 regular season with a 4-1 win over Chicago yesterday afternoon. There isn’t much to say about the game. The Hawks put up a fair fight, but were too shorthanded to do much, and the Wings were too businesslike to let the game get out of hand.

… We can hope that Jiri Hudler’s goal is a sign of more to come in the post-season. Darren McCarty’s feed on the goal may not become a regular event, but it looks like he’s rounding into form. Dominik Hasek’s performance also helped put to rest some doubts about his readiness for the playoffs.

… Two defensemen with minor injuries, Brian Rafalski (neck) and Chris Chelios (groin), sat out the game for rest purposes. Derek Meech filled in for Rafalski and Jonathan Ericsson was called up late to fill in for Chelios.

… Dallas Drake also had the game off, though apparenly not because of an injury. Justin Abdelkader subbed for the elder Wings forward.

… Tomas Holmstrom returned from a groin injury but wasn’t overwhelming.

… The Wings won the Jennings Trophy for fewest team goals-against, though not without some controversy. George Malik covers that here.

… Pavel Datsyuk finished with the best plus-minus in the NHL at +41. He still wasn’t mentioned during the NBC broadcast as a possible Selke candidate. The old stereotype of Pavel Datsyuk, the typically offensive Russian forward, persists.

Nick Lidstrom finished +40, by the way.

… NHL.com is launching a re-design this week. It sounds like it’ll be pretty good

4/4 Notes

… I only caught the first period of the game, so I can only comment directly on that.

I thought it was a marked improvement over their first period performance in Chicago Wednesday night. Dominik Hasek looked strong, the forwards were dangerous, and the defense was relatively tight.

It’s easy to write the Jackets off because they aren’t making the playoffs once again. However, they have developed into a talented team and are just a piece or two away from providing competition in the Central. The common assessment is that they just need a center for Rick Nash and a puck-moving defenseman. It’s hard to disagree. They’ve already got most everything else.

… Just from the highlight reel, it’s easy to see why the Wings had to make a comeback in this one: Pascal Leclaire. The guy had 36 saves in his first game back from a concussion and there were some very impressive ones.

Hasek’s 20 saves is an obvious improvement over his performance prior to being pulled Wednesday, but I’m a little concerned about the two goals he did allow. The replays show long shots that were only marginally screened. I can’t tell if either of them was tipped, but I do know that the original shooter got credit both times. So, if they came off deflections, it was off a Red Wing both times. That would just be Dom’s luck.

Maybe someone who saw them live can comment on Dom’s performance.

… The good news to come out of the game, aside from the win, was the fact that the Wings finally locked up first place overall and home ice throughout the playoffs. I hear they hand out a trophy for that, but I’m more interested in the fact that they won’t have to deal with any road Game 7’s.

… The bad news to come out of the game was the injury to Tomas Kopecky. He hurt his knee 6:40 into the third period when he got tangled with Manny Malholtra. He didn’t make it back and the initial impression isn’t a positive one. He’ll be undergoing tests to determine the severity of the injury.

Kopey is a role player on the team, but a valuble one. He’s still in the maturing phase of his game, but he plays with an edge that will be vital in the post-season. Here’s hoping he’s not out long.

… In addition to the bad news about Kopecky, the news on Maltby was less than good: Mickey Redmond said before the game that it looks like he’ll be out 10-14 days.

… With Vancouver’s loss and Nashville’s win, the Canucks and Blackhawks were eliminated from playoff contention. The remaining possibilities are Calgary and Nashville.

If Chicago beats the Preds tonight, we’ll see Nashville in the first round. If the Predators lose and the Predators win, we’ll get the Flames in the first round for the second year in a row.

By all accounts, it sounds like Justin Abdelkader had a strong debut. Given that and the fact that Kopecky is hurt, he may find a regular injury replacement spot in the coming weeks.

Of course, there remains the small issue of his entry level contract, on which he and the team must agree by Saturday or he’ll be inelligible for post-season play. I doubt there’ll be much trouble with that, though.

… An injury update: Tomas Holmstrom (groin/abdomen) characterized himself as definitely in for Sunday’s game.

3/27 Notes

Update (8:01 PM): From the “why make it public?  file: Dave Waddell got the location of Brad Stuarts broken finger from the man himself:

“I have pretty good grip with my other three fingers (on his right hand), so that’s a good sign.”

For those keeping score at home, that’s his top hand, which should mean his return will come earlier than expected since his lower hand does most of the serious gripping. Stuart is confident about being back in time to play in Game 1. Here’s hoping he’s mostly, if not all, healed by then because that hand will have a big target on it now that the whole world knows the location of the injury.

Waddell also has something on the McCarty versus Downey situation. Key quote from Mike Babcock:

“We’re giving Mac an opportunity (tonight), Downs probably won’t be playing (tonight), but that’s just so Mac can get into a game. That’s no reflection on what Downs has been able to do with us.”

Still, both players will be competing for roster spots. George Malik sums it up nicely:

One might see McCarty’s ready-to-play status is healthy competition for Dallas Drake and, to a lesser extent, Jiri Hudler or Tomas Kopecky as a 3rd/4th line presence who can excel on the forecheck instead of a replacement for Downey’s role as a pure “policeman.”

Of course, McCarty’s ability to excel on the forecheck at the NHL level these days has yet to be proven. – Matt

Update (2:14 PM):Ansar Khan reports that Dominik Hasek will not play tomorrow and that Chris Osgood will start.

… He also says that Tomas Holmstrom is supposed to undergo further testing today. Apparently Mike Babcock doesn’t know the results of yesterday’s tests, but told Khan that it’s looking positive. I’ll believe it when I see Homer back in the lineup.

… Khan clarifies MacLeod’s comments on Samuelsson by saying the Swede left practice early. According to Babcock, he’s questionable for tomorrow.

… Dallas Drake told Khan he’s ready to go, but Babcock wouldn’t commit to it.

… Brad Stuart told Khan that he’s optmisitc he’ll be back in time for Game 1.

… Khan also confirms that Aaron Downey will be scratched tomorrow.  – Matt

Update (12:56 PM): MacLeod has more:

…  I don’t know why this didn’t register with me before when I looked at the lines: Mikael Samuelsson did not skate today. MacLeod says it’s because he has “tightness in his groin.” Apparently the team is being cautious, so his status for tomorrow is unknown.

… Dominik Hasek could play tomorrow, depending on how he feels tomorrow morning.

… It looks like Blues fans will be disappointed: Aaron Downey will be a healthy scratch, with Mark Hartigan (unfortunately) getting a spot instead.

… It looks like Valtteri Filppula will be back tomorrow. – Matt

Update (11:52 AM): Just after I publish, I see Bruce MacLeod’s latest:

… Hasek did not practice today, so he must be out tomorrow. Jimmy Howard already made the drive down I-96 and practiced with the team this morning.

… Darren McCarty’s debut is still on.

… Tomas Holmstrom “took a quick twirl,” but didn’t stay any longer than that.

… Valtteri Filppula stayed out there the whole time, though MacLeod casts doubt on his status for tomorrow night by saying “[he] might be back in the lineup soon.”

… Lastly, the line combos from practice:

Datsyuk-Zetterberg-Cleary
Hudler-Franzen-Filppula
Kopecky-Draper-Maltby
Hartigan-Drake-McCarty

Don’t read too much into Drake’s presence on the fourth unit. He practiced Monday as well, but  didn’t play Tuesday. There’s still a chance he could sit out once again.

The defensive pairings haven’t changed:

Lidstrom-Rafalski
Kronwall-Chelios
Lebda-Lilja

 – Matt

… The big news is that Darren McCarty will make his re-debut with the Wings tomorrow night against the Blues. It will be his first game in the Winged Wheel since May 3, 2004, and his first in the NHL in nearly a year. No word yet on who he’ll be skating with, but don’t expect a full-fledged reunion of the Grind Line. He probably won’t be getting third line minutes.

Thanks to Christy Hammond at Behind the Jersey, who was kind enough to give me tickets, Megan and I will be at the game. No pressure Mac, but a repeat of your last home debut would be nice.

… Tim Miller, writing over at Bleacher Report, has a good take on the whole McCarty return. He provides some needed perspective on the situation. Referring to Friday, he writes,

A great game, and a great story, but one that a Red Wings fans should hope ends on April 6th when their top 12 forwards, including Holmstom and Flippula, are deemed healthy enough for the post-season.  The lineup that has driven this team to the President’s Trophy and gives them the best shot at post-season success.

Miller goes on to cite McCarty’s speed problem, his effective disappearance in Calgary, and the fact that he’s returning from a rib injury, which he says is “not a the best injury to have for a grinder.” Indeed.

I’m thrilled to see the success of Mac’s comeback attempt, but I’m keeping my expectations low. I joked about his hat trick above, but I don’t actually believe he can reproduce his AHL performance in the NHL. The question is whether or not he can fill a role on a team that is already very-well rounded. On one hand, I hope he can, but on the other, I’m with Miller. Mac is not going to be the one piece that puts the Wings over the edge because they already have all the pieces. If his addition does nothing more than give them the option of inserting him into the lineup, that’s fine because it’s really all they need.

Helene St. James reports that Dominik Hasek (flu) is on antibiotics. If he can’t practice today, the Wings will recall Jimmy Howard, who they sent back to Grand Rapids yesterday. Here’s hoping the flu bug doesn’t spread any further.

… Barring a setback in today’s skate, Valtteri Filppula (knee, groin) is expected to return tomorrow night. Dallas Drake, on the other hand, is questionable with a bruised sternum.

With Fil and Mac in the lineup and Drake out, the lines should look something like this:

Filppula-Datsyuk-Franzen
Samuelsson-Zetterberg-Cleary
Kopecky-Draper-Maltby
McCarty-Hudler-Downey

… The status of Tomas Holmstrom (abdomen/groin) for the remainder of the season is still unknown. The results of his tests should come out today. It’s not looking like he’ll be back before the end of the regular season.

Ted Kulfan reports that Brad Stuart (broken finger) will start rehabilitation today or tomorrow. The goal is to have him back by Game 1 of the first round.

… The Wings will have an open practice on Saturday. The doors open at 11:00 AM and the skate starts at noon.  If you bring new or used hockey equipment, you get in free. Otherwise, it’s a $5 donation. The money and the equipment will go toward inner-city youth hockey programs.

Ansar Khan has a nice piece on the possible Selke candidacies of Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg. Arguments can be made for both players, who should finishe 1 and 2 in any case. However, I think Datsyuk’s reputation as an offensive forward hurts him. It seems to me that his two-way ability is one of the best-kept secrets in Hockeytown. Zetterberg’s two-way game is well-publicized and has been ever since he entered the League. Datsyuk, on the other hand, is only getting acclaim for his defensive play more recently.

Even I have a hard time imagining Pavel winning the Selke over Hank, but that may just be my homerism for #40 coming through.

…  Over at Abel to Yzerman, IwoCPO suggests the Avs hire Patrick Roy as head coach after they fire Joel Quenneville. That would be … interesting.

… Lastly, I can’t let this pass without comment. The idea that Aaron Downey is a coward or classless is ridiculous. The guy has been the epitome of class all season and, by all accounts, is universally respected in the Wings’ locker room. He has been very smart to pick his fights wisely and so it’s no surprise to me that he turned down King Tuesday night. There’s no law, written or unwritten, that says he has to answer every challenge. Downey’s job is to spark his teammates with big hits and the occassional fight, not to allow himself to be goaded into dropping the gloves.

I’m sorry Blues fans, but if you’re looking for someone to call a coward or classless, look to your own team. Downey is a much better man than, say, Barret Jackman, who was, is, and always will be, a donkey.

If Downey decides to drop the gloves in defense of his character tomorrow night, I fully expect to see him acquit himself well. If he choses to keep his gloves on, I’ll certainly think no less of him.

3/18 Injury Update

Update (3:33 PM): George Malik has some more on the injury situation here. – Matt

Update (2:40 PM): Helene St. James has a couple further details:

Draper apparently felt good after skating today. That seems to indicate that the Helm recall is more of an extra caution than a necessity.

Holmstrom, on the other hand, is “still shying away from hard stops and starts.” So it’s no surprise that Mike Babcock is holding him out of this week’s games, despite Tomas’ hopes for return.

Also, St. James reports that Babcock will finalize the defense by the last three or four games of the regular season. She characterizes the contest for the third pairing as a three-way one between Chris Chelios, Andreas Lilja, and Brett Lebda for the two spots. However, I think it’s safe to say that Chelios is a lock, so it’s more likely to be a two-way battle for the sixth spot.

I suspect that, when it comes down to it, Lilja’s penalty killing and shot-blocking ability will earn him that final spot at Lebda’s expense.

In related note, I’m a little surprised Derek Meech is apparently out of the equation, but it seems his chance to become a regular this season has passed. – Matt

Ansar Khan reports that the Wings have recalled Darren Helm from Grand Rapids because Kris Draper (groin tear) is not ready to return Wednesday after all. Draper is a “maybe” for Thursday night, depending on how he feels after practice tomorrow.

Helm was just returned to the Griffins yesterday along with Mattias Ritola.

Khan also says Tomas Holmstrom (abdominal strain) is eager to return, but he is not likely to play until after this week. The team is being cautious, as it can afford to do at this stage in the season. They need #96 for the playoffs, not for these last intradivisional games.

Lastly, Khan provides info on the starting goaltenders for the next two games: Chris Osgood will get the nod against Columbus tomorrow night and Dominik Hasek will be the man Thursday night in Nashville.

3/4 Injury Update

Update (5:40 PM): Bruce MacLeod has more now that practice is over.

It looks like Lidstrom could be back as soon as Sunday against Nashville.

Chris Chelios is feeling better and could be returning soon as well.

Brian Rafalski will play tomorrow barring a setback at the morning skate.

Now for the surprise: Jonathan Ericsson will play tomorrow, even if Rafalski does, Babcock told MacLeod. No word on who will sit in Ericsson’s place, but my guess is Brett Lebda. He could use a kick in the pants and I wouldn’t be surprised if Babcock gives him one here. I don’t see Andreas Lilja getting scratched because he looked strong Sunday in Buffalo, in my opinion.

Lastly, Dominik Hasek will start tomorrow night against the Blues. It’ll be his third consecutive start. – Matt

Bruce MacLeod has an update from practice posted.

He says Nick Lidstrom (sprained knee) skated for the first time since sustaining his injury. Nick and Chris Chelios participated in non-contact drills and then left the ice. As MacLeod points out, it’s good news that they’re skating, even if they can’t participate in the whole practice.

With today marking his first time back on the ice, Lidstrom is a little behind schedule, as reports early last week had him skating by the weekend. However, there’s no indication that he won’t be back in a week or so. That’s a little over the original estimate, but pretty good considering what his recovery time might have been.

Also, Brian Rafalski (groin) is still scheduled to return tomorrow and participated in practice. In case he has a setback, though, the team has kept Jonathan Ericsson in town.

Lastly, Dan Cleary (broken jaw) skated again, with a full mask protecting his face. In other news, he and the Wings have agreed on contract length: five years. Still no agreement on amount.