… Update (9:30 AM): The Free Press’ Steve Schrader points us to a quote by Evgeni Malkin in today’s paper:
“Always I was following for Pavel Datsyuk. I was following his game, the way he’s playing. I’m not trying to copy him, but I’m trying to be same leader as Pavel Datsyuk.”
From the outside looking in, I sometimes find it hard to see Pavel as a leader, but that’s not the first time I’ve heard him called one so apparently there’s some truth in it. It can’t just be that he’s an offensive force and leads by his skilled example. I’d like to hear a more concrete explanation of his leadership, like whether or not he’s vocal in the lockerroom or on the bench, etc. (via Snapshots) – Matt
… Because he was awarded with the Lester Patrick Award yesterday, both papers have pieces on Steve Yzerman today.
It sounds like his new life as a team vice president is going well. He has a flexible schedule (can arrive at work any time between 8:00 AM and 2:00 PM), goes to most of the home games as well as some road games here and there, gets to read scouting reports, and has input on trades, according to Helene St. James.
His former teammates, apparently, have had trouble adjusting to his new role:
“They don’t recognize me as the vice president of the Red Wings — we’ll leave it at that.”
He does occasionally go down to the lockerroom to see the guys, however, though he apparently wishes there was a little less familiarity from them outside of the lockerroom. Ted Kulfan quotes him as saying,
“But I do think it’s best that if somebody wants to ask me about something, they’ll ask me as opposed to me kind of barging in and saying, ‘This is the way it should be.'”
Kulfan’s piece has some multimedia features in the sidebar that include a slideshow, some audio files, and a video.
… Everyone’s talked about how Henrik Zetterberg hasn’t been scoring enough, but I haven’t seen anyone talk about Niklas Kronwall’s lack of scoring. Until today. The News takes a brief look at Kronwall, who has been getting chances and believes he’ll get it going soon.
The paper also points out that he is #3 among Wings defensemen in minutes with an average of 20:31 a game. Not bad.
… The Freep reports that Mathieu Schneider should return to the lineup tomorrow night against Edmonton after he participated in practice yesterday. I like the quote the paper has from Mike Babcock:
“I thought he was going to be more careful today than he was. He didn’t look like he was careful at all.”
Hey, well, if he feels good, why should he take it easy, Mike?
… One negative aspect of keeping Valtteri Filppula is that he is just one of three skilled rookies on the team all competing for ice time. George Sipple reports that Babcock is set on giving them all meaningful minutes, which will be tough given the fact that one of the three will have to sit out every game.
Based on what minutes they’ve been getting so far, it looks like Filppula (11:21 in 5) is going to be in the lineup more consistently, with Hudler (10:28 in 10) next, and Kopecky (7:02 in 11) perhaps being the odd-man out more often than not.