HEADS UP: Andre Nguyen is your new leader in the FHS Playoff Pool. Don't look behind you Andre, I'm charging hard (up to 8th place)... every Sharks-Wings game is like Christmas for me with 13 players in action
It was a question if Pavel Datsyuk would even play last night as he's been bothered by a wrist injury but he played and played well, picking up a trio of assists. He has points in eight of nine playoff games and is now in a tie for the league lead in playoff scoring.
Niklas Kronwall with 1+1=2 last night, he logs big and important minutes for the Wings and if Lidstrom retires then he could be in for increased offensive responsibilities next year but I'd still worry about his durability as he's only played more than 70 games in two of the past six seasons.
Jimmy Howard kept the Wings in the game with 28 saves on 30 shots through the first two periods last night. The belief is that he's been struggling in the series but he's facing a rather heavy load with 36.8 shots/60mins in the series and has a solid .927 sv% so far.
Henrik Zetterberg with an assist last night and he's quietly put up 1+5=6 during a four game point streak.
Patrick Marleau is still without a point against the Wings and now he's got blowhard Jeremy Roenick looking to make some waves by describing Marleau's play as "gutless".
Dan Boyle wasn't that great against the Kings, even going as far to call himself out for a poor performance, but he's stepped it up against the Wings with 2+4=6 & 25 shots in five games.
A goal on six shots last night for Logan Couture, he's been dangerous in the 2nd round with 2+3=5 & 22 shots in five games... I wouldn't expect anything less.
Jiri Hudler was a healthy scratch for the Wings, he has no points so far in the series.
The Rangers & Coyotes swapped some prospects yesterday, Ethan Werek goes to Phoenix with Oscar Lindberg headed to the Rangers. Speculation was that the Rangers weren't going to sign Werek, who was a 2009 2nd rounder, so getting an asset back is a bonus. From what I can tell, it doesn't seem as though Werek has shown much progress since being drafted but I don't think I would have given up on him yet, so good get by Phoenix. Lindberg was a 2nd round pick in 2010 and showed some progress this season with 5+9=14 in 41 games in the SEL but he's years away from possibly contributing.
At the WCs yesterday... the Czechs beat Russia 3-2 yesterday, Evgeni Nabokov was a scratch as he's been demoted to 3rd goalie status. Sweden's Viktor Fasth with a 31 save shutout of the Swiss to set up a battle between Sweden & Canada today for top spot in their pool. FYI, David Rundblad has been added to the Swedish roster so we should get our first look at him in this tournament today.