Tuesday, December 02, 2003

12/2 Notes

-- Dominik Hasek did practice after all yesterday, sharing work with Curtis Joseph in one net. Hasek was optimistic about his return, saying
"I had no pain. I felt great in the practice. No problems. It's important how it's going to feel tomorrow morning, because you never know. But at this point, it feels great, and I think it's going to be OK."
This time he wants to make sure that he is completely healed before he returns because he thinks he may have come back too soon last time (gee, Dom, ya think?). He said last week that he'd rather return one day too late than one day too soon and I think that's a good strategy. Hasek's no good to the Wings if he keeps getting injured and having to sit out. Dave Lewis said that Dom's return is still day-to-day and that it's likely Manny Legace will start tomorrow night against Anaheim. With the Wings playing three games in four days, however, it is likely Hasek will be in the lineup, if healthy. -- The other Wing who was expected to hit the ice yesterday, Ray Whitney, did not practice. Apparently, he is questionable for the games tomorrow and Thursday. Dave Lewis said "I would say at this point, he's unavailable." -- The cast on Henrik Zetterberg's lower right leg will be taken off sometime this week and he'll possibly begin skating in a couple weeks. He supposed return to the lineup by the end of the month, if the original six-week prediction was correct. -- With two top forwards out, the Wings are lucky that Mark Mowers, Darryl Bootland, Nathan Robinson and Jamie Rivers have been so reliable in their time with the big team. All four skaters have played well and rarely, if ever, put the Wings in a bad situation. Another reason the Wings' forwards have not tanked is because Steve Yzerman has not had to sit out at all. If his knee was not doing as well as it has , the Wings would be much worse off in the forwards department, especially with regards to faceoffs. -- The Wings added some depth to their forwards yesterday when they signed Blake Sloan to a one-year deal. Sloan, 28, played for UM and had four goals and two assists over seven games with the Griffins this year. He has 11 goals, 32 assists and 155 penalty minutes in 262 games over five seasons, playing for Dallas, Columbus and Calgary. He sure doesn't sound like a pure goalscorer to me but I guess that's not what the Wings really need right now anyway, the way they're scoring. Strangely enough, Sloan is listed as a defenseman by the Internet Hockey Database, which is what the Wings need more. Sources: News and Freep Stevie Y getting into the game. Maybe he's checking himself out -- Steve Yzerman is the "cover boy" for Xbox's new "NHL Rivals 2004" video game, which The Captain got his first chance to play yesterday during a media event at KDN Videoworks. Apparently, the game is amazing and Yzerman was impressed with how realistic it is compared to games he played in his 20s. Its detail impressed The Captain so much he said ".....I'm going to practice and see if I can't pick up some tips for the Ducks and Sergei for Wednesday night, and see if I can figure out how to get the puck past J.S. Giguere." Ironically, there isn't much offense in the game, much like the real thing. It's too bad I only have a Dreamcast or else I'd go out and buy it myself. I guess I'll have to settle for my copy of "NHL 2K" with Brendan Shanahan on the cover. Though he liked the game, Steve admitted that his 4-year-old daughter could probably beat him at it. Also, Yzerman laughingly said "I want to be GM, not play GM." Well, Ken Holland can't be GM forever, Steve. Maybe someday you'll get the job. -- Jerry Green of the Detroit news thinks Manny Legace should be the Wings' #1 goalie. While that's a nice thing to say, I don't buy into it. Legace is a great backup but I'm unsure of his ability to handle a full season as a #1 goalie. He did well in '00-'01 when Chris Osgood was out but that was only for a couple months. A full season is a different matter and, after that, he'd have to play in the playoffs. I'll give Manny the benefit of the doubt on being able to play a whole season but I am by no means ready to entrust the Wings' playoff hopes to a guy without one full game of playoff experience (he only played when Dom was pulled during the Canucks series in 2002). For now, Dominik Hasek is the #1 goalie for the Wings, no matter how well Legace is playing. As far as Wings management this season is concerned, Manny will always be just filling in for Dominik, not the other way around. Next year is a different story and I personally think Legace will finally get his chance to be "the man" then, when they are diminished by the new CBA and unable to fit a proven #1 goalie into their salary-capped payroll (that's assuming Bettman wins). But that's next season. For now, he's #2 no matter what Mr. Green may think and no matter how Manny's play really should be rewarded. -- Quote of the Day:
"That guy with the long nose in the movie "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" that had the net and snatched up the kids. I was afraid he was going to come after me too. That was the first really creepy guy that scared the daylights out of me." -- Steve Thomas showing his age when asked "What scared you the most as a kid?" by Joanne C. Gerstner of the Detroit in an interview.


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