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    Legendary Detroit Red Wings Defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom Retires

Legendary Detroit Red Wings Defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom Retires

Retiring today allows me to walk away from the game with pride rather than have the game walk away from me.”
~Nicklas Lidstrom

Lidstrom, our fearless captain by Buzz Click Photography
Lidstrom, our fearless captain by Buzz Click Photography

Nicklas Lidstrom, one of the all-time greatest defensemen in the history of the NHL retires after 20 seasons with the Detroit Red Wings. Sports Illustrated wonders if Lidstrom was the MVP of his era, while Mitch Albom writes in Smiles, tears for Hockeytown hero Nicklas Lidstrom:

It is hard to describe the atmosphere at Lidstrom’s farewell. It was as professional as any I’ve ever witnessed, as emotional as a Swedish good-bye likely ever gets, and as thorough as — well, as Lidstrom’s famous preparation for the game he loved.

The Wings captain read from a statement, then free-formed eloquently, then thanked a laundry list of teammates and coaches — but also thanked the ushers, the equipment guys, the team doctors, the media, even Frank, the guy who fills up the water bottles, and Leslie, “who serves us lunch.”

The fact that Lidstrom knows them, recalls their names, and chose to include them in his biggest career announcement tells you pretty much all you need to know.

Lidstrom retires as the active NHL leader in regulation and playoff games played as well as plus-minus. He finished second amongst active players in playoff points and third in regular-season points. Among his accomplishments are SEVEN Norris Trophies, being the first European player to captain a Stanley Cup champion, being named a first-team All-Star 10 times between 1998 and 2011 and being the first European player to win the Conn Smythe Trophy.

The Detroit News has a great video of his retirement speech and you can watch highlights from his career below.

Five Things you need to know about the Detroit Red Wings

UPDATE: Here’s the highlights from last night’s 3-2 series tying victory!

5thingsThe Detroit Red Wings open the 2012 playoffs tonight vs the Nashville Predators at 8 PM – click for the game preview. Here’s 5 things about the Wings to get you ready for their Stanley Cup run.

Have more? Add them in the comments.

1 Because these are the Red Wings We’ll start with the Wings trailer for the 2012 playoffs.

11 Stanley Cups by l_c_m_tt_,
11 Stanley Cups by l_c_m_tt_,

2 … or make that 20. The Bleacher Report has 12 Keys to the Red Wings making a deep run for the Stanley Cup. They note that no team in major professional sports has had more consecutive playoff appearances than the 20 straight by the Detroit Red Wings. In fact nobody is even close in hockey with San Jose 2nd at 7. Over those 20 years the Red Wings have managed to hoist the Stanley Cup four times. Add in 2 straight 6 game series wins over Nashville in 2004 and 2008 and it’s hard to bet against the Wings.

3 Overcoming expectations Despite their strong heritage, most pundits are picking against the Wings. Drew Sharp at the Freep says that it might be too early to count them out.

#13 Pavel Datsyuk by Buzz Click Photography
#13 Pavel Datsyuk by Buzz Click Photography

4 Pavel Datsyuk, Predator Killer. He’s back from surgery and in the words of Predators defenseman Kevin Klein “He can stickhandle in a phone booth.” The phone booth metaphor is apt in this case as Datsyuk is the most prolific Predator killer in Red Wings history with 59 points in 57 games all-time against Nashville.

5 Detroit IS Hockeytown. In 2012 the Wings proved that true with an NHL record 23 game winning streak en route to a 31-7-3 home record. The Joe Louis Arena is perhaps the most fearsome place to play in all of sports – let the octopi fly!

Detroit Red Wings say thanks to YOU!

Lidstrom, our fearless captain by Buzz Click Photography
Lidstrom, our fearless captain
by Buzz Click Photography

More Red Wings photos by Spike!

Last night, the Detroit Red Wings fell one goal in a bid to come back from a 3-0 hole in their series with the San Jose Sharks. NHL on the fly has a wrap-up of the 3-2 loss. In Drew Sharp’s column in the Freep, captain Nicklas Lidstrom said:

“It’s very disappointing that we didn’t finish it out like we wanted, but it’s impossible not to feel good about the character and heart that we showed to even get ourselves in this position where we could take four straight.”

Here’s a nice touch of class by the Wings as they thank Hockeytown and all their fans for a season of support.

5×5 Night in Grand Rapids

5 ideas, 5 minutes each, 5 slides each, 5 judges, 5,000 dollars

5x5
5×5 Night is a monthly event in Grand Rapids that allows 5 people to pitch their ideas to a panel of judges who decide how to award $5,000 on the last Tuesday night of every month. The third 5×5 happens tomorrow night at the Grand Rapids Ballet with an afterglow at Founders Brewery. Tomorrow night’s presenters and topics sound pretty interesting:

  • Bruce Burgess – Mull-it-Over
  • Mick Hanna – Easy Crutch
  • Phil Lund – The Mars Plan
  • William Stewart – Compression Beehive Frame
  • Charlie Wollborg – Face-to-Face > Pixel-to-Pixel

Michigan Radio has a cool interview with Rick DeVos and Bill Holsinger Robinson of Pomegranate Studios about 5×5 Night. Learn more at 5x5night.com and Pomegranate Studios.

Last month AJ Paschka got all five votes and $5000 for his very cool Weather Collage idea, but we’ll feature Landon Bartley’s more locally focused call for a Grand Rapids Sister City Window Webcam Project. You can check out all the pitches on the 5×5 channel.

Photo: Prepping for the first 5×5 Night at the GRAM by pomstudios.com.

Detroit Red Wings open the 2011 NHL Playoffs

Team Spirit of Detroit by Maia C
Team Spirit of Detroit by Maia C

The Detroit Red Wings open the 2011 NHL Playoffs at home tonight vs the Phoenix Coyotes at 7 PM at the Joe Louis Arena.

lord-stanley-loves-the-wingsIt’s their 20th straight NHL Playoff appearance, and Wikipedia tells us that the Red Wings are 2nd in Stanley Cup appearances with 24 and 3rd in wins with 13. Their last Cup win came in 2008 and while the Wings don’t skate into the playoffs as an overwhelming favorite, they are seeded third in the West and expected to have a strong showing. A lot of the team’s hopes rest on the health of leading scorer Henrik Zetterberg. Zetterberg won the Conn Smythe playoff MVP trophy in 2008 but was last seen wearing a knee brace after being hurt last week vs. Carolina and is out for (at least) tonight.

The Detroit News sportswiters issued their predictions and the Freep’s Helene St. James has a very nice breakdown on the Red Wings’ playoff chances. Michael Rosenberg writes that it feels like every team in the Western Conference (other than top seed Vancouver) feels day-to-day, saying:

The Wings have as good a shot as anybody. But they also have some concerns, starting with Zetterberg’s knee. It sounds like the Wings might need to win this series without Zetterberg — or at least, without a healthy Zetterberg. That’s a concern, and the Wings already have more concerns about this Red Wings team than they normally do at this time of year.

The Wings allowed 241 goals, more than any other playoff team. Their goal differential of plus-20 was 11th in the league. Mostly, though, there is the sense that there is no bedrock there, no clear area of superiority.

During the playoffs you’ll want to tune into the On the Wings blog along with Winging it in Motown and the official Detroit Red Wings blog. America Jr has a nice interview with Red Wings Chris Chelios at the Red Wings media event, but we’ll take you out with the Red Wings 2010/2011 hits:

Photo Friday: Team Spirit of Detroit by Maia C

Team Spirit of Detroit

Maia warns you that she likes purple and cats. She writes that the Spirit of Detroit is the iconic statue for the city. When a Detroit team is in the playoffs, the statue is attired in the team’s jersey. She says there’s a reason one of Detroit’s nicknames is Hockeytown (and there’s a reason that Detroit is one of the greatest sports towns in the country).

Be sure to check it out bigger. She has tons of great sets including Detroit Zoo Irises 2009, Greenfield Village October 2008, Downtown Detroit and Rivera Court, Detroit Institute of Arts (slideshow).

Skate over to her Flickriver and GO WINGS!!

Sportacular Tuesday: Rivalry, Tiger comics, Pistons preview and waving to McCarty

When you’re feeling that the politics is getting too heavy, there’s always sports.

…except for last weekend of course, when politics was a welcome relief for UM and MSU fans. After getting pasted by a combined 91-24, the state of Michigan is assured of a Big Ten victory on Saturday as the Michigan State University Spartans travel to Ann Arbor and the Big House to face the University of Michigan Wolverines for bragging rights and the Paul Bunyan Trophy. You can read all about the trophy and the game at Michigan vs Michigan State Football Rivalry from Absolute Michigan.

Over there to the right is just a bit of The Best Thing I Saw on These Internets This Week: The Season of Much Woe by Samara Pearlstein of Roar of the Tigers. Relive all the shock, all the outrage, all the Spazzosaurus and be sure to tell her how cool it is so she’ll do the next installment!!

Darren McCarty by radiospike photography
Darren McCarty by radiospike photography

The Detroit Bad Boys are getting ready for the NBA season to start and report that power forward Jason Maxiell will test the waters of free agency next year. Bummer, but hopefully that means he plays harder than ever. In their 2008-09 Pistons Preview, they say (only half-jokingly) that the biggest offseason move was the Flip Saunders for Amir Johnson trade. Over at Ball Don’t Lie, crazy Canadian blogger turned crazy Canadian blogger with a Yahoo contract J.E. Skeets has a Pistons season preview that says the Pistons may miss Flip in crunch time and Need4Sheed feels it’s Larry O-Brien or Bust for the Pistons core of Billups, Prince and Rasheed.

Finally, in some depressing news, the Detroit Red Wings waived 36-year-old Darren McCarty. If he clears waivers, he’ll be assigned to Grand Rapids.

For those of you who are thinking that I forget to mention the Detroit Lions, I didn’t.

2008 Detroit Red Wings bring the Stanley Cup to Hockeytown!

Welcome Back, Stanley! by radiospike photography

Welcome Back, Stanley!, photo by radiospike photography Originally posted at Michigan in Pictures.

Spike writes that this photo was taken at 10:58pm on June 4, 2008 as the Detroit Red Wings defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins to secure their 11th Stanley Cup. He has a ton of great Wings shots and says that his complete gallery of Red Wings photos will be on sale within hours.

For a while it looked to Wingnuts like the Red Wings were going to take fans to the edge of heaven and leave them there after a crushing game 5 loss. Last night fans gathered around their TVs, in the Joe Louis Arena and (lucky few) at Mellon Arena where their beloved Wings:

…played a perfect road game Wednesday night at Mellon Arena, defeating the Pittsburgh Penguins, 3-2, in Game 6 of the 2008 Stanley Cup Final to go wire-to-wire as the best team in the National Hockey League this season.

“It’s never easy,” Wings goalie Chris Osgood said. “Toughest trophy in sports to win; it lives for that name every year, that nickname. It was difficult, again. Pittsburgh is a great young team … gave us all we could handle. Probably one of the most difficult series I’ve played in a while. They have a talented team. They held on right to the end again. They kept pushing us still.”

The Red Wings’ players, coaches and staff will participate in a parade to celebrate the 2008 Stanley Cup championship tomorrow (Friday, June 6) starting at 11 AM. The parade will end with a celebration rally at Hart Plaza in downtown Detroit. Click for all the details!

You can check Wikipedia’s 2008 Stanley Cup Playoffs entry for the Wings route to Lord Stanley’s Cup. Here’s a slideshow of photos from the Detroit Red Wings 2008 playoff run on Flickr (just the photos) and you’ll also want check out the Detroit Red Wings group, and this slideshow of Game 6 photos from the Red Wings site.

Give us more!! Post related links, photos, articles, videos and your thoughts about the Wings 11th Stanley Cup in the comments!

Absolute Michigan's Tribute Logo

The Week for May 26 – June 1, 2008


four tops by bkromer
(Lake Erie Metropark)

The big stories heading into the week are the playoff runs of the Detroit Pistons (Eastern Conference Finals v Celtics) and the Detroit Red Wings (Stanley Cup v the Pittsburgh Penguins). Both teams have won 2 (Pistons @ 2-2 and Wings at 2-0).

Photos in the Absolute Michigan pool on Flickr include shots from the Detroit Electronic Music Festival, some of the latest morels we’ve seen in recent years and a baby fox that rocked the cuteometer to 11.

Our Michigan May Event Calendar says that we can look forward to the Mancelona Bass Festival and the Red Bull Air Race in Detroit this weekend. Monday was of course Memorial Day and you might enjoy this story from last year about Michigan’s first Memorial Day.

Photo Friday: Eyes Wide Open by radiospike photography

Eyes Wide Open by radiospike photography

This is one of a number of great photos of the Detroit Red Wings (slideshow) that Spike has for your viewing pleasure – a perfect way to warm up for the 2008 Stanley Cup vs the Pittsburgh Penguins.

You can tell from this set – and others like Detroit Pistons and Barack Obama – that Spike really excels in portrait photography. He has all kinds of shots that you can dive into in his favorites and also at radiospike.com.

Go Wings!!!