Wings center Darren Helm feels fortunate to have the opportunity to be playing in the playoffs again. Helm played just one game last season because of a back injury, missing the postseason. He sat out the first 14 games this season (back, groin injuries).
Uh, OK. This is different, even a bit awkward, like meeting the guy who took your plush corner office. It's different in more ways than we've ever seen, as the Wings make their first foray into the Eastern Conference playoffs and immediately get to face the East's beasts, the Boston Bruins. Be careful what you wish for, right?
So will it be the Pavel Datsyuk-Justin Abdelkader-Johan Franzen line out on the ice in the opener of the Eastern Conference quarterfinal series Friday? Or will it be the Datsyuk-Abdelkader-Gustav Nyquist line going against the Bruins in Boston? Or will it be the well, you get the picture.
Franzen has been known for having big playoff series during his career with the Wings, highlighted by his 13 postseason goals during the Wings' Stanley Cup run in 2008, followed by 12 more to spark the Wings' run to the Cup Finals in 2009.
Red Wings captain Henrik Zetterberg was out on the ice Thursday morning during practice. Zetterberg, who had back surgery in late February, was on the ice for 30 minutes, but didn't participate in any contact drills.
Wednesday it was defenseman Jonathan Ericsson saying he will go on the ice Thursday for the first time since having surgery in late March to stabilize a fracture in his finger and repair a partially-torn tendon.
In the basement of their family's home in Mimico, Ont., Brendan and Reilly Smith staged some epic Stanley Cup Playoff series as kids, with the help of their older brother, Rory.
Ted Kulfan of The Detroit News breaks down the first-round matchups in the Eastern Conference playoffs, with predictions on each series.
Ted Kulfan of The Detroit News breaks down the first-round matchups in the Western Conference playoffs, with predictions on each series.
Weise scored':08 into overtime and Carey Price stopped nine shots in the extra period, giving the Canadiens a 5-4 victory in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference quarterfinal playoff series on Wednesday.
Zetterberg would like to play in this first-round series against Boston, and because it doesn't begin until Friday, he essentially has two bonus days to get well.
In the past, Niklas Kronwall played well his part for the Red Wings: role player. That was in the past. Now Kronwall has become a leader for a team disappointed by an earlier-than-hoped-for exit from the playoffs in 2013 to a team hungry with excitement for the 2014 postseason, which begins Friday in Boston.
The checking is closer, intimidation a more often used weapon. The intensity of the moment is beyond anything else experienced playing the sport.
At least two West teams that earned at least 100 points are sure to be gone after the first round because they're playing teams that also had 100 points or more — the Blues (111 points) play the Blackhawks (107) and the Sharks (111) take on the Kings (100).
Who are the Boston Bruins and how did they end up with the best record in the NHL this season? Ted Kulfan of The Detroit News provides a breakdown on six key forwards, four defensemen and goalie Tuukka Rask.
Henrik Zetterberg isn't ready to play, but he is ready to skate a little. Zetterberg will take part at the beginning of the Red Wings' practice Tuesday, but he won't skate hard, and not for very long.
'Detroit can cause some problems.' That's the prevailing opinion of NBC analyst Pierre McGuire, who during a teleconference Monday with alanyst Ed Olczyk, talked about the first-round series that begins Friday in Boston.
The first-round opponent this time happens to be the Boston Bruins, who won the Presidents Trophy for the league's best record.
Former Red Wings star Brendan Shanahan is officially on the job in the Toronto Maple Leafs' front office.
Barry Trotz, the NHL's longest tenured head coach with one team and the only coach the Predators have ever known, will not be back for a 16th season with Nashville.
Facing a quality opponent in need of a victory, the Red Wings were able to rest several key players, yet had enough on hand to defeat the slumping St. Louis Blues 3-0.
The Red Wings vs. Bruins series in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs will begin on Friday -- not on Thursday, as the team originally believed.
Sedin, who scored two goals in the first period in the season finale, was injured in the second period. Sedin crumpled to the ice after getting hit in the numbers by Byron in the Vancouver zone with 2:44 left in the period.
Proven time and again this season is that the Red Wings must play right to win. That makes the last game of the regular season Sunday important, despite the Blue Jackets securing the seventh seed in the playoffs Saturday.
Alfredsson, who has done so much to lead the Red Wings and provide an offensive spark with Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk out of the lineup for long stretches this season, will not play in St. Louis on Sunday.
This season, the Bruins have largely returned to the form that carried them to the Stanley Cup three seasons ago. They are a powerful offensive team with considerable size and physicality that stresses defense.
Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman said Malone wouldn't travel with the team for Tampa Bay's final regular-season game Sunday against the Washington Capitals. The Lightning will meet Montreal in the first round of the playoffs.
Oddly enough, the one guy who had nothing to do with the Red Wings' prized playoff streak was among the most relieved when it was extended earlier this week.
Jurco is still staying at the same local hotel he checked into when the Red Wings called him up in late December. But he doesn't mind. And he's not doing it out of fear he will be sent back to Grand Rapids.
They learned a great deal about the game played amid some desperation in the top league in the world. But in the playoffs, the action ratchets up significantly.