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Who else plays like Holmstrom?

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Nobody except maybe Hornqvist plays like Homer.

Smyth plays much more like Shanahan at 5-on-5, Ciccarelli was a standard up-and-down winger and that's how he got more than half of his goals, and Cleary is NOTHING like Homer 5-on-5, although he can play the net-front presence if needed. Franzen also plays much more like Shanahan than Homer. Shanahan, as a matter of fact, could also play the net-front Homer role, though not as well.

With the kind of puck-possession and cycling the Wings have been able to run with two forwards down low and two defensemen on the point, Homer's expert ability to screen the goalie, and turn a shot near the goal into a very dangerous scoring chance is something most teams would consider 'interference' even without entering the crease or making contact.

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I remember Conklin said last year that Homer might have the best shot on the team or something like that. Bryz definitely whiffed on Homer's goal but it was also a pretty good shot.

My personal opinion....it was a brutal shot by NHL standards, which is good because I think that was part of the reason it went in. If it was a bullet shot, I think it gets stopped without much problem, but I think Bryzgalov was a little mixed up by it.

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My personal opinion....it was a brutal shot by NHL standards, which is good because I think that was part of the reason it went in. If it was a bullet shot, I think it gets stopped without much problem, but I think Bryzgalov was a little mixed up by it.

It was brutal because it knuckled or because it didn't have much velocity or...?

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Wings' Tomas Holmstrom is the guy players love to hit


The Detroit News

With about a dozen seconds left in Game 3, Sunday evening, Ed Jovanovski clearly had quite enough of Tomas Holmstrom.

The big defenseman for the Coyotes started shoving Holmstrom, in front of the Phoenix goal. Then, there was a little stick work: perhaps a cross-check, followed by a bit of high-sticking. And then Jovanovski resorted to some glove work: a couple of shoves into Holmstrom's back, and then a little higher, purposefully knocking Homer's helmet crooked.

One 6-foot-3 guy, Jovanovski, who is listed at 218 pounds, taking his liberties on another 6-3 guy, Holmstrom, listed as 20-pounds lighter. The fans warmed to the situation, with a bit of a growl rising in the arena.

Finally, a whistle sounded. At 19:54 of the third period and with the Coyotes in control, 4-2, against the Red Wings, referee Bill McCreary called Jovanovski for roughing.

If it had been a multiple-choice question for McCreary, he could easily have checked off "all of the above."

That is Tomas Holmstrom's workplace: Full of physical and verbal jousting, body blows and expletives, assaults with sticks and malicious remarks about one's ancestry.

And, apparently, no small amount of fun, for the man the denizens of Hockeytown affectionately call "Homer."

In the scheme of things, Holmstrom's provocation Sunday was a bit too late, with six seconds remaining in a game that did not comprise one of the best of efforts by the Wings. But Holmstrom did his job, aggravating the Coyotes to the point of distraction. With a bit more time, it might have been a disastrous penalty, leaving the Wings with a two-man advantage and, with goalie Jimmy Howard pulled, a sixth attacker poised.

The hope is that "Homer just being Homer" will have more of an impact, earlier, tonight as the Wings face their biggest game of the season.

Fun to fire up

Asked Monday what percentage of goalies and defensemen talk trash, and what proportion shun determinedly profane conversation for using their sticks, Holmstrom merely smiles that mischievous Homer smile.

"Trash talk? Everybody does it," he said, laughing. "Everybody. It's usually the second time I am around the net, so let's say 50 percent of the time, at least, trash talk.

"Hitting me with their sticks? Yeah, all of the time. Everybody," he said, smiling as if he enjoys every bit of it. "Every time, they are hitting. Every time, 100 percent of them do it -- defense, the goalies."

Over the course of his career, he said, a little bit less of the talk is trash directed at him and more of it at lobbying referees.

"Usually, now, they go to the ref," Holmstrom said. "With all of the battling around there, for sure, they want to give the ref a heads up that, 'Look at the guy!' To see if I'm in the crease, you know?"

One tactic the goalies have relinquished a bit, over the years, is whacking Holmstrom with their sticks.

Homer's theory is that it's simply too much of a distraction, something that worked in favor of the Red Wings too often to be an effective foil, against him.

"It was more, before," he said. "I think they know I'm going to stand around the net. So, it's pretty much, 'Let him be,' and they are more trying to concentrate on where the puck is. But, of course, once in a while they have a blowout, and then all hell breaks loose."

Cue the big Holmstrom smile!

"But then, I know I did a good job," he said, clearly relishing the thought.

Hacking and whacking. Expletives uttered. They are hockey tactics born of the frustration of playing against him.

And judging by Holmstrom's growing numbers, they are working a bit less frequently, over time.

Of all of the players who entered the playoffs this year, he ranked eighth in points, with 81, just five behind teammate Brian Rafalski for sixth place.

He ranked seventh in goals, with 38, just one behind teammate Henrik Zetterberg and only a half dozen goals out of third place.

On Sunday, less than 15 minutes after he unloaded on Holmstrom and the game was over, Jovanovski stood in the visitors' locker room at Joe Louis Arena, the very vision of cool, unemotional comportment. Obviously, it was just another day at work, with Holmstrom.

"It's more physical than trash-talking or anything like that," said Jovanovski, a native of Windsor. "He's a guy that has had a lot of success in the league.

"I mean, what am I going to say to him, you know?

"I think it's just trying to get good body position on him and defend," Jovanovski said. "I think when the puck comes up to the point, especially on the power play, you want to see if you can move him out of the way, if you can.

"But he's just going to come back."

Whatever it takes

Playing Holmstrom just about perfectly can backfire on the Coyotes, or any other team, Jovanovski admitted, because a defenseman blanketing Homer can devolve into both players obstructing a goalie's sight.

"It can kind of go off on a double screen," Jovanovski said. "So it's a tough situation."

Adrian Aucoin, the Phoenix defenseman who has guarded Holmstrom plenty, so far, in the conference quarterfinals, said that while there is plenty of trash-talking, it does not help much.

Playing Holmstrom, he said, is a matter of adopting whichever tactic seems to fit the situation, at a moment's notice, in one of the fastest sports around.

"A lot of times things go both ways with him," Aucoin said. "Some of the times, you're moving him. Sometimes, you're just taking a shot at him. It's kind of the read-and-react approach we have to take."

When asked if he uses his stick on Holmstrom, Coyotes goalie Ilya Bryzgalov said, "Not yet!"

"No, no, no, no, no, I think we respect each other during the game, in front of the net," Bryzgalov said. "But, I mean, after all, I respect him like a player, like a person who is doing the same thing as me."

The Russian-born Bryzgalov, at 6-3 and 210 pounds, is no slightly-built man himself. But the nominee for the Vezina Trophy, as best goalie of the year, is a bit more cerebral than the average hockey player. Known to be well-read, Bryzgalov quizzes a reporter about the author of "Crime and Punishment," and derives a correct answer -- Fyodor Dostoevsky -- before continuing to talk about playing against Holmstrom.

"I think I can get me out of my game if I start talking to him dirty all of the time," Bryzgalov said. "Because, in most of the contact with him, I don't understand English slang, yet, anyway! So it's kind of worthless.

"I don't do anything dirty with the stick," he said. "Sometimes I just try to move his leg to the side, a little bit, to distract him.

"But that's it," he said, laughing. "Nothing dirty! Nothing dirty!"


Great Article about Homer!!! :thumbup:

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Holmstrom was moved to the fourth line, with Justin Abdelkader and Drew Miller. Eaves was reunited with Helm and Kris Draper. The Henrik Zetterberg-Valtteri Filppula-Todd Bertuzzi line remained intact.

"I change it every year this time of year, from game to game, whatever works," Babcock said. "We didn't think they were playing with enough pace. Homer's a real battler and net-front presence, doesn't skate as good as Cleary. Who knows what we'll do for Game 5, with the matchups going their way (last change as home team)."


Obviously they got more speed with the Bear-Pav-Mule line. Hopefully that was all it was and nothing along the lines of Homer being injured again or just not playing hard enough.

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rewatching the scores and Homer's pass to Dats for the 3rd goal was SICK. no looker through two defenders right on his tape in front of the net. insane pass.

Jovo does it pretty good on the Yotes PP

minus the goalie interference calls. he gets away with murder - that first goal should not have counted, and if it was Homer it would have been waved off instantly.

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There are NO player that even come close to playing Homers style !! He seems to like the punishment he takes in front of the net as he never backs down .There are some players who try to play his style but he is # 1 and no one else is even close . LEAVE HIM ON THE TOP LINE MIKE AND GET HIM RESIGNED KENNY!!!!

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