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Yzerman set to face Detroit for 1st time


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#1 Hockeytown0001

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Posted 16 February 2011 - 03:34 PM

Steve Yzerman said he's going to treat Thursday's game just like any of the other 81 his Tampa Bay Lightning will play this season.

"Honestly I'm trying to look at it as I want to watch the game and analyze it, take all the emotion out of it, and just think how does our team match against some of the best players in the game," Yzerman said during a conference call Monday. "I'm trying not to spend a lot of time thinking about the obvious."

The obvious is who his Lightning will be facing Thursday -- the visiting Detroit Red Wings. It will be the first time in 27 years -- since Yzerman was the fourth pick of the 1983 Entry Draft by the Wings -- that he'll be sitting in the opposite corner from the team for which he played and worked for most of the past three decades.

After a Hall of Fame playing career that ended after the 2006 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Yzerman moved into a front-office position, where he served as a vice president and worked with GM Ken Holland. This past summer, he made the biggest move of his career, leaving Detroit to take over as the general manager of the Lightning.

Yzerman knew when the schedule came out that he would see the Wings at some point this season, and that time finally has come.

"I don't think we should make this any more than one game," Yzerman said. "For us, I look at it as we're trying to win every game we can and we're playing against one of the best teams in the League. It's a nice test to see how we hold up against (Pavel) Datsyuk and (Henrik) Zetterberg and penetrate the best defense in the League.

"I'm not going to place too much emphasis on this game, but I'm curious to see how we play against Henrik and Pav and Nick (Lidstrom) and all these great players."

Yzerman always will feel a part of the Red Wings' organization.

He said he still watches their games when he can, and likes to see how they're doing. He also said his relationship with Holland and the rest of the Wings' front office staffers he worked with for so long hasn't really changed, either.

"It's really not much different," he said of his conversations with Holland now. "We're fighting for the same players and fighting for two points. But I was at a college game recently and talked to (Wings assistant GM) Jimmy Nill. It's different when you're with the same organization, you can talk about specific players, but in general our conversations never change. I still seek out (Holland's) advice on some of the decisions I've made throughout the course of the season."

Yzerman said he puts into practice one of the biggest things he learned from Holland -- patience.

"He put a lot of thought into every decision he made," said Yzerman. "He never made a rash decision. He thought it out and when he was comfortable with what he wants to do he makes the decision at that time. That's what I want to do."

So far his decision-making has been pretty strong.

He hired Guy Boucher as coach, and watched as Boucher guided the Lightning to the top of the Southeast Division and second place in the Eastern Conference. He's made changes to the roster when he thought it was necessary, with the biggest move the New Year's Day acquisition of goaltender Dwayne Roloson from the Islanders.

Roloson has gone 9-5-0 with a 2.63 goals-against average, .913 save percentage and four shutouts since joining the Lightning, who have gone 12-6-0 since he joined them.

"He's settled things down in net for us, had a couple really good games," said Yzerman. "He played Philly at home after All-Star break, and after we took an early lead Philly took the game to us and he locked it down and got a shutout for us. Mike (Smith) and Dan (Ellis) were having good games but we were having trouble with consistency. (Roloson) has played a long time, he's been a starter for a long time, and is just kind of a calming influence back there."

Despite the team's success, he isn't ready to call the season a success just quite yet.

"We had hoped, based on last year's team they were close to being a playoff team," he said. "If we could improve the team slightly we had a playoff contender, or a team that could contend for a playoff spot and that's what I feel we are. We're contending for a playoff spot and until we clinch that … I'll judge this season successful at end of the year.

"Right now, I want to clinch a playoff spot. Our goal at the start of the year was to make the playoffs, that's our No. 1 priority." -- Steve Yzerman "Right now, I want to clinch a playoff spot. Our goal at the start of the year was to make the playoffs, that's our No. 1 priority. Thinking about the conference, winning the division, that's premature. Goal No. 1 is to clinch a playoff spot. … I don't take that for granted. Once we get ourselves a playoff spot, we can talk about competing for our division with Washington."

While the public will be curious to see Yzerman's reactions when the Lightning play the Wings, Yzerman only is curious about how his team handles the evening.

"They talk about games as measuring sticks," he said. "However it goes, we assess our team, but one game isn't going to change things dramatically. Certainly we want to do well against one of the better teams in the League. They're one of the strongest teams with some of the best players in the League and it's a good opportunity to see how we fare against them."


"All done? Five bucks." - Pavel Datsyuk after an interview
"Very few cities in the NHL have the history or the following of the Detroit Red Wings." - Steve Yzerman

 

 


#2 egroen

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Posted 16 February 2011 - 04:23 PM

Fight Night III :)
Actually, I wouldn't be surprised if Tampa torched us this week.
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#3 stevieisthebest

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Posted 16 February 2011 - 04:24 PM

I like the part where he says "it's a nice test to see how we hold up against (Pavel) Datsyuk and (Henrik) Zetterberg and penetrate the best defense in the League." Nice to see that someone thinks our D is good.
"15,395 Days since they won the cup...3 seconds left, THE DETROiT RED WINGS ARE THE STANLEY CUP CHAMPIONS!!!"

"Lemiuex was hammered by Darren McCarty, and he is being helped into the locker room."


Thanks Steve! #19
Thanks Nick! #5

#4 wingslogo19

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Posted 16 February 2011 - 05:20 PM

Really good read :thumbup:
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#5 HankthaTank

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Posted 16 February 2011 - 05:27 PM

I like the part where he says "it's a nice test to see how we hold up against (Pavel) Datsyuk and (Henrik) Zetterberg and penetrate the best defense in the League." Nice to see that someone thinks our D is good.

He really hasn't been watching us then lol. Should be pretty cool to face Stevie's team. This is the moment a lot of us have been waiting for since he took the job. Excite Posted Image
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#6 wingfan1991

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Posted 16 February 2011 - 07:16 PM

Cup Final preview :)

#7 Barrie

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Posted 16 February 2011 - 07:51 PM

Welcome home Stevie, even if it's for a night or two.
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#8 Electrophile

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Posted 16 February 2011 - 07:54 PM

Well, he's not really facing us, since he's not going to be on the ice nor is he the coach, but it will be great to hear the nice, thunderous ovation he better get.

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#9 HankthaTank

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Posted 16 February 2011 - 07:56 PM

The game is in Tampa.
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#10 Aussie_Wing

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Posted 16 February 2011 - 08:09 PM

Cup Final preview :)

As impressive as they've been, I don't see Tampa Bay getting out of the 1st round.

Ken Holland: He’s (Mursak) a young guy, provides energy, can skate, he’s a puck hound.


#11 Barrie

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Posted 16 February 2011 - 08:16 PM

The game is in Tampa.

lol oopps!
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#12 GMRwings1983

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Posted 16 February 2011 - 08:21 PM

It'd be awesome if he takes off his suit in the press box, revealing a Wings jersey underneath. :hehe:
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#13 eva unit zero

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Posted 16 February 2011 - 10:31 PM

It'd be awesome if he takes off his suit in the press box, revealing a Wings jersey underneath. :hehe:


It would be more awesome if he walks out on the ice and tears open his shirt, revealing the winged wheel. Then he takes to the air and goes up to his box.
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#14 stevieisthebest

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Posted 16 February 2011 - 10:48 PM

It would be more awesome if he walks out on the ice and tears open his shirt, revealing the winged wheel. Then he takes to the air and goes up to his box.

It would be even more awesome if he announces a trade of Steven Stamkos to the wings for a gatorade bottle and some hockey tape and then becomes the GM for the wings.
"15,395 Days since they won the cup...3 seconds left, THE DETROiT RED WINGS ARE THE STANLEY CUP CHAMPIONS!!!"

"Lemiuex was hammered by Darren McCarty, and he is being helped into the locker room."


Thanks Steve! #19
Thanks Nick! #5

#15 Hockeytown0001

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Posted 17 February 2011 - 10:27 AM

Very strange feeling.

"All done? Five bucks." - Pavel Datsyuk after an interview
"Very few cities in the NHL have the history or the following of the Detroit Red Wings." - Steve Yzerman

 

 


#16 Hockeymom1960

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Posted 17 February 2011 - 12:15 PM

http://detnews.com/a...h-as-playing’

Great article here. I like how he says only the Wings fans recognize him down there. I didn't know his family was still up here.

#17 Crymson

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Posted 17 February 2011 - 12:42 PM

I expect him to order his team to lose.

#18 Travis

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Posted 17 February 2011 - 03:03 PM

It'd be awesome if he takes off his suit in the press box, revealing a Wings jersey underneath. :hehe:



It would be more awesome if he walks out on the ice and tears open his shirt, revealing the winged wheel. Then he takes to the air and goes up to his box.



It would be even more awesome if he announces a trade of Steven Stamkos to the wings for a gatorade bottle and some hockey tape and then becomes the GM for the wings.


Stamkos takes a pass from Roloson 2:18 into OT and fires it into his own net, winning it for the Wings. As the crowd sits in stunned silence, he takes off his jersey revealing the Wings jersey underneath. The crowd begins to boo as Yzerman takes the ice wearing a Wings sweater of his own. The Lightning announcers shout, 'say it isn't so!' as the camera fades to black.

WE'LL SEE YOU NEXT WEEK ON HOCKEY WRESTLING ENTERTAINMENT

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#19 HankthaTank

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Posted 17 February 2011 - 03:12 PM

Stamkos takes a pass from Roloson 2:18 into OT and fires it into his own net, winning it for the Wings. As the crowd sits in stunned silence, he takes off his jersey revealing the Wings jersey underneath. The crowd begins to boo as Yzerman takes the ice wearing a Wings sweater of his own. The Lightning announcers shout, 'say it isn't so!' as the camera fades to black.

WE'LL SEE YOU NEXT WEEK ON HOCKEY WRESTLING ENTERTAINMENT

Posted Image Ohhh the old days of Monday Night Raw.... funny stuff.

Stevie ,nothing personal but I would like to beat your team 8-1 tonight, thanks.
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#20 Barrie

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Posted 17 February 2011 - 10:56 PM

Nothing personal Stevie, just business...
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