Looks like the second round of the playoffs is about to take shape…
With the Red Wings out of the playoffs, it does mean an opportunity for some of their players to represent their country at the IIF World Championship. USA Hockey announced today that Jimmy Howard and Muskegon native Justin Abdelkader will join the American team for the tournament in Helsinki and Stockholm.
MiHockey writer Dave Waddell will have more from the Red Wings’ locker room clear-out day later on, but here’s a quick hits summary from the DRW Twitter feed:
- After skating this morning, Pavel Datsyuk said he is still trying to decide on whether he wants to play for Team Russia or not.
- Nicklas Lidstrom said he will be trying to make a decision about his future prior to the start of free agency (July 1). The Wings’ captain said that Nashville coach Barry Trotz asked him to come back for another season during the handshake line at the conclusion of their first-round series.
- Tomas Holmstrom said he and Lidstrom have not discussed their futures, and that he doesn’t have a timetable on his own decision.
- Patrick Eaves expects that he will be able to play next season. The forward has been battling concussion-like symptoms.
Check out our article on the US National U18 team winning gold in the Czech Republic right here.
Here’s Pontiac native Danton Cole, head coach of the US team that just won gold, addressing his players, and the victory celebration that follows.
Outside the Mitten
We gave the Michi-gamer nod to the four players from the above team who call Michigan home. Check it out right here.
Phoenix secured their spot in the second round with a convincing 4-0 win over Chicago in the sixth game of their series. That means that the Western Conference match-ups are already decided – St. Louis will take on Los Angeles, while the Coyotes will take on the Predators.
The Rangers avoided elimination by topping the Senators 3-2 last night. Game 7 will be Thursday night at Madison Square Garden.
New Jersey will try to force a Game 7 in their series with Florida tonight.
Check it out
You should read Darren Eliot’s take on what the Wings need to do this summer.
We’ll have more USA Hockey coverage throughout the week. Other than that, more Red Wings talk and the like tomorrow sounds pretty good.