On Nicklas Lidstrom: The Pursuit of Perfection

Four years after being released in Sweden, Nicklas Lidstrom‘s biography is getting a bit of a makeover and an English release. Originally titled Lidstrom: Captain Fantastic, the update carries the name Nicklas Lidstrom: The Pursuit of Perfection.

Disclaimer: Not being Swedish-speaking, I never read the original. As such, I can’t speak to how much the actual content changed between the Swedish and English releases. While the increased page count (roughly 200 in the original compared to 278 [plus some pages of photos] in the new edition) would imply significant new content, it could also be due to a formatting change or the addition of an appendix including Lidstrom’s stats and records. The new book’s final chapter does reference events that occurred after the original’s release, so at least some of the content is new.

I’ve stated in the past that I like biographies that give a different view to the stories we already know. In the Internet Age, with events reported on from seemingly every angle in real-time, that gets harder and harder to do. Lidstrom’s biography is no different on that front. This being a second release makes it even more difficult, as the chapter discussing his injury during the 2009 Western Conference Finals might have been shocking had it not been revealed four years ago.

What makes Lidstrom’s biography unique is what made Lidstrom himself unique: consistency. Every chapter carries the same thread forward, showing how Lidstrom worked like a machine at every level of his career.

A chapter about his youth playing days? Here’s a quote from a coach describing how he was different even then. His rookie year in the NHL? Here’s Brad McCrimmon saying virtually the same thing. His international career? Here’s Peter Forsberg. His NHL breakout? Wayne Gretzky. His ascension to the captaincy? Steve Yzerman. The end of his career? Drew Doughty.

At every level of his career it would appear that the biggest names on the stage recognized just how unique Lidstrom was. Reading those players gushing over Lidstrom is a big part of what makes this book fun.

My personal favorite story from the book would be the one that’s also the most painful to me as a fan, as Lidstrom describes how much it hurt to lose Game Seven of the 2009 Stanley Cup Finals. To see that it still haunts Lidstrom shows his humanity as a contrast to the machine-like performance he’s so famous for.

One final note: The book’s cover carries a bit of a lie.

I read that as “Nicklas Lidstrom with Gunnar Nordstrom and Bob Duff.” An autobiography with help from a couple professional writers. Which would be acceptable; I don’t think anyone would have been surprised if Lidstrom had narrated his story and allowed the writers to shape it as necessary.

The problem the book is in the third person. I don’t know how much was written by Nordstrom and how much came from Duff but – aside from the photo captions – it would appear none of it was written by Lidstrom himself. As such, it’s not so much “with” Nordstrom and Duff as it is “by” them. That might be a small thing but I do think it’s worth noting.

Nicklas Lidstrom: The Pursuit of Perfection is scheduled for release next week, on October 1, 2019.

Red Wings Hold Off Kings for 7-4 Win

The Los Angeles Kings scored the final three goals Monday night but it wasn’t enough to recover from Detroit’s early scoring, with the Red Wings holding on for a 7-4 victory to kick off their West Coast road trip.

The Kings were already down 7-1 when they scored three goals in the final 7:34 of the game.

Dustin Brown made it 7-2 when he picked up a loose puck in front of Howard and whipped it past him.

Wayne Simmonds added another goal with 1:05 left to play, poking the puck past Howard from the top of the crease.

Brad Richardson finished off the game’s scoring with 21 seconds remaining, tipping a Matt Greene chance past Howard.

Michal Handzus had opened the scoring at 4:09 of the first, banging home a rebound chance from the side of the net on a Los Angeles power play.

Drew Miller replied for the Red Wings at 6:37 of the period, banking a shot off of LA goalie Jonathan Quick from an acute angle.

Detroit took the lead just 30 seconds later when Danny Cleary knifed a Jiri Hudler shot out of the air and past Quick from the slot.

A Nicklas Lidstrom blast from the blue line off a feed from Mike Modano made it 3-1 with 1:12 left in the first. It was Detroit’s first of two power play goals on the night.

Pavel Datsyuk scored the Wings’ second power play goal with 42 seconds left in the second period. Datsyuk held the puck in at the blue line and worked his way into the left faceoff circle to snap a shot over Quick’s glove.

Darren Helm made it 5-1 at 2:01 of the third period, clearing the puck past Drew Doughty at the point in the Detroit end and racing down the ice on a shorthanded breakaway before beating Quick five-hole.

Miller notched his second of the night at 5:53, knocking the rebound of a Kris Draper chance past Quick and ending the goaltender’s night.

Hudler wrapped up Detroit’s scoring with 9:38 to play, taking a cross-ice feed from Jakub Kindl and putting the puck into the open side of Jonathan Bernier‘s net as a power play expired.

The Red Wings finished the night with two power play goals on four chances with the extra attacker. Los Angeles went one-for-four on the power play.

Howard made 35 saves on 39 shots in picking up the win. Quick took the loss with 18 saves on 24 shots, while Bernier stopped two of the three chances he faced.

The Red Wings continue their road trip on Wednesday in Anaheim.


The Red Wings were without defenseman Brian Rafalski and forward Johan Franzen. Rafalski missed his second consecutive game with back spasms while Franzen was allowed to remain home in Detroit following the birth of his first child.