Lidstrom, Datsyuk Claim NHL Hardware

Two Detroit Red Wings claimed trophies at the 2006 NHL Awards Show on Thursday night. Defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom walked away with the James Norris Memorial Trophy while forward Pavel Datsyuk was given the Lady Byng Trophy.

Lidstrom earned the Norris Trophy – awarded to the league’s best defenseman – for the fourth time in five years. He has been nominated for the award seven of the last eight years. Leading the league’s defensemen in scoring, Lidstrom beat out Anaheim’s Scott Niedermayer, the 2004 winner, and Dallas’ Sergei Zubov.

Datsyuk’s 22 penalty minutes in 75 games played helped him edge out San Jose’s Patrick Marleau and Tampa Bay’s Brad Richards, who was awarded the trophy in 2004. He becomes the first Red Wing since Marcel Dionne in 1975 to win the Lady Byng Trophy, awarded for “sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with a high standard of playing ability.”

San Jose’s Joe Thornton and Jaromir Jagr of the New York Rangers split the MVP awards, with Thornton claiming the Hart Memorial Trophy and Jagr claiming the Lester B. Pearson Award.

Calgary’s Miikka Kiprusoff won the Vezina Trophy as the league’s best goalie while Rod Brind’Amour of the Stanley Cup Champion Carolina Hurricanes was named the best defensive forward with the Frank J. Selke Trophy.

After a heated race, Alexander Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals beat out Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins for the Calder Memorial Trophy, awarded to the rookie of the year.

Buffalo head coach was awarded the Jack Adams Award as the coach of the year.

Rallying Late

After a slow start and difficulty with penalties, a late-game rally by the Red Wings brought them from behind to tie the Nashville Predators at 3 goals apiece.

The rematch against the Predators did not get off to as good a start as the Wings would have hoped. Just before the midway point in the first period, Detroit had to kill off a minute and sixteen seconds of a five-on-three Nashville power play resulting from overlapping penalties to Jiri Slegr and Kris Draper. The Predators were able to capitalize when Andy Delmore passed along the blue line to Kimmo Timonen, who one-timed a shot which deflected off the skate of Kirk Maltby and into the net past Dominik Hasek.

The Predators followed up their lead by clogging up the center ice area and keeping the Red Wings from setting up quality scoring plays in the Nashville zone. Many of the shots Detroit sent against goaltender Tomas Vokoun were blocked by Nashville players before they could even get to the net.

The Red Wings had a few power play chances of their own, including a high-sticking double minor to Steve Dubinsky early in the second period for clipping Brendan Shanahan on the nose. Even so, the Red Wings were unable to score, and then they ran into more penalty trouble.

This time, they had to kill off fifty-six seconds of Nashville’s five-on-three because of penalties to Tomas Holmstrom and Nick Lidstrom. The three men out aggressively harrassed the Nashville players and kept them from getting comfortable enough to set up a scoring play, until the first penalty had just expired. Just as Holmstrom was stepping out of the box to head up to the play, Timonen sent a blue line pass to Delmore, who one-timed a wrist shot past Hasek.

Detroit finally got a five-on-three power play of their own early in the third period, on calls to Legwand and Cale Hulse. Lidstrom passed the puck along the blue line to Brett Hull at the left point, and Hull sent off a one-timer which bounced off of Vokoun and into the net.

Unfortunately, the Predators used an unusual bounce to score once more and regain their two-goal lead. After a turnover at the blue line, Legwand fired a shot from close to the net. The puck bounced off of Scott Hartnell, then off of Mathieu Dandenault and over Hasek’s shoulder.

Finally, with less than four minutes to play, Kris Draper brought his team a goal and the momentum which went along with it. Draper deflected Steve Duchesne‘s point shot, but Vokoun was able to block. Draper tapped his own rebound into the net as he was falling to bring the Wings back within one, scoring a career-high fourteenth goal of the season.

Shanahan tied up the game a minute and a half later. Hull was unable to hit the original shot hard enough to get it into the net, but Shanahan grabbed the puck before Vokoun could cover it and stop the play. Just as on Draper’s goal, it took two tries to put the puck past Vokoun, and Shanahan made the successful shot while being knocked to the ice.

Pavel Datsyuk had a chance to put the game away before the end of regulation time, with Vokoun caught behind the net, but his shot rang off the goalpost and away from the crease. Neither team was able to score in the overtime period.

Shots on net were forty to twenty-four in Detroit’s favor. Their next game will be Saturday night against the Atlanta Thrashers.


Steve Yzerman plans to begin skating and accompany the team on next week’s West Coast trip, hopefully to return to the ice against one of the California teams”¦.. Dominik Hasek needs three more victories to tie Terry Sawchuk‘s franchise record for the highest number of victories in one season”¦.. Scotty Bowman needs four more victories to tie Jack Adams‘ franchise record for number of wins as the Red Wings’ head coach”¦”¦ Tonight’s tie, with Philadelphia’s loss to Carolina, has won the Red Wings the President’s Trophy and guaranteed them home ice advantage for every round of the playoffs.

Wings at Home on the Road

The Detroit Red Wings downed the Blues in St. Louis on Saturday, lengthening their road winning-streak to a team record of eight games.

Detroit started the scoring early, with Tomas Holmstrom putting a rebound past St. Louis netminder Brent Johnson 6:24 into the first period.

Luc Robitaille put the Wings up by two when he pushed in a rebound just over seven minutes later.

“The goal was a result of a great play by Steve Duchesne,” Robitaille said. “I just kept pushing at the puck.”

St. Louis struck back late in the period. Scott Mellanby fired a shot off the post but the puck hit Detroit goaltender Dominik Hasek and bounced in.

The Blues tied the game early in the second period when Cory Stillman put a power play goal past Hasek.

Detroit regained the lead on a Sergei Fedorov power play goal just past the midway point in the game.

Robitaille scored his second late in the second period. Jason Williams fed Robitaille a perfect pass at the side of the net, and Robitaille redirected it past Johnson to put Detroit up by two.

Detroit fought off a tough St. Louis attack early in the third and held the lead. With Johnson pulled for the extra attacker late in the game, Pavel Datsyuk added an empty net goal to cap the Wings’ 5-2 win.


Several Red Wings are nearing career milestones… Brendan Shanahan is at career goal 499, Sergei Fedorov is at career assist 499, Chris Chelios is four assists away from 700 career, and Scotty Bowman needs only eight more victories to tie Jack Adams for most by a Red Wings coach.

Lidstrom Finally Wins Norris Trophy

After three years of finishing second, Detroit’s Nicklas Lidstrom finally won the Norris Trophy, given to the NHL’s top defenseman.

Lidstrom, who finished as a runner-up to Rob Blake, Al MacInnis and Chris Pronger in the last three seasons, was almost a unanimous choice for the award. His closest competition was Colorado’s Ray Bourque, who was the co-winner of the NHL Fans Association’s Best Role Model Award earlier this season.

“Oh, it’s tough to find words to describe how I’m feeling right now,” said Lidstrom, who flew back to North America after leaving to spend the summer in Sweden. “I’m really proud and honored to get this trophy. I have to give a lot of credit to the coaching staff and the players surrounding me.”

Lidstrom was also runner-up for the Lady Byng Trophy, while Red Wings coach Scotty Bowman finished second in voting for the Jack Adams Award.