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.

Hasek, Modano Among Hockey Hall Class of 2014

Former Detroit Red Wings Dominik Hasek and Mike Modano were part of the group named as the Hockey Hall of Fame’s Class of 2014 on Monday.

The pair join Peter Forsberg and Rob Blake as player inductees. Late coach Pat Burns was selected as a builder while referee Bill McCreary also got the nod.

Hasek won two Stanley Cups with the Red Wings and played 735 total NHL games split between the Chicago Blackhawks, Buffalo Sabres, Red Wings, and Ottawa Senators. He won the Vezina Trophy as the NHL’s top goalie six times in the 1990s with the Sabres and finished his career with a .922 save percentage and 2.20 goals-against average.

Hasek notably retired twice, only to resume his career. After Detroit’s 2002 Stanley Cup, Hasek called it quits only to return to the Red Wings a season later. He retired again after his second Cup in 2008 but came back for two more seasons in Europe.

Modano was long the face of the Dallas Stars franchise, having been drafted by the Minnesota North Stars and playing twenty seasons with the organization. He won his lone Stanley Cup in 1999 over Hasek’s Sabres on a controversial goal by Brett Hull.

Modano completed his career in 2010-11 with one season playing for his hometown Red Wings. In 1499 career NHL games he had 561 goals and 813 assists for 1374 points, most all-time among Americans.

The Class of 2014 will be inducted on November 17.

Conklin Stops 29 as Red Wings Blank Avalanche

Red Wings backup goaltender Ty Conklin stopped all 29 shots he faced Saturday night, helping Detroit hold off an early push by the Colorado Avalanche en route to a 3-0 win.

The Avalanche outshot the Red Wings 11-10 in the first period and carried the play early on but Conklin kept them off the scoresheet, giving his team time to find their game.

Johan Franzen finally got Detroit on the board with 2:19 left in the second period. As the Red Wings gained the Colorado zone, Jiri Hudler dropped a pass to Franzen at the top of the left circle. Franzen snapped a shot over Semyon Varlamov‘s shoulder and into the top corner of the net to make it 1-0.

Henrik Zetterberg made it 2-0 with 8:02 remaining in the third period on a give and go with Pavel Datsyuk. Zetterberg gained the Colorado zone and passed it off to Datsyuk in the high slot. Datsyuk gave it right back and Zetterberg one-timed a shot into the same corner as Franzen had scored in earlier.

Datsyuk added an empty net goal in the game’s closing minutes to wrap up the scoring.

Varlamov stopped 36 of 38 shots Detroit sent at him.

Neither team scored a power play goal on the night. Detroit had four chances with the extra attacker and Colorado had three.

The Red Wings are now off until Thursday when they host the Vancouver Canucks.


Before the game, the Avalanche raised Peter Forsberg‘s #21 to the rafters.

Patrick Eaves was back in the Red Wings’ lineup, with Tomas Holmstrom replacing him as a healthy scratch.

Sweep Success: Red Wings Rout Avalanche to Advance to Conference Finals

The Detroit Red Wings took advantage of an injured and nearly-eliminated Colorado Avalanche Thursday night, scoring eight goals en route to an 8-2 victory to finish off a four-game sweep.

All eight goals were scored by Detroit’s Swedish contingent. Johan Franzen had his second hat trick of the series while Henrik Zetterberg and Mikael Samuelsson each scored twice. Tomas Holmstrom also scored.

Franzen’s goals gave him eleven in the playoffs and nine in the series, a new four-game series record.

Tyler Arnason and John-Michael Liles scored power play goals for the Avalanche, who were without Peter Forsberg, Ryan Smyth, Wojtek Wolski and Peter Stastny.

Detroit started the scoring at 4:33 of the first period, when a heavy Samuelsson shot from the right wing got through Colorado goalie Jose Theodore and glided into the net.

The Avalanche responded 2:18 later, with Arnason taking a feed from behind the net by Andrew Brunette and banging it past Detroit netminder Chris Osgood.

Holmstrom scored on a two-on-one with Zetterberg with 1:26 left in the period and Franzen scored his first of the game just 47-seconds later, working the give-and-go with Valtteri Filppula on another odd-man rush.

Zetterberg added a power play goal at 2:15 of the second period, scored on a blast from the blue line with Holmstrom screening Peter Budaj, who replaced Theodore to start the second period.

Only 3:30 later, Zetterberg added his second of the night, golfing a blind backhand shot from his own rebound off Budaj and into the top of the net.

Franzen netted his second on a shorthanded two-on-one with Zetterberg, throwing a bad-angle shot into the open side of the net with 8:23 left in the period.

With 2:45 left in the middle frame, Franzen finished the hat trick, tipping a Nicklas Lidstrom shot past Budaj with the Red Wings on a power play.

Samuelsson added his second of the night on a tip-in at 8:02 of the third period and Liles wrapped up the series scoring 2:24 later, beating Osgood on a shot from the blue line through screen by Brunette with Colorado on a two-man advantage.

The Avalanche finished the night with two goals on five power play chances while the Red Wings scored twice on four attempts with the extra attacker.

Osgood made 29 saves on 31 Colorado shots. Theodore stopped 12 of 15 first-period chances and Budaj finished the night with 20 saves on 25 shots.

The Red Wings will play the winner of the San Jose-Dallas series in the Western Conference Finals. Dallas currently leads the series 3-1.


Chris Chelios sat out of the game with what was described as a lower-body injury. Andreas Lilja took his spot in the lineup.

Red Wings Win on the Road, Take 3-0 Series Lead

The Detroit Red Wings proved that they learned from their first-round mistakes Tuesday night, winning Game Three of their Western Conference Semifinal matchup with the Colorado Avalanche 4-3 to take a commanding 3-0 series lead.

In their first-round series with Nashville, the Red Wings failed twice on the road in Game Three and Game Four, allowing the Predators back into the series.

Pavel Datsyuk scored twice and Henrik Zetterberg added another, while Johan Franzen continued his hot streak with his 23rd goal in the past 25 games.

Cody McLeod opened the game’s scoring for the Avalanche, tipping a shot from the right wing by T.J. Hensick past Chris Osgood during a delayed penalty at 5:17 of the first.

Datsyuk scored on a Detroit power play with 7:46 left in the period to tie the game. Zetterberg drove to the net and was tied up in front, working the puck on to Datsyuk to rip into the top of the net.

Just 58 seconds later, Franzen put the Red Wings out in front. Brett Lebda picked up the loose puck in the right circle and threw it back across the ice to Franzen in the slot to rifle in past Colorado goalie Jose Theodore.

Datsyuk’s second of the night put Detroit up by a pair 6:36 into the second period. Brian Rafalski‘s shot from the point was knocked down at the top of the crease by Theodore but Datsyuk was there to scoop up the rebound and put it into the net.

Andrew Brunette pulled the Avalance back to within a goal with the first of his two power play goals, tipping a John-Michael Liles shot from the blue line past Osgood at 8:08 of the second.

Zetterberg extended the Detroit lead again with 7:36 left in the period, scoring another power play goal. Zetterberg sent the puck from behind the net to Datsyuk on the right wing, then moved out to the far side of the crease to get the puck back for a tap-in.

Brunette scored his second at 5:19 of the third period, banging in the rebound of a Joe Sakic chance after Osgood lost it in his skates but the Avs would be unable to pull even.

All three Colorado goals came with an extra attacker on the ice, either during a power play or a delayed penalty. The Avalanche finished the night two-for-five on the power play while the Red Wings went two-for-seven.

Osgood stopped 30 of 33 shots against in his first playoff win in Denver since 1996. Theodore made 31 saves on 35 shots.


The Avalanche saw Peter Forsberg and Scott Hannan return to the lineup but lost Ryan Smyth before the start of the game and Peter Stastny in the first period.

Forsberg’s Status Still Unknown for Game Three

Peter Forsberg‘s status for Tuesday’s Game Three is still up in the air. He missed the first two games of the series with a groin injury.

“It’s very hard to sit on the side, especially when you lose. I worked hard at home for eight months, and I didn’t come here to sit in the dressing room or not play in the playoffs. Hopefully, I can play tomorrow,” Forsberg said after an hour-long practice on Monday.

Meanwhile, Jose Theodore will get the start in the Colorado crease dispite having been pulled in the second period of both of the first two games.

Defenseman Scott Hannan‘s status is unknown after missing the second game of the series with a foot injury.

The Red Wings are not expected to make any lineup changes.

In the Detroit area the game will be available on FSN Detroit. Versus will cover it nationally.

Red Wings Hold off Colorado Comeback for Game One Victory

The Detroit Red Wings held off a comeback attempt by the Colorado Avalanche Thursday night, preserving a 4-3 lead throughout the third period to claim victory in Game One of their Western Conference Semifinal matchup.

Detroit netminder Chris Osgood stopped John-Michael Liles with eight seconds remaining in the game to end Colorado’s comeback attempt. It was one of his 18 saves on the night.

All four Red Wings goals were scored on Jose Theodore, who left the game after the fourth. He was replaced by Peter Budaj in the Avalanche crease and by Tyler Weiman on the bench, leaving the arena due to illness.

Colorado got on the board first with Ryan Smyth getting away from Andreas Lilja behind the Detroit goal to feed Peter Stastny out front for a quick shot back in past Osgood at 8:53 of the first.

Just 53 seconds later, Henrik Zetterberg evened things up for the Red Wings. Zetterberg gained the Colorado zone and dropped the puck to Brian Rafalski, who put it back down to Pavel Datsyuk along the left wing boards. Datsyuk sent it down low to Zetterberg as he cut to the net and put it past Theodore.

Dan Cleary put Detroit out in front with 6:12 left in the period, powering a shot in on Theodore that the goaltender deflected high into the air before dropping in behind him and bouncing into the net.

With 2:37 left in the period, Johan Franzen tipped a Niklas Kronwall shot past Theodore for a power play goal, giving the Red Wings a 3-1 lead after the first period.

Franzen scored again 1:13 into the second.

Mikael Samuelsson jumped in to grab a loose puck from Andrew Brunette along the left wing boards. Samuelsson worked it out to Valtteri Filppula who moved it on to Franzen for a one-timer from the top of the right circle.

Liles scored 4:04 later to cut Detroit’s lead back down, blasting a shot from the left wing off of Osgood’s pad and into the net.

With 3:31 left in the second, Milan Hejduk scored the game’s final goal to pull the Avs to within one. One a three-on-two, Smyth moved the puck to Stastny who got it along to Hejduk to lift over Osgood’s pad.

Budaj finished the night with 20 saves on as many shots. Theodore stopped 12 of 16 shots.

The Red Wings scored the lone power play goal of the game on one of their five chances with the extra attacker. Colorado was scoreless on three tries.

Game Two of the series will be on Saturday afternoon from Joe Louis Arena.


Colorado’sPeter Forsberg missed the game with a groin injury… Wojtek Wolski left the game after the first period with an undisclosed injury… To circumvent the NHL’s new rule banning twirling an octopus while carrying it off the ice, Detroit zamboni driver Al Sobotka twirled one in the zamboni entrance at the start of the game.

Red Wings to Face Avalance in Second Round

With San Jose’s defeat of Calgary in Game Seven of their first round series, the Red Wings’ second round opponent will be the Colorado Avalanche. The series schedule has been added to DH.N’s schedule page.

Detroit and Colorado have faced each other five times in the playoffs, with the Avs owning a 3-2 lead, having won both matchups that did not occur in the Western Conference Finals.

The last time the two teams met in the postseason was 2002, when the Red Wings rallied from a 3-2 deficit in the series to win in seven games, with Dominik Hasek blanking Colorado in Game Six and Game Seven.

The Red Wings ran the table against the Avalanche this season, winning all four games. All of those games were played before Colorado reacquired Peter Forsberg and Adam Foote.

Wings Hold off Oilers for Second Win

After blowing a two-goal lead on Saturday night, the Detroit Red Wings held off a late charge from the Edmonton Oilers on Monday to earn a 4-2 win.

Mikael Samuelsson opened up the game’s scoring just 6:51 into the first period, just as a Detroit power play expired. From behind the net, Samuelsson reached around and banked a shot off of Edmonton goalie Dwayne Roloson‘s skate and into the net.

Chris Chelios, who was without a goal throughout the 2006-07 regular season, scored with 5:50 remaining in the first to put the Red Wings up by two. Chelios picked up the puck from Samuelsson while jumping up towards the net, whacking away at it twice before Roloson went down and he could put the third shot over the sprawling goalie.

Only 19 seconds later, Shawn Horcoff got the Oilers on the board with a blast from the slot on a defensive breakdown by the Red Wings.

Tomas Holmstrom scored 27 seconds into the second and 14 seconds into a power play to put Detroit back up by two. A hard pass from the blue line by Lidstrom was tipped on to Holmstrom from Henrik Zetterberg in the slot. Holmstrom pounded away from the top of the crease, shoveling the puck into the net.

Rookie Andrew Cogliano scored his first career goal with 10 seconds remaining in the middle frame but it wouldn’t be enough for the Oilers. Kris Draper added an empty net goal for Detroit to hold on for the win.

Detroit’s power play went one-for-five and the Oilers were without a goal on four attempts.

Hasek made 18 saves on 20 shots while Roloson stopped 31 of 34 in the Edmonton net.

The Red Wings will be back in action on Wednesday when they host the Calgary Flames in the second game of a three-game homestand.


With an assist on Samuelsson’s goal, Nicklas Lidstrom passed Peter Forsberg for second place all-time among Swedish-born players in NHL scoring… Chelios skated in his 1550th career game, breaking a tie with Alex Delvecchio for eighth place in career games played.

Predators Down Red Wings in OT to Pull Even in Standings

The Nashville Predators scored twice in the game’s final 3:15, bouncing back to earn an overtime victory over the Detroit Red Wings. Nashville’s gaining of a point on Detroit pulls the two teams even atop the Western Conference standings.

With 1:04 remaining in regulation and the Nashville net empty, Paul Kariya deflected a long shot by Dan Hamhuis past Detroit goalie Chris Osgood to tie the game.

Kariya threaded a pass from the right circle through the legs of defender Niklas Kronwall to Peter Forsberg to tap in the game-winning goal from the edge of the crease at 2:11 of the overtime period.

The former Duck also scored Nashville’s first goal with 1:54 remaining in the first period, slipping through the left circle and wristing a quick shot on net that beat Osgood to the short side.

Tomas Holmstrom scored the first of his three power play goals to pull the Red Wings even just 38 seconds into the second, banging the rebound of a Nicklas Lidstrom shot over Predators’ netminder Tomas Vokoun.

Holmstrom would put Detroit out in front 1:49 later with the Red Wings on a two-man advantage, tipping a shot by Mathieu Schneider into the net.

Detroit-area native David Legwand re-tied the game with 8:56 remaining in the middle period, taking a long pass from Marek Zidlicky at the Detroit blue line and breaking in to push a backhander past Osgood.

Holmstrom’s hat-trick goal gave the Red Wings a short-lived late-game lead. After being cross-checked from behind at the front of the crease, Holmstrom got up just in time to pick the puck up as it bounced off the back boards and stuff it home with 5:08 remaining.

The Predators were held off the board on three power play chances while Holmstrom’s three power play goals on seven Detroit tries weren’t enough for the win.

Osgood stopped 25 of 29 shots against. Vokoun made 41 saves on 44 shots.

The Red Wings will be back in action on Tuesday when they visit Chicago in the first game of a home-and-home with the Blackhawks.