"Datsyuk and Lidstrom are day-to-day, and I don't have to worry about it today. We don't practice or play. I'm hopeful to see Pav and Nick very shortly here."
-- Wings coach Mike Babcock on the status of Pavel Datsyuk and Nicklas Lidstrom
-- The Detroit Red Wings
landed safely back in Motown Sunday night, feeling pretty good about themselves following a 6-1 shellacking of the Chicago Blackhawks
in Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals at the United Center.
Not only do the Wings have a chance to end this best-of-7 series Wednesday night at Joe Louis Arena (7:30 p.m. ET, VERSUS, CBC, RDS), but they now have two full days to heal before the puck drops again.
Monday morning, coach Mike Babcock ruled Kris Draper
(groin) out for Game 5, while the statuses of Pavel Datsyuk
(foot) and Nicklas Lidstrom
(lower body) remain day-to-day. The Red Wings took full advantage of having the extra day off, as they did not skate Monday. They will return to the ice Tuesday morning at “The Joe.”
"Datsyuk and Lidstrom are day-to-day, and I don't have to worry about it today," Babcock said. "We don't practice or play. I'm hopeful to see Pav and Nick very shortly here."
Wings goaltender Chris Osgood
did not finish Sunday's win due to dehydration, but will play Wednesday night. Ty Conklin
started the third period and stopped all nine shots he faced.
Despite Sunday's trouncing minus some of his top players, Babcock is not ready to book his team's ticket to the Stanley Cup Final. The coach has never been a big believer in momentum and doesn't expect anything to carry from Sunday into Wednesday.
"I don't buy any of that stuff," Babcock said. "I think (Detroit Tigers manager) Jim Leyland's momentum is as good as tomorrow's starter. I think hockey is the same thing. It's a new game.
"I believe in living in the present and getting prepared for the opportunity that we have. We have a good opportunity. I understand that, the guys understand that. But if we don't play good, the last game doesn't mean anything."
Contact Brian Compton at: firstname.lastname@example.org.