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Instructor shows Wings a thing or two

by Bill Roose / Detroit Red Wings
Kim Muir, a Canton, Michigan-based power skating coach, worked with some of the Red Wings Tuesday afternoon at Joe Louis Arena.
DETROIT – With a little down time before the next game, the Red Wings brought in a power skating coach to fine tune some things for some of the guys Tuesday at Joe Louis Arena.

Kim Muir, a former figure skater turned instructor, worked with four players – forwards Tomas Holmstrom, Patrick Eaves and Jiri Hudler, and defenseman Jakub Kindl – for 15-minutes before the start of the team’s afternoon practice.

Nobody was expecting to have an overhaul on their skating, however, the lesson, albeit very short, was beneficial, Eaves said.

“For me, it was more about transitioning from forward to backwards, and backward to forwards; opening up the hips,” he said. “She had some great stuff and it was fun. It makes you uncomfortable on your skates, but I think that’s the point of if to get you to use your edges, and hopefully you can use it in a game.

“When you’re out there you’re moving with the puck and the play. But it’s good to be aware of these things when you’re practicing them, because they are little tricks that can help you be a millisecond faster.”

October’s schedule with only two weeknight games, has given coach Mike Babcock the opportunity to bring in specialized coaches during the week to help with a few skating techniques. Last week, Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook-Kingswood High School hockey coach Andy Weidenbach work with the team.

Weidenbach has worked with the Wings in the past, but it’s usually been in the weeks leading up to training camp, and with the club’s prospects in July.

“They’re both excellent in their own way,” said Babcock, of the two instructors. “I haven’t actually talked to the guys about today at all. The one thing about pro athletes, is anything they can do, if they can steal something that can make them better, they’re all in.”

For Kindl, he hopes that some of the edge-work drills that Muir showed them helps him become a more powerful skater.

“She gave us a few exercises that we went through, working on a better stride to be more efficient out there,” he said. “Obviously, they want us to be better skaters, so why not. … Whatever is going to help me become a better player, I’m for it.”

However, Holmstrom was a bit more skeptical of Tuesday’s instruction.

“It was too short of a time to tell if it’s going to help or not,” he said.

Follow Bill Roose on Twitter | @RooseBill

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