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Notebook: Arnott AWOL for Game 5

by Kevin Fitzhenry / Detroit Red Wings

DETROIT -- While Nashville captain Jason Arnott watched Game 5 of the Western Conference quarterfinals from his Detroit hotel room, Josh Langfeld had a much better view – from the ice.

Langfeld returned to the Predators’ lineup for only the third time this season, but this time he was making his NHL playoff debut against one of his former teams.

Langfeld spent last season as in the Red Wings’ organization, splitting time between Detroit and the parent’s American Hockey League affiliate in Grand Rapids. He dressed in 33 games for Detroit, finishing with two points and 12 penalty minutes. He signed with Nashville last July. 

A familiar face in Detroit, Langfeld played four years at the University of Michigan from 1997-01, netting the overtime game-winner that beat Boston College in the 1998 national championship game.

Langfeld spent most of this season playing for the Predators’ minor league club in Milwaukee, where he had 22 goals and six assists in 42 games.

He was also easy to spot on the ice Friday, sporting a full face-cage to protect a surgically repaired broken orbital bone last month.

Although Arnott participated in the Predators’ morning skate on Friday, an illness forced the Predators’ captain out of the lineup. David Legwand also missed Game 5 for the Predators.

The Red Wings' Zamboni driver has been known for swinging octopi over his head prior to the start of playoff games at Joe Louis Arena.

OCTOPI ESCAPADES: On a night when Detroit faced possible fines for twirling an octopus, it was Nashville who cleaned up the mess.

The NHL informed the Red Wings that substantial fines would be issued to the organization should Zamboni driver Al Sobotka twirl any octopus thrown on the ice during Game 5 of the Western Conference quarterfinals.

Sobotka, the Red Wings’ building operations manager for 36 years, has the long-standing job of removing octopi thrown on the ice. As an added bonus, Sobotka has twirled any octopus over his head as he exits – much to the delight of the Detroit fans.

When an octopus was thrown on the ice shortly following the national anthem of Game 5, Sobotka never got the chance to do his job. Predators’ forward Jordin Tootoo picked up the eight-legged cephalopod and tossed in town the tunnel behind the Predators’ bench.

Although a tense moment occurred only moments earlier when the giant inflated octopus used as part of the pre-game ceremony became stuck on the ice.

A long-standing tradition, the throwing octopi on the ice has been a staple of Red Wings’ playoffs since 1952. Fans can visit the Superior Fish Company of Royal Oak, Michigan at www.superiorfish.com for the “O-FISH-AL Octopi Supply” including “Octoquette” the proper etiquette, guidelines and decorum for throwing octopi.  

 

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