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by Staff Writer / Detroit Red Wings

Jonathan Ericsson (Photo by Dave Reginek)
Jonathan Ericsson

DRW: How excited are you to get the playoffs underway?
JE: It’s going to be really exciting. I know some of the guys in the room would look at the (standings) board after 15 or 20 games and think ‘Man, this is going to take a while to reach 82.’ But it seems to fly by too. Now that we’re here, everyone is excited and ready to go.”

DRW: Hal Gill brings considerable size to Nashville’s defense, do you see any of yourself in his game?
JE: “Not really. He’s a few numbers bigger than me, both lengthwise and sizewise. When you compare it to our team, I see it because I’m the biggest defenseman here. Though I’m not really watching.”

“For me, I try and be mobile. Stay smaller against the smaller guys, who I kind of envy. You look at Kronwall. How quick he turns and the way he moves. I want to be like that, but big. Though he (Gill) is a very good player and it is nice to be mentioned alongside him.”

DRW: Are there defenseman you watch and try and pick things up from?
JE: There are always qualities in every defenseman, so you try and pick up things that those guys are good at. Weber’s a really big guy for their team, closer to my size and length (than Gill), but he’s got a really good shot. He’s really good on the power play and plays in all situations on the penalty kill. He’s a guy I like to watch and he’s a really good payer.

DRW: Are you a fan of country music? If so, who?
JE: I am. My favorite band right now would be the Zac Brown Band, but I really like a lot of different artists. Keith Urban, Toby Keith and Carrie Underwood are also very good. I listen to a lot more country than I did before I came to the U.S. We don’t have a lot of country music in Sweden.

Gustav Nyquist (Photo by Gregory Shamus)
Gustav Nyquist

DRW: How excited are you to play in your first Stanley Cup Playoff game?
GN: “I’m pretty excited about it. This year has been a pretty cool journey and I’m ready to start the playoffs.”

DRW: On Saturday, Mike Babcock put you alongside Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg for a few shifts in the third period. How do you adjust to playing with two of the best players in the world? Is it intimidating?
GN: “You’ve got to be ready every minute out there. Sure, those guys make it easier because they are two of the best players in the league, if not the world. It’s a lot of fun to play with them, but you can’t be thinking too much about who you are playing with either.”

“It’s of course, a boost of confidence to play with Datsyuk and Zetterberg, but you have to do your part to keep up. When playing with those guys, I’ll probably play around the net more often, so those guys can have the puck and create in the corner.”

DRW: How much do you have to alter your approach depending on who you are lined up with?
GN: “You think about it a little bit more with some players, but we have our systems and everyone buys into the, so we’re all playing the same way. I’d say the only time it really changes is deep in the offensive zone, where players like Homer (Holmstrom) have different advantages.”

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