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by Staff Writer / Detroit Red Wings

Photo by Dave Reginik / Getty Images
Niklas Kronwall

These fans have been awful good to you at home this year, how big do you expect to see them step up for the playoffs?
NK: “They always do. They always find another gear. Hopefully, we can feed off of them and come out with energy right from the start”

Talk about the work that this team has done on the penalty kill. You don’t want to be in the box, but Nashville hasn’t taken advantage of it yet.
NK: “You don’t want to be in the box as you said. Still, there are going to be times when you are and when that happens, you want it to work out well. I think everyone here actually relishes the opportunity whenever you get the chance. It is an opportunity to gain momentum whenever you kill one off. You grow stronger and build off of that.”

DRW: What are the Stanley Cup Playoffs like in your homeland of Sweden?
NK: “I think the NHL is obviously growing as a sport and so is hockey. The NHL is becoming more and more popular in Europe and they are showing more games there every year. Nowadays, they are pretty much showing different games every night.”

DRW: How does this compare to when you were growing up?
NK: “The NHL didn’t have as much coverage back then. You saw some highlights on the news, or clips every once in a while. Mostly you just heard about guys, or watched guys who had played over there, but came back. Things like that.

Justin Abdelkader

DRW: The Joe is sure to be electric today, are you excited?
JA: “Absolutely. It always seems like, since I have been here, that this place is amped up a little more for the playoffs. The fans have been awesome all season long and that will continue. They’ve been loud and really into games.”

DRW: How great was it to see guys like Cory Emmerton and Drew Miller step up as they did in Game 2?
JA: “It’s always important, especially in the playoffs, having depth and four lines that can contribute. To get that help, like we did in Game 2, was big for us.”

DRW: Did the Bertuzzi-Weber fight put the Game 1 incident officially in the past?
JA: “I think so. I think what was taken care of was taken care of. I think that everyone moves forward from here. It’s just one of those things in hockey where he (Bertuzzi) was sticking up for a teammate and it was good to see.

DRW: Is there any concern with the 12PM start time for a playoff game? Does it take you out of your routine at all?
JA: “Not really. We’re used to practicing at that time, so your body clock is somewhat used to being ready to skate. Sure, it throws your game routine off a little bit, but we’ve got to get up early, come to the rink and get ready to go.”

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