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Notes: Z celebrates 4th anniversary as Wings captain

Jared Coreau could get opportunity to face Montreal Canadiens and Carey Price

by Dana Wakiji @Dwakiji /

DETROIT - It was four years ago today that the Red Wings officially named Henrik Zetterberg captain, replacing Nick Lidstrom, who retired following the 2011-12 season.

The 2012-13 season was delayed because of the lockout, which is why the official ceremony happened so late.

"I don't think my role as a player has changed that much," Zetterberg said. "I think maybe everything around it is a little bit more than it was before. I spend more time with you guys but I won't call it a hard thing. I would probably think it was kind of what I expected."

Zetterberg spent time as an alternate captain when Lidstrom was the captain.

As a very young player, Zetterberg also sat in the dressing room next to Steve Yzerman, the longtime former captain and current Tampa Bay Lightning general manager.

"I think he's an excellent leader," Wings coach Jeff Blashill said. "He's learned from a few great ones in Nick and Steve and he's carried on that tradition. I think the strength in our room, and I've said this lots, is the character in our room and that's led by him. He knows how to stay calm. He stands in front and answers questions every single night, as you well know. He never gets too high and never gets too low. He holds other people accountable with how he holds himself and the work ethic and attention to detail he puts in every day. I don't know all the other captains in the league, but I know we have a great one."

Although this has been a challenging season in that the Wings currently are outside the playoff picture, Zetterberg said losing early in the playoffs has been the hardest part as the captain.

Zetterberg knows he can't get mad and yell every time there's a mistake or the team isn't playing well.

"You've got to pick your spots," Zetterberg said. "I would say this year it's been a few more spots than normal but I think we know how to play and we know what to do and we've just got to do it. That's probably the message that all the veteran guys that's been here for awhile try to get through. We won't turn it around in a game but a game at a time, eventually you will get back up there."

Zetterberg said he does not have to mention to his teammates how urgent the situation is right now.

"We don't have that many games left, so you know that you have to start winning games," Zetterberg said. "And if you're decent at math, you know how many games we have to win to have a chance if you look at our previous years. It's crunch time. We've been talking about that. We've had to turn this around for a long time but now we know how many games we have to win to have a chance to go through."

COREAU A FAN OF PRICE: Jared Coreau may get a chance to start opposite one of his favorite goaltenders, Montreal's Carey Price.

While Blashill wasn't saying which goaltender would start Monday, Canadiens coach Michel Therrien confirmed to reporters in Brossard that Price would go against the Wings.

"It would be a fun opportunity," Coreau said. "I said before, I think it was my first game called up this year, I was backing up Petr (Mrazek) against Montreal and Carey Price tapped me on the back. He just said, 'Congrats on being called up.'

"I think it just shows what kind of guy he is. He's a world-class athlete, goaltender, but also a world-class act. He didn't have to do that. It's not like I had won a game yet or anything. He was just saying congrats on being called up and have fun."

Coreau said as a goaltender, he really appreciates Price's calm demeanor in net.

"It's rare you see that in a goalie, that calm," Coreau said. "There's some shots or I guess situations that are high pressure where I think some goalies would scramble on or have to make it look a lot harder where he can make it look really easy. That's something I admire. It's what a lot of goalies admire about Carey Price."

Of course, it's Price's teammates that Coreau would have to face.

The Canadiens are fifth in the league in goals per game at 3.11.

"They're a pretty high-powered offensive team, they got a lot of energy, they got a lot of guys that drive the net hard, they play a gritty game," Coreau said. "Those are the fun games. Those are the ones that there's a lot of sparks that fly. We got guys that will do that too. I just think overall it's going to be a lot of one-on-one battles along the boards and center ice, things like that. I think both goalies at each end are going to have to make a lot of saves."

Then there's Canadiens defenseman Shea Weber, tied for fifth among defensemen in scoring with 28 points and second behind San Jose's Brent Burns (17) in goals with 10, known for his booming shot from the point.

"I get to see Martin Frk's when I'm down in Grand Rapids," Coreau said. "Comparable. But no, it's just like I said about (Sidney) Crosby last night. He's an exceptional player and obviously Shea Weber's got an exceptional shot but I think if you focus on it too much it might consume you so you just have to be ready. It's another shot."

LARKIN'S RETURN TO WING: Dylan Larkin has played both center and wing this season and is currently on Riley Sheahan's wing along with Tomas Tatar.

"I just think it's really, really hard to be a center in this league," Blashill said. "We're not different than most teams, we're very demanding on our centers. You have to be an excellent two-way player. I think at 20 years old that's an extraordinarily hard thing when you're trying to win every single night. When you're trying to not win then you can let them develop and let them make some of those mistakes, but there's a development process to it. I still think he can be a real good center. I think he'll be a good center anytime I put him in there and I still do in games at times, but it also frees him up a little on the wing. It frees him up a little bit offensively. With Riley Sheahan, Luke Glendening, Frans Nielsen and Henrik Zetterberg, we think we have four real good defensive, two-way centers and that just frees Larks up a little bit."

KRONWALL, HELM: Both Niklas Kronwall (lower-body) and Darren Helm (shoulder) practiced with the team Sunday.

Blashill said both are considered day-to-day but neither will be ready to go Monday.

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