Lidstrom is a go for Game 1.
"I skated a little bit yesterday, skated today, felt fine, I'll be ready to go,'' Lidstrom said.
There as a little confusion about Big E's status. At first Babcock himself said that he was certain to play, but Ericsson is now saying this:
"Yesterday I didn't feel good at all, very, very sore,'' Ericsson said. "I felt sick, too, as soon as I started walking around, really sick to my stomach, wanted to kind of puke. Didn't really eat anything the first 24 hours. Now it feels a lot better than yesterday.
"I'm going to try to skate in the morning, see how it feel,'' Ericsson said. "I don't think anything is 100 percent yet (as far as whether he can play).''
Pavel Datsyuk is obviously a favorite around these parts, but it's Lidstrom we're worried the most about. If he's cleared to play, we'll immediately shift to wasting every second of our lives worrying about Pav.
Puck Daddy invited us to do a round table discussion of the Finals. It's probably the only time that The Triple Deke and Paul Kukla will co-author anything ever. We've officially been humbled.
This was TTD's contribution to the three-part questionnaire:
1) Who will win and why --
TYLER: I picked the Wings over Pens in 7 games back in October. And because I'm a self-serving hack, I'm not going to let petty things like opinion or intuition possibly get in the way of my pathetic destiny. For all you know, I might think the Pens are going to win in 3. But my official prediction reads Detroit in 7.
If I was going to offer some rational insight, I'd say that the big guns will cancel each other out, and the Dan Cleary's and Darren Helm's of the world are going to be the difference. That's a roundabout way of avoiding the obligatory usage of the word "depth" -- a word that will bludgeon hockey fans over the head in Finals previews during the next two days.
2) Which Penguin scares you the most --
TYLER: In the final minute: Max Talbot(notes). Other than that: Sidney Crosby.
It would take me four lifetimes to properly convey how terrified I am of the words "Max" and "Talbot". What he did to Wings fans with 34.7 seconds in regulation of last year's Game 5 can only be described as genocide. He killed half of Michigan.
As for Sid, I'm obviously not trying to be edgy with this pick. We spend an unhealthy amount of time bashing the guy for whining and his, eh, fighting technique -- but if you've watched him the last month, you aren't exactly worried about him sneaking up on Zetterberg's taint (can you say "taint" on Yahoo? If not the generic "ball" or "yam"bag is fine). He's competitive as hell, and he'd rather watch Michel Therrien play naked Twister with his mom than lose to the Wings again.
The 28 points are absurd. He's also a plus-12. But what seriously has me worried is the Crosby/Malkin/Gonchar power play monster. The Wings' PK woes have been well documented, and they'll face a gargantuan task in the Finals. Malkin leads the NHL with 12 power play points, Crosby is tied with him for the league lead in PP goals (5), and 9 of Gonchar's 12 points have come via the man advantage.
3) What do you think of Peguins fans --
TYLER: Pens fans don't seem all that different from Wings fans. They're bipedal, breathe oxygen, and have similar sleeping and dietary patterns. From what I've observed they are as passionate about their hockey as any fanbase in the NHL, which is respectable. If I saw one on the street though I'd slit their throat.