Henrik Zetterberg almost always elevates his play in the postseason. Since 2002-03, no Detroit Red Wing has scored more goals (46) or registered more points (91) in the playoffs than Zetterberg. So, while the Red Wings did fine in the first round without him in sweeping the Phoenix Coyotes, they know they'll need their leading scorer from the regular season when the competition gets tougher in Round Two. After getting in what he called his first full practice in more than two weeks on Friday, Zetterberg said he'll be ready when the Red Wings start their next series sometime late next week. "It was tough," Zetterberg said. "It was the first time I've sat out in the playoffs. I'm glad we won four straight. It made it a lot easier on me." Zetterberg had never missed a playoff game before this season, appearing in 97 in a row. A sprained left knee suffered April 6 in Carolina forced him to sit out six games. "Guys are always going to be ready to step in, but when you get a guy like Z back, automatically your club's that much better," teammate Kris Draper said. "We're excited about it. It bought him an extra week's rest. All that's going to do is benefit him, let him get stronger. You don't want to miss any time this time of year. The good thing is we didn't have to force him to come in and play." Zetterberg could have played this weekend if needed, but the extra time to heal will be of great benefit. "I don't think I'm right there, but it's going to be at least six more days (off)," he said. "By then, I'll be absolutely ready to go." He has been skating for several days. "He tells me his knee's fine, it's just a matter of figuring out with the brace how to skate," coach Mike Babcock said. Zetterberg was encouraged to see the team play so well without him.
Zetterberg used to upping production in playoffs, not sitting
Michigan Live | Apr 23