Stanley Cup notebook

Detroit rested, ready

Confident Wings have eyes on title

By Larry Lage
Associated Press / June 9, 2009
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Chris Osgood lounged on his day off, watching the Detroit Tigers, Tiger Woods, and basketball Sunday when he wasn't taking a 2 1/2-hour nap.

"I was banking some sleep," Detroit's goaltender said yesterday.

Osgood and the Red Wings hope the much-needed break - after playing eight times in 16 days - gives them a boost to beat the Pittsburgh Penguins tonight in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup finals.

Detroit defenseman Brad Stuart took advantage of Sunday, a rare day away from a rink, to catch up on laundry.

It didn't take Stuart long to get back into the swing of things yesterday, shoving teammates such as Jiri Hudler away from Osgood and skating hard during a relatively intense workout at Joe Louis Arena.

"We haven't had a lot of practices like that the last couple months," Stuart said before the Red Wings traveled to Pittsburgh. "It was good to get out there to make sure your body is working."

Detroit coach Mike Babcock was pleased with what he saw from Pavel Datsyuk in his first practice since making his debut in the Stanley Cup finals after missing seven games because of a foot injury.

The MVP finalist shot a puck over Osgood's glove and into the net, finishing a 2-on-1 rush after Henrik Zetterberg set him up with a crisp pass.

"I like the way they looked together," Babcock said. "I was really impressed with Pavel out there. The other day when he was practicing and he was going to play, I didn't think he looked great. As the game went on I thought he got more confident, and it's pretty apparent now."

Cable ratings soar
Game 4 of the finals earned the series' highest cable television rating since 2002. The Penguins' 4-2 win on Versus Thursday night drew a 2.8 rating and averaged 3.45 million viewers. The network said yesterday that the average 2.7 rating for Games 3 and 4 was up 42 percent over the two games it aired last year.

Putting a cap on it
The Red Wings are in position to win a fifth Stanley Cup since 1997. Babcock isn't certain how many more teams, if any, might win so many championships in so little time now that the NHL has a salary cap. "I was at the All-Star Game and they were introducing all the Montreal Canadiens guys who, I don't know how many they got, like 10 or whatever," he said. "The guys on the bench starting poking fun at the guys who only had six. It's a whole different world now."

He keeps going . . .
Chris Chelios has played just six games this postseason, none in the finals, but the 47-year-old Red Wings defenseman still wants to continue his career. "Whether I do or not is another question," said Chelios, who extended NHL records this year by playing in his 24th postseason, three more than anyone else, and 266 playoff games, 19 more than Patrick Roy.

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