Young Wings feeling no heat

SCOTT FISHER -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 12:56 PM ET


 If they played for the Flames, they'd be considered playoff-tested veterans.

 On the Red Wings, they're post-season toddlers.

 Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg have a combined 47 games of playoff experience between them.

 Teammate Chris Chelios, by contrast, has been through 222 Stanley Cup battles.

 "We're not so experienced so they give us lots of support, lots of help," said Datsyuk, 25, who picked up his sixth assist of the playoffs Tuesday but is still looking for his first goal.

 Playing on a team laden with veteran leadership has made the youngsters' jobs that much easier.

 There's no sense of panic, Zetterberg said, even though his Wings trail the series 2-1 because most of the team has been in similar predicaments on countless occasions.

 "Most of the guys have been in the league for so long," Zetterberg said. "You learn a little bit each day in practice from everyone. Steve-O's (Yzerman) been a captain for (18) years. It's unbelievable how much experience they have.

 "They take good care of us. It's everyone, I can't just pick one of them. If we have a little problem, they come over in two seconds and ask what's wrong."

 So far in the playoffs, the duo has just a goal to its credit.

 "I think everyone puts pressure on themselves," the 23-year-old Zetterberg said. "Especially when you're down like we are now."

 Veteran Brendan Shanahan has been down the playoff road more than a few times and says the pair are finding it more difficult to find space now that every shift counts.

 "They've earned the right to be called our No. 1 line through their play over the season," Shanahan said. "Now they're getting that added attention in the playoffs from the opposition. They're working hard but they're finding playoff hockey is obviously a lot tougher."

 After a tough loss Tuesday night, Shanahan and his mates having a calming influence on the youngsters. No one's over-reacting. The sky is not falling.

 "Today could have been a day where everyone is patting us on the back, telling us how great we are," Shanahan smiled. "If we win that game (Tuesday), life is good.

 "Instead, everyone's telling us how bad we are and why Calgary is so much better. As a veteran, you take everything in stride. We've done a pretty good job of keeping an even keel."


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