Think it's fair to say that Nicklas Lidstrom retirement speculation should stop.
So he's 41. He sure doesn't look it.
"Looks like he took a sponge bath in the fountain of youth," said Paul Bissonnette on the TSN panel Friday night.
The Detroit defenceman contributed a pair of first-period goals to the Red Wings' 4-3 victory in a do-or-die Game 4 to stave off elimination at the hands of the San Jose Sharks.
"Lots of times when you get tot he end of your career you can smell it, because you can't do the same things you used to do," said colour commentator Ray Ferraro.
Lidstrom doesn't have that problem.
He's a Norris Trophy finalist, and plays for a great team that isn't going to take a step back next season.
Gamblers should be betting right now that the solid Swede will step back into his skates for the Wings again next season.
He rifled a shot into the top corner to give the Wings a 2-0 lead early, but his second goal was even more impressive.
Batting a bouncing pass out of the air, he bunted the puck into the side of the net to make it a 3-0 advantage.
So while the Wings' next game is likely the last for the likes of Kris Draper, Mike Modano, and Chris Osgood, the next in line for the Red Wings captaincy is probably going to have to wait.
Meanwhile, the rest of us are looking for that fountain Lidstrom apparently bathes in.
STOPS AND STARTS
Two rare sightings in one play. Boston's Milan Lucic nets his first goal of the post-season, and the Bruins get their second powerplay goal of the playoffs. Swear Lucic even cracked a smile for the trifecta ... Red Wing Todd Bertuzzi just about lost his mind on Devin Setoguchi early in the game after the Sharks winger took him down with a dirty move. They should have been arguing over whose playoff beard was better ... Bertuzzi got revenge with a spinorama followed by a backhand that beat Antti Niemi for the Wings' first goal ... Sharks D Dan Boyle is Niemi's worst nightmare. First he tipped Bertuzzi's backhand shot into the net, then he got tangled up with his netminder, keeping Niemi from getting across to stop Nicklas Lidstrom's first goal ... Kris Versteeg picked a fine time to net his first of the playoffs, answering Lucic's goose-egg-cracker.
Want to see something funny, watch the way Sharks softie Kyle Wellwood circles a scrum looking like he kind of wants to get in there but never does ... TSN strikes gold with Paul (@BizNasty2point0) Bissonnette on the panel, especially the quiz portion James Duthie dubbed QuizNasty in honour of the Twitter guru. One of the highlights from Friday night: "Do you even have Twitter, Mac?" Bissonnette said to fellow panelist Craig MacTavish. "It's not for old people." ... Have to wonder if some might have been offended by Bob McKenzie's comment as they discussed Tampa coach Guy Boucher's tactic of calling his Lightning the underdogs in every series so far. He said Boucher was likely already campaigning, telling people their chances "are probably as good as bin Laden's." I thought it was funny ... Preds coach Barry Trotz is comparing Canuck Ryan Kesler to Mark Messier. Is that because of the big elbow he threw at Jerred Smithson?
DUMP AND CHASE
One thing I wish TV viewers would get to experience while watching games played in Detroit: Public address announcer Budd Lynch. His interpretation of some of the names are instant classics. The 92-year-old has twice tried to retire, but the Red Wings won't let him. It won't be the same when the next guy gets all the names right ... What was Flyer Scott Hartnell thinking taking a swing at Bruins giant Zdeno Chara? Don't poke the angry bear! ... TSN's Ray Ferraro was Yogi Berra-like talking about Antti Niemi's awareness after losing a rebound and his stick and then scrambling to recover. "This is Niemi at his Niemi best," Ferraro said. Coincidentally, if Wings G Jimmy Howard wasn't at his Howard worst, this series would be a lot closer ... Daniel Carcillo can be entertaining to watch, but there may not be a dumber player in the game when it comes to taking stupid, unnecessary, untimely penalties — and that includes Bertuzzi.
- "Wings said they would come out desperate, and nothing is more desperate than a Bertuzzi spinarama"— Ray Ratto, Comcast Sports Net
- "I think Lidstrom is giving us his answer"— ESPN's Pierre LeBrun on the speculation of Lidstrom pondering retirement
- "If there's a guy whose stick you can leave in his hands, it's Shelley. #justsayin"— Sun Media's Chris Stevenson after a Bruin took a penalty for slashing Jody Shelley's stick in half