Resurgent Tomas Holmstrom Key to Detroit Red Wings’ Staying Above Water

December 2nd, 2009 by Greg Eno Leave a reply »
For 13 years, Tomas Holmstrom has been the NHL's Redwood. He's been chopped and hacked, and if they could have taken a chainsaw to him, they would have done that too.

In last spring's playoffs, it looked as if the lumberjacks in the NHL masquerading as defensemen were finally about to be able to cry "Timber!"

Holmstrom, the league's premier disruptor of enemy goal creases and netminders' vision, shrunk last season. He scored a mere 14 goals.

That's OK, the optimists said. Holmstrom is a playoff guy. A player who rises to the occasion at a time where goals are uglier than Keith Richards. A time where you don't need skates, you need work boots. When there are more scrums in the crease than in a rugby match.

You don't score goals in the playoffs, you will them in. And Tomas Holmstrom was the unmovable pillar, the giant Redwood in front of the opposing goal. He took more whacks than the losing family in a Mafia war.

But it all seemed to finally be catching up to him last spring. The deeper the Red Wings burrowed into the playoffs, the less visible Holmstrom was. He was the Incredible Shrinking Hockey Player.

His age---he'll be 37 in January---a ...

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