Johnny Wilson broke into the NHL with Detroit in 1949-50, as did Ron’s late father, Larry Wilson, and the brothers both won the Stanley Cup in the red and white that year. They would each later coach the Red Wings. Johnny, who won four titles in all with Detroit, lives in Michigan.
“He’ll try to wear all of that Red Wings crap,” said Ron Wilson. “He can’t if he wants to hang out with us.
“He can wear Sharks stuff for two weeks. They’re not going to kick him out of the fraternity or whatever.”
ONE-TRICK PONY: Detroit will have to contend with a San Jose team that has a variety of scoring threats. In the first round, the Red Wings’ checkers zeroed in on Jarome Iginla.
“This is a little different because Calgary is a one-trick pony and we’re not,” says Sharks coach Ron Wilson. “We’ve got a lot of weapons.
“They’ll pick a matchup that they think can help them, and we’ll be rolling all four lines. That’s what we do when we’re successful.”
FINE WINE: “He’s like a fine wine,” San Jose star Joe Thornton says of Detroit goaltender Dominik Hasek. “He just gets better with age, and he’s playing great right now.”
Sharks goalie Evgeni Nabokov doesn’t see it as a Hasek-versus-Nabokov scenario.
“In the playoffs, you’re not just playing Hasek or anyone else,” he said. “They have so many weapons.
“You go back to the basics and just try to win. The season series doesn’t matter. You can erase the winning percentage and the results and the goals, because it’s a totally different atmosphere.
“They obviously have a great team, no question about it. They have experience. They have youth. I think they have a little bit of everything.”
Added Sharks coach Ron Wilson: “When you see that Red Wings jersey, I think we’re going to be respectful, but not intimidated by their team.”
GOOD ON ROAD: Detroit has the home-ice advantage, but it doesn’t matter to Wilson.
“We had the most wins on the road in the league, and we continued that against a very tough team in Nashville,” he reasoned. “Obviously, for us to win the series, we’re going to have to win a game on the road there, and I think we’ve got the team to do it.”
COOKIE CUTTER: NHL teams steal strategies, says Detroit coach Mike Babcock.
“I think it’s a cookie cutter league,” says Babcock. “Whoever’s got the best idea, the rest of us steal it.
“R and D – Rob and Do. That’s just the way it is.”
CHECKING JOE: The Red Wings will have their hands full with San Jose’s line of Joe Thornton between Jonathan Cheechoo and Milan Michalek. Detroit defenceman Nick Lidstrom says reducing Thornton’s playmaking time will be a key.
“Playing against one of the best players in the world, you have to play him tight and not give him time and space with the puck,” Lidstrom said.
Eliminating Calgary in the first round has the Red Wings thinking positive.
“That gave us confidence we could get it done,” says Lidstrom. “Especially back here for Game 5.
“That game was the key to winning that series, having that real strong game at home, then going on the road with confidence.”
POWER PLAYS: San Jose only scored two power-play goals in the first round, and Detroit would love to hold them that low in this one.
“I don’t think anyone would have predicted their power play would be at 6.7 per cent or whatever it was in the first round,” Detroit coach Mike Babcock said Wednesday. “We tried to take a look at what Nashville did and went, ‘Let’s just try to do what they did.’
“But then (the Sharks) had tons of opportunities but the puck just didn’t go in the net. So, you just got to get ready to play, get ready to do what you do best.”
Sharks centre Joe Thornton says his team’s power play “is going to be fine, I think.”
“We’re just kind of fooling around with different looks. Once we get a little movement and get back to doing the work we need to do, we’re going to be fine.”
Detroit coach Mike Babcock coached Thornton on Canada’s under-17 team.