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Tallinder admires Lidstrom's work ethic

Tuesday, 01.25.2011 / 5:11 PM ET / News
By Eric Marin
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Tallinder admires Lidstrom\'s work ethic
Even as Nicklas Lidstrom nears his 41st birthday in April, he remains among the NHL’s elite blueliners.

He's performing at nearly a point per game clip this season, and leads all defensemen with 42 points (11 goals, 31 assists) in 48 games.

Lidstrom will make his 11th All-Star Game appearance in Raleigh on Sunday, where he’ll be one of the two team captains with Eric Staal.

“He’s an amazing skater and he sees the ice unbelievably well,” said Henrik Tallinder, Lidstrom’s teammate on the 2010 Swedish Olympic squad. “If you look at him when he plays, he never has his eyes on the puck. Never, ever. So he always knows what’s going to happen next. You can’t say enough about him. The hockey sense he has is just remarkable.”

Tallinder observed that Lidstrom’s work ethic is evident even in practice.

“He never lets off; he always goes hard,” Tallinder said. “That keeps his habits intact. I’m sure he has days that he doesn’t want to be there at practice, but he always does it. It’s a commitment and it’s hard work. I think he’s one of the hardest working guys, still.”

But Lidstrom doesn't reserve hard work for the ice alone.

“You watch him,” Tallinder continued. “He’s the guy who’s always there on the bike before practice, after practice preparing himself. He keeps it up no matter what he does.”

Drafted 48th overall by Buffalo in 1997, Tallinder looked up to Hall of Famers like Brian Leetch and to Stanley Cup-winning Swedish players like Tomas Jonsson of the Islanders dynasty.

“But Lidstrom was definitely one of them, especially later on,” Tallinder said. 

The Devils have won four in a row, six of of their last seven and visit Detroit on Wednesday. Tallinder has a goal and two assists in the last three contests, and knows it’s best to go into this weekend’s All-Star break on a hot streak.

“It’s going to make it way easier to start it up again on [Tuesday],” he said. “Just try to enjoy those days off would be way, way better if you get a win.”