'It was a blast,' Wings goaltender Jimmy Howard said of attending Game 4 of the Tigers-A's American League Division Series on Tuesday at Comerica Park. (David Guralnick / Detroit News)
Detroit For Red Wings goaltender Jimmy Howard it was one of the more memorable sports events he's ever attended.
Red Wings captain Henrik Zetterberg had a great time, too.
Being at Comerica Park for Game 4 of the Tigers American League Divison Series against the Oakland A's on Tuesday left everyone excited and spent.
"It was a blast," said Howard of the epic baseball game. "It's fun being just a fan and sitting there and cheering, and not being in that situation.
"That game was awesome to be part of. It was amazing to watch (Max) Scherzer pitch out of that (bases loaded) jam in the eighth."
Zetterberg didn't understand baseball when he first came to North America but now considers himself a fan.
"I enjoy it a lot, especially this time of year it's fun to watch," said Zetterberg, who attended both Games 3 and 4. "It took me a few years, but now I'm really getting it. I really like going to the park and watching the games and spending time with friends.
"Anything can happen. You can be up five or six runs and suddenly it can be tied. The playoffs are so tight."
Everyone agreed it's a lot more difficult watching these types of games than participating.
"Way more nervous to watch them than to coach us," coach Mike Babcock said. "It was exciting stuff. Attitude is contagious, work ethic is contagious, hitting is contagious and scoring is contagious.
"Once they got a couple of hits and the guys got confidence, it's exactly the same as our game. It's the same thing. You get going and you get the feeling and you have some swagger back.
"That's what I'm watching. They're all the same, a bunch of guys competing and the other team is competing, too."
It was a lot easier, said Howard, goaltending Game 7 against Chicago last spring in the playoffs.
"When you're out there, not much is going through your mind," he said. "Speaking for myself, when I'm out there I just play and whatever happens, happens.
"I don't know what mindframe they took into the game, but I'm sure they weren't thinking anything other than going out and playing baseball."
Forward Jordin Tootoo has been cleared to play, but when he actually enters the lineup remains to be seen.
Tootoo suffered a bruised shoulder Sept. 19 in an exhibition game in Boston.
"Right now it's just about maintaining my strength and making sure every day I come ready, both mentally and physically," Tootoo said.
Tootoo adds a dimension of physical play the Red Wings could need at some point of the season.
With forwards Darren Helm (back) and Patrick Eaves (knee, ankle sprain) on the long-term injured list both practiced Wednesday the Red Wings don't need to make a roster move to activate Tootoo.
"My job is to play hockey when I'm called upon," Tootoo said. "For me, it's one day at a time. This is the greatest league to be in. Im just glad to be part of this organization and for me, I'll be ready to go when called upon."
Babcock said Mikael Samuelsson will return to the lineup Thursday against Phoenix, with Tomas Tatar likely being the odd man out.
Zetterberg celebrated his 33rd birthday Wednesday.
Phoenix has lost its last two games by a combined score of 10-2 after winning its regular season opener.
"Every game we play Phoenix is a very hard-fought game," Howard said. "They're well coached and they play their systems so well. If you're going to beat them, you have to beat them with all of the aspects of your game."