The thing to remember about Tuesday’s Red & White game in Grand Rapids is that, while it was an event in the sense that the Red Wings were making an appearance somewhere they usually don’t, it was still just a scrimmage.
Not a lot of hitting, not a lot of defense, and almost all of the players who were kept out will be on Detroit’s roster in a week, not Grand Rapids’. I harped on that before the game and will touch on it again in a few paragraphs.
Things picked up in the second and third, with a ton of penalties being called and Thomas McCollum and Jordan Pearce having taken over in the creases. The Red Team had two five-on-three goals in the middle period alone and added another on the remaining power play after a five-on-three. The White Team had a goal with a two-man advantage as well.
In short, you can’t use the game as much of an example for how certain players play. Yeah, Tomas Tatar and Gustav Nyquist have some speed and hands, but it’s a lot easier for them to dance around Niklas Kronwall when Kronwall isn’t invested in stopping them. It was a little bit like an All-Star Game – put on a show for the fans, have some fun, don’t get hurt.
A bunch of players sat out the game, which I ranted about a little bit when the rosters were released. It turns out, those players are all expected to be in action tonight in Chicago so they were kept out to be a little more rested.
Worth noting, Justin Abdelkader was supposed to be kept out (he, Darren Helm, and Patrick Eaves will be the Wings’ top line tonight) but apparently when you request 140 tickets to a game, you get to play. Several rows of Section 109 were his friends and family.
I took a ton of photos (much easier to do when you’re not trying to watch the game as closely) but I don’t know yet how many turned out. They won’t get posted right away because I’m doing some work on the DH.N multimedia system and I want to get that done before adding the photos. I’ll post something when they’re online.