Pregame: Penguins @ Red Wings – 12/31

It’s Detroit’s traditional New Year’s Eve home game tonight as the Red Wings host the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Jonathan Ericsson returns to the Detroit lineup, with Jakub Kindl the odd-man out on the blue line. Joakim Andersson will sit in favor of Tomas Nosek on the fourth line.

Petr Mrazek gets the start in goal for the Wings.

Stupid stat of the day: The Red Wings are unbeaten all-time against Pittsburgh on New Year’s Eve in games where the Penguins wear black and gold. Detroit’s lone NYE loss to the Pens came in 1978 when they still wore blue and white.

Game time is 6:00 PM on FSD.

Red Wings Call Up Tangradi

In advance of their Monday night visit to the Minnesota Wild, the Detroit Red Wings announced the call-up of forward Eric Tangradi from the Grand Rapids Griffins of the American Hockey League.

With forward Dylan Larkin nursing an upper-body injury, the Red Wings are down to just twelve forwards, even with previous call-up Tomas Nosek in the lineup. Facing back-to-back road games, Tangradi was called up to give the team extra depth.

In 24 games with the Griffins this season, Tangradi has scored 13 goals, good for most on the team and fifth-most in the AHL.

Originally a second-round draft pick (42nd overall) by the Anaheim Ducks in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, this is Tangradi’s first season with the Detroit organization after signing as a free agent over the summer. In 143 career NHL games with the Pittsburgh Penguins, Winnipeg Jets, and Montreal Canadiens, he’s scored five goals and added ten assists.

On Learning from Mistakes

A few days ago I praised Jimmy Howard for identifying mistakes that he made in the Vancouver game and how he gave specific examples of what he should have done differently.

Howard called out the first Canucks goal as one he shouldn’t have allowed, as he’s well aware of the lively boards at Joe Louis Arena and can’t allow the puck to go back there only to spring back out front and give the opposition a scoring chance.

Unfortunately, he could say the same thing about the New Jersey Devils’ first goal on Tuesday, as Kyle Palmeiri threw the puck off the end boards, then raced in to pick it up as it bounced back in front of the net, beating Howard for a power play goal.

There were defensive breakdowns all around for the Red Wings in that game, and lots of people deserve a lot of blame. I’m calling out Howard here, though, because he specifically noted that he can’t make that mistake again and then went and did it in the next period of hockey he got to play. You can’t say you’ve learned your lesson and then go make the same mistake.

Red Wings Call Up Ouellet, Nosek

In advance of the National Hockey League’s holiday roster freeze, the Detroit Red Wings called up defenseman Xavier Ouellet and forward Tomas Nosek from the Grand Rapids Griffins on Saturday night.

To make room for the call-ups, forwards Drew Miller and Teemu Pulkkinen were placed on injured reserve. The pair have been out since suffering injuries during Detroit’s 5-1 win over the Arizona Coyotes on December 3.

Ouellet was the Red Wings’ second round selection (48th overall) in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft. He has two goals and ten assists for the Griffins this season, appearing in 25 games. In 25 career NHL games, he has two goals and one assist.

Nosek, signed as an unrestricted free agent out of the Czech Republic prior to last season, has yet to make his NHL debut. He’s scored two goals and added five assists in 25 games this season for Grand Rapids. He has 13 goals and 28 assists for 41 points in 80 career AHL games.

Both players will be available for Detroit’s Sunday matchup with the Calgary Flames.

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