Red Wings Injury Updates

The Detroit Red Wings made a handful of announcements regarding injuries on Monday.  Any time you make a handful of injury announcements is a problem.

On the positive side of things, Tomas Jurco was re-called from his rehabilitation stint with the Grand Rapids Griffins, where he had a goal and an assist – along with six penalty minutes – in two games played.  He wore #13 in Grand Rapids with his old #28 having been taken by Matt Lorito this season.

Jurco will have a chance to slide into the Detroit lineup immediately in part due to an injury to Tyler Bertuzzi.

Bertuzzi left Saturday’s matchup with the Montreal Canadiens with a high ankle sprain after a hit by Alexei Emelin.  He’s expected to miss three- to five- weeks.

Meanwhile, defenseman Brendan Smith is expected to miss four weeks after a knee-on-knee collision with Phillip Danault.

Both Bertuzzi and Smith were placed on the seven-day disabled list while Jurco came off long-term injured reserve.  As of today, the Red Wings have seven players on various forms of IR: Andreas Athanasiou, Johan Franzen, Darren Helm, Joe Vitale, Alexey Marchenko, Jimmy Howard, Bertuzzi, and Smith, though neither Franzen or Vitale are expected to play this season.

The team will go with six defensemen for now, with no call-up planned to replace Smith.

Over the weekend, the Red Wings called up goalie Jared Coreau after Jimmy Howard left Friday’s win over the New Jersey Devils with a groin injury.

Pregame: Red Wings @ Sabres – 11/23

In previous years, much has been made of the fact that, for the most part, if a team isn’t in a playoff spot by Thanksgiving, they won’t be in one come the end of the season.

It’s the day before Thanksgiving and not only are the Red Wings sitting out of the playoffs, they’re dead last in the Atlantic Division and only one point up on the New York Islanders for the last spot in the Eastern Conference.  A win over the Sabres would lift them past Buffalo tonight but, at 8-10-1 on the season, they’d still be under .500 at Thanksgiving.

If you’re looking for a positive out of that, the good news is that the Red Wings have been under “true” .500 (same number of wins and losses, whether or not they got a point in the loss) a quarter of the way through the season (or later) six times in their current 25-year playoff streak.  In the lockout-shortened 2013 campaign, they didn’t get “back” to .500 until the last game of the season.  Last year it wasn’t until Game 78.


As for Wednesday’s game itself, the Red Wings are expected to bring Brendan Smith and Tyler Bertuzzi back into the lineup.  Smith replaces the injured Alexey Marchenko while Bertuzzi takes Drew Miller‘s spot.

Jimmy Howard gets the start against Robin Lehner.

Game time is 7:00 PM on FSD+.

On the Pistons’ Move to Little Caesars Arena

Per Ian Thibodeau of the Detroit News, the Detroit Pistons will announce tomorrow that they intend to move to Little Caesars Arena with the Red Wings next season.

I’m a Red Wings fan first and a Pistons fan only because I always default to the home team.  As such, this is disappointing to me.

The Joe is a dirt pit.  It needs to be replaced.  But it’s the Red Wings’ dirt pit.  The banners and photos and statues are all Red Wings.

In a shared arena, that’s not going to happen.  Yeah, there will be Red Wings photos, and there will be Red Wings banners, and there will probably be Red Wings statues.  But are the rafters going to be a sea of red and white?

Having the Pistons back downtown is great for the city and good for the arena.  It’s a step back for the Wings, though.  Their new arena isn’t entirely theirs anymore.

Red Wings Reveal Centennial Classic Jerseys

The Red Wings revealed their jerseys for the Centennial Classic on Monday.

Per the press release, the years of Detroit’s Stanley Cup Championships will be included in each of the silver sleeve stripes.

The four sleeve stripes are taken from the 1928-29 Detroit Cougars’ sweaters.  The silver accents are in honor of the league’s centennial and are also included on the jerseys that the Toronto Maple Leafs will wear.

It will surprise no one that I’m not thrilled with these, but I don’t hate them by any means.

First and foremost, I wish that this was going to be another red vs. blue matchup, as the 2014 Winter Classic between these two teams was.  I think this design would look much better with the red and white swapped.

The silver is bad but we knew it was coming once we saw the Maple Leafs’ jerseys.  I can live with it.  I think if it’d been a red jersey, all four striped could have been silver (or white outlined in silver) and it would have looked better.

My biggest complaint is that the top half of the jersey looks empty.  That said, once sleeve numbers and a Centennial Classic patch get added, that might not look as bad.

I’m curious what the numbers will look like.  I’m guessing solid red but red with a silver outline would also make sense.  Again, this is a case where a solid red jersey with white numbers and silver trim would have looked better.

It’s just a wasted opportunity in a season full of wasted opportunities.  Hard to get excited about.

Pregame: Lightning @ Red Wings – 11/15

The Red Wings look to bounce back from their 5-0 loss to the Montreal Canadiens on Sunday as they host the Tampa Bay Lightning tonight.

Tyler Bertuzzi exits the Detroit lineup, having been sent back to the Grand Rapids Griffins.  Drew Miller re-takes his spot on the fourth line with Bertuzzi gone.

On defense, Ryan Sproul swaps in for Niklas Kronwall, who is taking a few days off to rest his knees.

Petr Mrazek gets the start in goal for the Red Wings.

Game time is 7:30 PM on FSD.


Stupid Stat of the Day
The Red Wings haven’t won a game on November 15th in regulation since 2000.

Rosters for Red Wings – Maple Leafs Centennial Classic Alumni Game Announced

The rosters for the Centennial Classic Alumni Game were announced on Tuesday, as tickets for the game went on sale.

The Toronto Maple Leafs alumni team will host the Detroit Red Wings alumni at BMO Field on December 31, a day before the Leafs host the Wings in the Centennial Classic.

The rosters are as follows:

Detroit Red Wings

Name Pos.
Kris Draper F
Dino Ciccarelli F
Martin Lapointe F
Doug Brown F
Sergei Fedorov F
Vyacheslav Kozlov F
Brendan Shanahan F
Tomas Holmstrom F
Mickey Redmond F
Darren McCarty F
Igor Larionov F
Kirk Maltby F
Joe Kocur F
Nicklas Lidstrom D
Larry Murphy D
Chris Chelios D
Jiri Fischer D
Paul Coffey D
Manny Legace G
Kevin Hodson G

Toronto Maple Leafs

Name Pos.
Darryl Sittler F
Doug Gilmour F
Rick Vaive F
Darcy Tucker F
Wendel Clark F
Lanny McDonald F
Gary Roberts F
Dave Andreychuk F
Tiger Williams F
Tie Domi F
Steve Thomas F
Gary Leeman F
Mats Sundin F
Tomas Kaberle D
Dave Ellett D
Bryan McCabe D
Borje Salming D
Dmitri Yushkevich D
Al Iafrate D
Bob McGill D
Curtis Joseph G
Felix Potvin G
Mike Palmateer G

Every player from the Detroit roster played in one of the two Alumni Showdown games at Comerica Park in 2013.  Lapointe, Fischer, Dandenault, and Hodson played in the first game while the rest played in the second game, which mostly featured the bigger names.

Former Red Wings who appeared in that second game but won’t be in Toronto include Steve Yzerman, Chris Osgood, Viacheslav Fetisov, and Mark Howe.  Of those, only Yzerman played at the Stadium Series Alumni Game in Denver last February.

Pregame: Howard Starts as Wings Host Canucks

Jimmy Howard will get another start in net for Detroit tonight as the Red Wings host the Vancouver Canucks.

It will be the sixth start of the season for the NHL’s save-percentage and GAA leader, and it’s looking like Petr Mrazek‘s hold on the starting role is tenuous at best.

No line changes are expected, meaning Xavier Ouellet and Ryan Sproul are out on the blue line and Drew Miller is a healthy scratch up front.

Stupid Stat of the Day
The Red Wings won in Philadelphia for the first time since 1997 on Tuesday.  The last time that they won in Philadelphia and then came home for their next game and won that was 1970.  That post-Flyers home game?  The Red Wings hosted the Canucks.

Game time is 7:30 PM on FSD.

Red Wings Call-Up Bertuzzi, Put Vanek on LTIR

The Detroit Red Wings announced on Monday that Tyler Bertuzzi was called up from the Grand Rapids Griffins, with Thomas Vanek placed on long-term injured reserve to make room for him.

Vanek’s LTIR stint is back-dated to October 25th, so he’s eligible to come back late next week.

The interesting thing is that, with a player like Bertuzzi, you’d think he’d be called up so a guy like Steve Ott could sit.  Ott’s signing last summer essentially took away Bertuzzi’s spot on the fourth line.  But then there’s this:

If Bertuzzi was slated for the fourth line in Philadelphia tomorrow, wouldn’t he be practicing on that line while the 13th forward fills in for the missing Henrik Zetterberg?  Is Bertuzzi the spare, called up just in case Zetterberg can’t go against the Flyers?

If Bertuzzi was called up as insurance, it’s really interesting that the Red Wings didn’t go with Anthony Mantha.  A top-six spot opens up and they don’t go with the supposed top-six guy?  I don’t know.

Apparently Zetterberg will be ready to play tomorrow.  In that case, Bertuzzi taking his spot in practice confuses me.  I guess we’ll see tomorrow.


Update, 12:20 PM: MLive’s Ansar Khan, who still has me blocked on Twitter, says that Bertuzzi will play in a top-six role.

I really don’t get why they didn’t go with Mantha here and I’m confused as to what they want from him.

Morning After: Thoughts on Video Review

Video review got a workout in the Red Wings’ 5-3 loss to the Winnipeg Jets last night.

Three of the eight goals were reviewed.  The first of those was a review after the officials had already overturned the call on the ice and the third confirmed that a goal had been scored even though play continued.  The second, though, highlights a way in which video review could be made better.

I should say that I love video review.  I think it’s important to get the call right and it’s worth taking the time to do so.

The issue I have is that in the immediate aftermath of Mark Scheifele’s game-tying goal, only the officials knew what they had seen to make the call.  Ken and Mickey didn’t know.  Twitter buzzed with possible views until it was finally confirmed that the under-crossbar camera was the conclusive angle.

What I would love to see is the officials communicating what angle was conclusive and exactly what they saw.

We already joke about reviews taking place on tiny tablets.  If that’s going to be how it is, take advantage of it.  There are apps out there (such as Coach’s Eye, by one of my former employers) that allow for quick and easy telestration via tablet.

I think it’d be great if we took the extra seconds for the officials to circle the puck and send it up to the press box.  Get that clip up on the video boards at the arena and out on the TV broadcasts.  It wouldn’t change the game but it would help eliminate confusion for viewers in the stands and at home.

Pregame: Kronwall Returns as Red Wings Host Jets

Detroit defenseman Niklas Kronwall is slated to make his first appearance of the season tonight as the Red Wings host the Winnipeg Jets.

Coming off a knee injury, Kronwall is expected to see reduced minutes.  He’s slated to start the game paired with Brendan Smith on the third defense pairing.

Ryan Sproul and Xavier Ouellet will be healthy scratches.

Petr Mrazek gets the start in goal.

Game time is 7:30 PM on FSD.


Random babbling about jersey numbers and an odd photo…

I was looking at the Wings’ roster earlier today and – as a jersey number geek – it jumped out at me that Ryan Sproul‘s #48 is the third-lowest number on the Detroit blue line.

Detroit has a lot of non-traditional numbers in general.  Two numbers in the 70s, two in the 60s, four in the 50s.

Of the “traditional” numbers, 1-30, the Red Wings have only nine represented on the roster.  Nine are retired, true, but of the 12 remaining, six are unassigned (and/or were worn in camp by players under contract to the Griffins), five are reserved for players in GR, and one belongs to an OHL player (Vili Saarijarvi and #28).

I was talking to Michael Petrella about it and we were wondering how much that has to do with players never changing from their “prospect” numbers.  Darren Helm kept his #43 rather than taking the #15 he wore in Medicine Hat and Grand Rapids.  Andreas Athanasiou still has #72.  Yeah, Dylan Larkin picked #71 when he couldn’t have #17 and Danny DeKeyser went with #65 with #5 unavailable and Xavier Ouellet wears #61 because he can’t have #16, but why couldn’t Alexey Marchenko get the #3 he wore in GR from Nick Jensen when he switched numbers, and why not assign Sproul the #4 made available by Teemu Pullkinen’s departure?

That conversation reminded me of something I rarely see mentioned: Jonathan Ericsson switching from #52 to #2.

Ericsson has always worn #52 and I’ve never seen it suggested in print that he planned to switch.  That said, during the 2008 Stanley Cup parade, he rode with Justin Abdelkader in a truck that had #8 on one side and #2 on the other.

Credit: Hour Detroit
Credit: Hour Detroit

That fall, tryout Kyle Deck would wear #2 at camp, while Ericsson was back in #52.  Was a number change planned and abandoned?  Did someone just detail the truck wrong?  I don’t know and I’ve never heard it discussed.