Nyquist Suspended Six Games

Detroit forward Gustav Nyquist has been suspended six games for high-sticking Minnesota’s Jared Spurgeon in Sunday’s Red Wings – Wild matchup.

I’m surprised it wasn’t more but the last similar instance was also six games so at least DoPS is consistent this time around.

Red Wings Unveil “Mr. I” Patch

Just hours after I posted my proposal for a Mike Ilitch memorial patch, the Red Wings unveiled what the team will actually wear.

Surprising no one, it’s another “text-in-a-box” patch.

Since the 1998 season and the “Believe” patch, the Red Wings have unveiled six special event patches.  The 75th anniversary design was worn only for a few games.  The “Farewell to the Joe” patch was abandoned.  All of the rest (the BM/RS/SL patch, jersey retirement patches for Steve Yzerman and Nicklas Lidstrom, and memorial patches for Gordie Howe and Mike Ilitch) have been some form of text inside a box.

I think it’s lazy and not a fitting tribute.

Thoughts on a Mike Ilitch Jersey Patch

The Red Wings are expected to reveal an on-jersey tribute to owner Mike Ilitch, who died last Friday at age 87, tonight as they host the St. Louis Blues.

I’ve commented before on the Red Wings having a tendency to make their memorial patches “text in a box” and I expect we’ll see something along those lines tonight.  With that in mind, I’ve put together something I’d like to see the Wings do.

First off, if I were the team, I’d scrap the Gordie Howe patch (which I never liked anyway) and make a combined patch for Howe and Ilitch.  I’d put this new patch on the shoulder and restore the “Farewell to the Joe” patch to the opposite shoulder for symmetry.  Since the arena patch is probably gone for good, keeping the memorial patch on the chest is also feasible.

My idea for a Gordie Howe / Mike Ilitch memorial patch.

The patch would feature the signatures of the two men, one over the other, separated by a black band with the Winged Wheel over it.

I thought about using the blue from the “Believe” patch the Red Wings wore in honor of Vladimir Konstantinov and Sergei Mnatsakonov and the “BM – RS – SL” patch memorializing Brad McCrimmon, Ruslan Salei, and Stefan Liv, but ultimately went with black because I thought the signatures should be black and didn’t want to introduce an additional color.

I have no idea what the team will actually do and I doubt it will be this.  I suppose we’ll see in the coming hours.

Red Wings Owner Mike Ilitch Dies at 87

Sad news from Bill Shea of Crain’s Detroit Business as Detroit Red Wings and Tigers owner Mike Ilitch is dead at the age of 87.

Ilitch’s dedication to his teams and his relentless pursuit of championships for the Red Wings and Tigers is legendary.

Our condolences to the Ilitch family.

Ericsson Done for Season

Red Wings’ defenseman Jonathan Ericsson is seemingly done for the season, having suffered a fractured wrist in last night’s game against the Washington Capitals.

Technically the Red Wings could make the playoffs and advance to the Eastern Conference Finals and Ericsson would have recovered in time to rejoin the team, but I don’t see that happening.

The positive in this is that it clears a roster spot and some cap space for the rest of the season.  Jimmy Howard‘s return will no longer be an issue and guys like Ryan Sproul and Xavier Ouellet should get more playing time.

Ericsson’s play has been criticized for years but he’s been somewhat better this year.  Losing him will hurt the Wings’ defense but I’ve written off the season already so I don’t see that as a big deal.  Additionally, his contract makes him virtually untradeable so it’s not like he’d have been dealt at the trade deadline for future assets.

Postgame: Red Wings – Capitals

The good news – and I use “good” very loosely – is that the Red Wings gave up enough goals to Washington in the third period on Thursday that the game didn’t look close.  Early in the period they were tied at three but badly outshot and badly outplayed.

One of my concerns as the Wings go down the stretch is that they’ll play just well enough – or even worse, have results that look just good enough – for the front office to think big changes aren’t necessary.  Outcomes like tonight help highlight how outclassed the Wings are against the NHL’s elite.

Holding Alexander Ovechkin to no shots doesn’t mean a lot when you lose 6-3.

Of course, it doesn’t help that they lost Jonathan Ericsson to injury early and that Petr Mrazek didn’t play well.  But that’s going to happen every now and then.

Unrelated unpopular opinion…  The Capitals’ throwback jerseys look horrible.  I loved them in the ’80s.  They’re dated as hell now.  Their standard set is pretty horrible, too, though.

Morning After: Red Wings vs. Blue Jackets

We know that refs aren’t perfect.  Calls get missed and bad calls are made.  However, I have a serious issue with what the officials from last night’s Red Wings/Blue Jackets matchup told Detroit captain Henrik Zetterberg after the game, when a slash from Brandon Dubinsky broke Zetterberg’s stick and directly led to Seth Jones’ game-winning goal in overtime.

They saw it. They just deemed it to not be a penalty.

For reference, here’s the play:

And, for comparison’s sake, here’s a stick-breaking slash that was called a penalty in the Montreal/Colorado game last night:

I’ve ranted before about refs being treated as infallible. It’s simply not true and we’ve got video proof of that from last night.

Either the slash in the Detroit/Columbus game was correctly called – no penalty because doing that is not a penalty, or the slash in the Canadiens/Avalanche game was correctly called – breaking the stick with a slash is a penalty, or the slash on Zetterberg was simply missed – in which case the ref was covering his ass by saying what happened wasn’t a penalty.

My guess is that the last one occurred. And that happens. I’d feel a lot better, though, if the refs owned up to it.

Red Wings Lose Marchenko to Leafs via Waivers

The Detroit Red Wings lost defenseman Alexey Marchenko to the Toronto Maple Leafs via waivers on Saturday.

Marchenko was waived to clear a roster spot for Brendan Smith, who is slated to return from injury tonight as the Red Wings visit the Nashville Predators.

Marchenko made the Red Wings’ roster out of camp last season, then went on to play for his native Russia at the World Championships last spring and the World Cup of Hockey.  Despite that, he lost his roster spot to Nick Jensen this season and fell behind Ryan Sproul on the team’s depth chart.

I’m not surprised that Marchenko was claimed, given how many teams have been clamoring for right-handed shooting defensemen.  I can’t help but think that this is yet another case of asset mis-management by the Red Wings’ brass.

Red Wings Place Marchenko on Waivers

The Detroit Red Wings have placed defenseman Alexey Marchenko on waivers.

The move comes with defenseman Brendan Smith scheduled to return from injury tomorrow against the Nashville Predators, requiring that the Red Wings open up a roster spot.

It would appear that Marchenko, who made the Red Wings’ roster out of camp last season and played for his native Russia at both the 2016 World Championships and the World Cup of Hockey, has been passed on the depth chart by Xavier Ouellet, Nick Jensen, and Ryan Sproul.

I had expected Sproul to be the one to get the axe, given criticism of his play.  I suppose the Red Wings brass sees more upside in him than Marchenko.

With the number of teams looking for right handed shots right now, I find it hard to believe Marchenko won’t get claimed.  That said, I’m still surprised Teemu Pulkkinen is in the AHL right now so what do I know?  If he does make it through, he’ll head to the Grand Rapids Griffins and re-join their already-packed blueline.

Miller Clears Waivers, Roster Logjam Remains

Red Wings forward Drew Miller cleared waivers on Monday but, due to injuries to Thomas Vanek and Dylan Larkin, Detroit’s roster situation remains unclear.

Miller has technically been sent to Grand Rapids but could be called up as soon as tomorrow.  The Griffins do not play tonight.

Neither Thomas Vanek nor Dylan Larkin will play in Boston tomorrow night.  Larkin has also been ruled out of Wednesday’s tilt against the Toronto Maple Leafs, so he could go on seven-day IR to clear room for Miller’s temporary return to Detroit.