Almquist Called Up as Smith Goes on IR

Detroit Red Wings general manager Ken Holland announced on Sunday that defenseman Adam Almquist has been called up from the Grand Rapids Griffins, with defenseman Brendan Smith being placed on short-term injured reserve.

Almquist, selected by Detroit in the seventh round of the 2009 draft, will make his NHL debut on Monday when the Red Wings visit the Winnipeg Jets. In ten games this season with the Griffins, the third-year pro has no goals and seven assists.

Smith suffered a slightly separated shoulder during a fight with Edmonton’s Will Acton late in a 5-0 win over the Oilers on Saturday night. He’s expected to miss 1-2 weeks.

Detroit is already without defenseman Jonathan Ericsson due to a shoulder injury.

Pregame: Penguins @ Red Wings – 9/25

The Red Wings begin the final part of their preseason schedule tonight, hosting the Pittsburgh Penguins in the first of three games in four nights.

Detroit will be without Daniel Alfredsson and Jakub Kindl due to injury and will be sitting their top line and top defensive pair. Petr Mrazek will get the start in goal. Expected lines are as follows:

Johan FranzenStephen WeissJustin Abdelkader
Gustav NyquistJoakim AnderssonTomas Tatar
Drew MillerCory EmmertonMikael Samuelsson
Daniel ClearyRiley SheahanTodd Bertuzzi

Kyle QuinceyBrendan Smith
Danny DeKeyserXavier Ouellet
Adam AlmquistBrian Lashoff

Game time is 7:30 PM on FS+ and NHL Network.

Red Wings Assign Eight to Griffins

One day after sending seventeen players to the Grand Rapids Griffins, the Detroit Red Wings assigned eight more to their American Hockey League affiliate.

Forwards Riley Sheahan, Triston Grant, Landon Ferraro, Louis-Marc Aubry and Luke Glendening were sent down as the Griffins begin their training camp in Grand Rapids. They’re joined by defensemen Nathan Paetsch and Alexey Marchenko and goalie Jared Coreau.

The Red Wings are now down to 30 players on their training camp roster. Expected Griffins still in Detroit are Teemu Pulkkinen, Willie Coetzee, Adam Almquist and Petr Mrazek. Pulkkinen is currently suspended and required to remain with the Red Wings but is practicing with the Griffins, Coetzee has been injured, and Mrazek is expected to fill in for injured Detroit backup goalie Jonas Gustavsson.

Detroit has three preseason games remaining. The Griffins play two preseason matches this weekend.

Pregame: Blackhawks @ Red Wings – 9/22

A night after dropping a 2-0 decision to the Boston Bruins in their preseason home opener, the Red Wings host the Chicago Blackhawks. Detroit lost to the ‘Hawks in Chicago last Tuesday.

The Wings will be using the following roster:

Forwards
Justin Abdelkader
Pavel Datsyuk
Gustav Nyquist
Riley Sheahan
Joakim Andersson
Tomas Tatar
Cory Emmerton
Landon Ferraro
Louis-Marc Aubry
Mikael Samuelsson
Henrik Zetterberg
Luke Glendening

Defensemen
Brendan Smith
Nathan Paetsch
Alexey Marchenko
Jonathan Ericsson
Adam Almquist
Niklas Kronwall

Goalies
Jimmy Howard
Petr Mrazek

Game time is 5:00 PM on FSD.

Pregame: Red Wings @ Bruins – 9/19

The Red Wings visit the Boston Bruins tonight with most of their second line missing. Johan Franzen and Daniel Alfredsson are both out nursing injuries, so Tomas Tatar and Daniel Cleary will take their spots. The full lineup tonight is as follows:

Henrik ZetterbergPavel DatsyukJustin Abdelkader
Daniel Cleary – Stephen Weiss – Tomas Tatar
Gustav NyquistJoakim AnderssonMikael Samuelsson
David McIntyreLuke GlendeningJordin Tootoo

Niklas KronwallJonathan Ericsson
Danny DeKeyserJakub Kindl
Adam AlmquistBrian Lashoff

Jimmy Howard will start and play two periods. Tom McCollum will play the third. Game time is 7:00 PM on FSD.

Almquist Scores Twice as Red Wings Down Penguins in Exhibition Opener

Defenseman Adam Almquist scored two second-period goals as the Detroit Red Wings opened their 2013 exhibition schedule with a 4-1 win over the Penguins in Pittsburgh.

Almquist broke a 1-1 tie with a power play goal at 6:10 of the second period. After an attempt in the left faceoff circle by Brendan Smith, the puck came out to Almquist at the blue line for a slapper through traffic and past Pittsburgh goalie Tomas Vokoun.

The Swedish blueliner added another goal on the man-advantage with 8:10 remaining in the period, firing a shot from the high slot through a screen by Justin Abdelkader.

Pavel Datsyuk rounded out the game’s scoring with 2:01 left in the middle frame, faking around Paul Martin to put a shot from the right circle on Vokoun, then cutting through the slot to pick up his own rebound and backhand it past the Penguins netminder.

Tomas Tatar had gotten Detroit on the board with 7:04 remaining in the first period, stuffing the puck past Vokoun from in close.

Brandon Sutter scored Pittsburgh’s only goal of the game 1:05 into the second period, snapping a shot past Jimmy Howard on a two-on-one.

The Red Wings finished the night two-for-five on the power play while the Penguins went scoreless on their five chances with the extra attacker.

Howard stopped 13 of the 14 shots he faced across the first two periods. Petr Mrazek went 10-for-10 in the third. Vokoun stopped 11 of 15 in 40 minutes before Eric Hartzell took over and stopped all four shots he faced.

Pregame: Red Wings @ Penguins – 9/16

The Red Wings’ exhibition schedule kicks off tonight in Pittsburgh against the new conference-rival Penguins.

As per usual, only half of the team tonight will be made up of players actually expected to play in Detroit this season, the other half will be prospects and Griffins. The Red Wings will roll with a split squad for most of the preseason, allowing them to more easily play on back-to-back nights (tomorrow they’re in Chicago) while evaluating players.

Tonight’s roster is expected to be as follows:

Henrik ZetterbergPavel DatsyukJustin Abdelkader
Daniel ClearyJoakim AnderssonMikael Samuelsson
Tomas Tatar – Luke Glendenning – Landon Ferraro
Anthony ManthaCalle JarnkrokJordin Tootoo

Danny DeKeyserJakub Kindl
Kyle QuinceyBrendan Smith
Brennan EvansAdam Almqvist

Jimmy Howard and Petr Mrazek will split time in goal.

Game time is 7:00 PM. The game will not be on TV or radio in the Detroit area but will be televised in Pittsburgh so a stream might be available somewhere.

Postgame: Red Wings @ Blue Jackets – 1/21

Well I’ll be damned if that wasn’t an exciting finish. Let’s take a step back, though.

With the Red Wings up by two and dominating in the second period, that game never should have made it to the shootout. The Wings got sloppy (again) and Columbus made them pay.

The Jackets’ first goal never should have happened. Once again, the Kyle QuinceyBrendan Smith pairing got split and let someone in behind them, and Jimmy Howard got burned on the breakaway. If we can count on that happening once a game, it won’t be a good season.

And, of course, the injuries keep piling up. Carlo Colaiacovo is expected to miss weeks after being hit hard into the boards in the third period. If Jonathan Ericsson can’t go tomorrow, the Wings only have three signed defensemen in their system. Adam Almquist, Max Nicastro and Gleason Fournier. Almquist has at least spent the whole season in GR, as opposed to Nicastro and Fournier who have spent time in Toledo, but Almquist looks terrified of contact at the AHL level. Not ready for the NHL.

On the plus side, Brian Lashoff steps into a hole on the blue line to make his NHL debut and scores. He may have been the second or third best defenseman on the ice for the Wings tonight. Hell of a job by him.

Also great to see Johan Franzen looking like he cares. Great individual effort carrying the puck on the play to set up Ian White for the second goal, playing like the big man he is. And I mentioned it at the time but I love his defensive effort late in the OT, lying down to block a clearing attempt.

I also said this at the time, but I thought for certain I’d be bitching about Niklas Kronwall not shooting when he had the chance on the play that led to the tying goal. Great patience to see and get the puck to Datsyuk.

And, of course, Damien Brunner. Highlight-reel shootout game-winner in his second NHL game. Video will be going on the site shortly.

So not a perfect game by any means but the effort and the outcome were needed after the debacle in St. Louis on Saturday.

Red & White Game Rosters Announced

The Detroit Red Wings announced the tentative rosters for tomorrow’s Red & White Game at Plymouth’s Compuware Arena earlier today.

Pavel Datsyuk will be a game-time decision, having arrived back in Detroit from Russia late Monday. Darren Helm and Mikael Samuelsson will be kept out due to injuries.

Griffins 2012-13 Jersey Number Changes

With twenty-two players having been sent to Grand Rapids by the Red Wings in advance of the expected NHL lockout, the Griffins web site has updated the team’s roster with all the new player jersey numbers. Here’s a look at the changes we’ll see for the 2012-13 season.

Incoming netminder Petr Mrazek picks up the #34 worn last season by Ty Conklin during his AHL demotion, making him one of two Griffins wearing the same number as they are assigned by the Red Wings.

Nathan Paetsch takes the #4 vacated by Travis Ehrhardt. Adam Almquist switches from the #6 he got at the end of last season to the #5 that had been worn by Riley Sheahan, who takes the #19 from outgoing Mike Thomas.

Luke Glendening gets Jamie Johnson‘s old #10. Chad Billins claims the #14 last worn by Chris Minard after having shared #23 with Ryan Sproul last year, with #23 going to Triston Grant.

Fabian Brunnstrom‘s #17 goes to Max Nicastro and Chris Conner‘s #25 goes to Damien Brunner.

Tomas Jurco claims #28 from Alan Quine, making him the second Griffin with the same number he’s currently assigned with the Red Wings, pending Carlo Colaiacovo‘s number selection. Colaiacovo wore #28 with the St. Louis Blues and could request it in Detroit.

Finally, Brennan Evans will wear the #44 of the deceased Bryan Rufenach.