Postgame: Rangers @ Red Wings – 10/26

Well, I was thinking about just not writing anything for this game but then the Bird went and recommended people read my thoughts, so I feel all obligated to provide some.

Disclaimer: I watched this game on near-mute with some friends hanging around after a kids Halloween party, so it didn’t have my full attention. From what I saw, it didn’t have the Wings’ full attention, either.

I’ll start with the game-winner… Kyle Quincey pinching and getting burned is the kind of thing we’ve come to expect from him. It’s stupid for many reasons and his inability to get back to make up for it just adds to it. That said, it would have been harmless had Danny DeKeyser not come across the ice to cover for him. DeKeyser plays that as a normal two-on-one and just cuts off the pass? Twelve seconds later it’s a shootout.

I hate it when defensemen don’t play the two-on-one properly but I hate it when Kyle Quincey makes rookie mistakes, too. Just an ugly play all around. And the stupidest thing is that if Quincey had done what he usually would do and hauled down Pouliot, it’s a Rangers power play for 15 seconds and we probably go to a shootout.

So that goal wastes a fantastic effort by Jimmy Howard. Howard stops 37 of 40, including some great stops in the second when the team was under siege. He is not the problem with this team.

Allowing 40 shots and getting only two goals against a team that is at the end of an epic road trip, missing several key players, and starting a backup rookie goalie… Well, that sounds more like the Red Wings than I’d like. This is a team that has a history of making backup goalies look good. Cam Talbot made 32 stops on 34 shots and that’s a pretty good night for the kid getting his first win. Was he actually that good? Bird seems to think so but I didn’t see the Wings making him work for it. Specifically, I didn’t see a lot of lateral movement required of him. Even the awesome passing play in the third from Zetterberg to Datsyuk to Alfredsson for a chance only led to a shot by Alfredsson from an angle Talbot was already squared to.

As much as I love the Z-Pavs-Alfie line, I don’t get the idea of firing up the line blender before the game and then doing it again for the third period. There wasn’t an injury announcement, so why exactly was Bertuzzi benched for most of the third (supposedly necessitating the line juggling)? It’s not like he was the worst player on the ice at any point of the night. How did he get singled out?

I don’t know. I’m not freaking out about the state of the team yet but I’m really disappointed. It feels like the players are just not playing smart, the coaches don’t know what to do about it, and management has put the team in a position where change can’t be made (as there’s no cap space). These are the players we’re going to see this year, they’re the ones that are going to have to turn it around. We’ll see if they can.

Pregame: Rangers @ Red Wings – 10/26

The Red Wings host the New York Rangers tonight and will face the Blueshirts with a new set of lines, shaking things up after their 6-1 loss to the Ottawa Senators on Wednesday.

Pavel Datsyuk will center Daniel Alfredsson and Todd Bertuzzi on the top line while Henrik Zetterberg centers Johan Franzen and Tomas Tatar. Stephen Weiss centers Daniel Cleary and Justin Abdelkader as the third like with Joakim Andersson, Drew Miller and Jordin Tootoo as the fourth line. Mikael Samuelsson and Patrick Eaves (back from IR but not back in the lineup) will be the healthy scratches. Darren Helm remains on IR after suffering another groin injury.

On defense it will be Niklas Kronwall with Brendan Smith, Kyle Quincey with Danny DeKeyser and Brian Lashoff with Jakub Kindl. Johanthan Ericsson remains out with a shoulder injury and Xavier Ouellet has been returned to the Grand Rapids Griffins.

Jimmy Howard gets the start in goal opposite Cam Talbot, taking the place of the injured Henrik Lundqvist.

Stupid stat of the game: The Red Wings are winless (0-4) all-time against the Rangers on October 26th but all four of those games have been on the road.

Game time is 7:00 PM on FSD.

Franzen, Datsyuk Score Twice as Red Wings Hand Avs First Loss

Johan Franzen and Pavel Datsyuk each scored a pair of goals on Thursday night, leading the Detroit Red Wings to a 4-2 win over the Colorado Avalanche.

The loss was the first of the season for the Avalanche and the first of Colorado head coach Patrick Roy‘s NHL career.

The game started with the Red Wings losing top defenseman Niklas Kronwall. Just 2:13 in, Kronwall crouched to play the puck in the corner of his own end and Colorado forward Cody McLeod came at him from behind, driving his head into the glass.

Kronwall was carried off the ice on a stretcher. The Red Wings later announced that he had a mild concussion. McLeod would receive a five-minute major and be ejected for the hit.

On the ensuing power play Franzen opened the scoring. At 6:08 of the period, Henrik Zetterberg sent a pass from the right wing to Franzen at the edge of the crease. Franzen quickly turned with the puck and flicked it over Avalanche goalie Semyon Varlamov to put Detroit up, 1-0.

With five minutes left in the first Datsyuk got on the board. Danny DeKeyser threw a shot from the point on net and Datsyuk was there to fling the rebound past Varlamov to extend Detroit’s lead.

Eric Johnson cut that lead to 2-1 at 2:36 of the second with a power play goal. Johnson carried the puck through the neutral zone and into the Detroit end, reaching the top of the left faceoff circle before wristing a heavy, unscreened shot past Red Wings’ netminder Jonas Gustavsson.

With 5:18 left in the middle frame, Gabriel Landeskog tied things up on another power play goal. Off a faceoff win in the neutral zone by Paul Stastny, Landeskog carried the puck into the Detroit end and snapped a shot from the high slot past Gustavsson to make it 2-2.

Franzen restored the Detroit lead with his second power play goal of the night at 7:10 of the third. On a transition play, Justin Abdelkader got the puck in the right faceoff circle and fed Franzen at the opposite faceoff dot for a wrister past a moving Varlamov.

Datsyuk would wrap up the scoring with 6:25 left. Jumping up from the top of the right circle, Datsyuk took a feed from Daniel Alfredsson and backhanded a shot on Varlamov from the slot, then followed it up and knocked his own rebound into the back of the net.

Varlamov finished the night with 24 saves on 28 shots against. Gustavsson – in his third consecutive start as Jimmy Howard recovers from a bruised hand – stopped 38 of 40.

Each team scored twice on five power play attempts.

The Red Wings now travel to Arizona for a Saturday visit to the Phoenix Coyotes.

Brendan Smith, Mikael Samuelsson and Tomas Tatar were the healthy scratches for the Red Wings.

Gustavsson Stops 36 as Red Wings Edge Blue Jackets

Just a day after a surprise start in Boston in which he stopped 28 of 30 shots against, Detroit backup netminder Jonas Gustavsson got the nod again and stopped 36 of 37 shots to lead the Red Wings to a 2-1 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets.

It marked the first back-to-back wins for Gustavsson since January 23 and 24 of 2012, when he was with the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Cam Atkinson‘s power play goal at 7:48 of the second period was the only shot to get past Gustavsson on the night. Atkinson went end-to-end on a rush, racing around defenseman Danny DeKeyser to get a shot from in close in on Gustavsson, who made the initial stop before Atkinson swatted home the rebound to briefly tie the game.

The Red Wings would regain the lead 3:26 later with a power play goal of their own. After getting knocked down in front of the net on a slew-foot by Fedor Tyutin, Todd Bertuzzi got back up to get a backhand chop in at the rebound of a Henrik Zetterberg shot. The puck bounced between Columbus goalie Sergei Bobrovski’s pads with Pavel Datsyuk also there whacking at it.

Daniel Alfredsson‘s first goal as a Red Wing had opened the scoring at 5:05 of the first period. Driving through the slot, Zetterberg attempted to pass off to Datsyuk but the puck was blocked. Datsyuk got to it and poked it over to Alfredsson in the right faceoff circle for a slapper past Bobrovski and a 1-0 lead.

Each team scored once on the power play. Detroit had four chances with the extra attacker to Columbus’ three.

Bobrovski, the reigning Vezina Trophy winner as the league’s best goaltender, made 30 saves on 32 shots against.

The game was Gustavsson’s first career regular season start at Joe Louis Arena… During the game it was announced that injured forward Darren Helm was assigned to Grand Rapids for a conditioning stint. He is expected to play for the Griffins in their games this weekend before returning to Detroit on October 26th against the New York Rangers.

Weiss Completes Red Wings’ Rally in Overtime

In just his second game with the Red Wings, forward Stephen Weiss scored the game-winning goal with 1:47 remaining in overtime to give Detroit a 3-2 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes.

The goal capped a comeback by Detroit after the host Hurricanes carried a 2-0 lead into the third period.

Justin Abdelkader got the Red Wings on the board just 42 seconds into the final period of regulation. Henrik Zetterberg‘s attempted feed from the left wing to Stephen Weiss in the slot redirected out to Abelkader in the far faceoff circle, where he snapped a shot past Carolina netminder Cam Ward.

Detroit would remain down a goal until the final seconds of regulation. With goalie Jimmy Howard pulled for an extra attacker, Pavel Datsyuk‘s chance from the side of the net sparked a goal-mouth scramble. Zetterberg gathered up the loose puck in the slot and spun to put a backhander on net but it was knocked down. Zetterberg collected the puck again and switched to the forehand, threading a shot through traffic and past Ward with just 16.4 seconds remaining.

Weiss would end it on a rush with Johan Franzen. Franzen drove to the net and put a chance off Ward’s pad and Weiss followed it up, with the rebound bouncing off his leg and past Ward to give Detroit the win.

Radek Dvorak had opened the game’s scoring with 6:30 remaining in the first period. Jeff Skinner poked the puck towards the net from the left wing boards and defenseman Kyle Quincey couldn’t reach it to knock it away. Dvorak beat Howard’s poke-check and lifted a shot into the top of the net.

With 1:49 remaining in the period, Nathan Gerbe made it 2-0 on a power play. Justin Faulk’s shot from the blue line deflected off both Zetterberg and Danny DeKeyser, ending up on Gerbe’s stick at the edge of the crease. Gerbe snapped a shot past Howard before anyone could get to him.

Gerbe’s tally was the only power play goal of the night. Each team had three chances with the man-advantage.

Howard finished the night with 23 saves on 25 shots against. Ward made 35 saves on 38 shots.

The Red Wings continue their short road trip Saturday night in Boston.

Pregame: Sabres @ Red Wings – 10/2

The Red Wings kick off their first season in the Eastern Conference tonight, hosting new divisonal-rival Buffalo in the 2013-14 opener.

After spending most of the preseason banged up, Detroit is mostly healthy as the regular season begins. Darren Helm and Patrick Eaves are on long-term injured reserve and Jordin Tootoo and Jonas Gustavsson are on short-term IR but the top six forwards and all the defensemen are fine.

The Wings will skate with the following lines to start:

Henrik ZetterbergPavel DatsyukJustin Abdelkader
Johan FranzenStephen WeissDaniel Alfredsson
Daniel ClearyJoakim AnderssonTodd Bertuzzi
Drew MillerCory EmmertonMikael Samuelsson

Niklas KronwallJonathan Ericsson
Danny DeKeyserJakub Kindl
Kyle QuinceyBrendan Smith

Jimmy Howard will start in goal with Petr Mrazek serving as his backup.

The game will be the regular season Red Wings debuts for summer free-agent signings Alfredsson and Weiss. Everyone else in the lineup played at least one game for the Wings last season.

Game time is 8:00 PM on NBCSN.

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.

Griffins Jersey Number Updates

I’ve already looked at the Red Wings’ jersey number changes this season but now that the Griffins have released their camp roster, I can do the same for them.

None of last-season’s full-time Griffins are changing their numbers for the coming year but all of the players who joined the team late in the season have been assigned different numbers than those they wore during Grand Rapids’ Calder Cup run.

Defenseman Ryan Sproul gives up the #2 he had been wearing (having inherited it from Cody Lampl and Carlo Colaiacovo) to Joe Hartman, switching to the #7 vacated by Brendan Smith‘s ascension to the Detroit roster full-time. Fellow blueliner Xavier Ouellet switches from #37 to #16 while Richard Nedomlel goes from #41 to #45, a rare case of a Griffin wearing a high number.

With Ouellet taking #16, Marek Tvrdon drops to the #13 previously assigned to Gustav Nyquist, who seems poised to make the jump to the Red Wings.

Teemu Pulkkinen switches from #26 to the #6 that was briefly assigned to Andreas Athanasiou, with #26 going to free-agent signing David McIntyre. Calle Jarnkrok drops from the #25 he shared with Mike Knuble last year (and was originally assigned to Damien Brunner) to the #12 vacated by Brent Raedeke‘s departure. Kevin Lynch picks up the #25 from Jarnkrok.

Newcomer Alden Hirschfeld takes Francis Pare‘s old #9. Similarly, Martin Frk picks up Tomas Tatar‘s #27, Dane Walters gets Brian Lashoff‘s #32, Travis Novak will wear Jan Mursak‘s #39 and Alexey Marchenko gets the #3 that was shared by Erik Spady, Mark Mitera and Brett Skinner.

Goalie Jared Coreau gets his usual #31, meaning that he joins Landon Ferraro (#29) and Petr Mrazek (#34) as the only Griffins assigned the same number in Grand Rapids as they are in Detroit.

Joakim Andersson‘s old #18, Chad Billins‘ #14 and Danny DeKeyser‘s #55 were not assigned for camp.

Red Wings Rout Bruins in Preseason Matchup

The Detroit Red Wings scored eight times on Thursday night, getting goals from eight different players en route to a 8-2 preseason victory over the Bruins in Boston.

Boston prospect goalie Malcolm Subban allowed all eight Detroit goals, facing 27 shots on the night. Detroit netminder Jimmy Howard stopped 14 of 15 shots in the first two periods before being replaced by Tom McCollum for the third.

Justin Abdelkader opened the game’s scoring on the power play at 5:01 of the first period, kicking a rebound chance from his skate to his stick at the top of the crease and knocking the puck past Subban.

Grand Rapids Griffins forward David McIntyre made it 2-0 with 3:53 remaining in the period when he lifted a backhander into the net in a goal-mouth scramble on a delayed penalty.

Henrik Zetterber’s slapper from the high slot off a feed from the left wing by Pavel Datsyuk made it 3-0 at 3:28 of the second period and Danny DeKeyser made it 4-0 at 9:17 when he snapped a shot past Subban from down low in the right circle.

Jarome Iginla finally got the Bruins on the board with 8:13 left in the middle period. Matt Bartkowski sent the puck from the left wing to the front of the net and Iginla redirected it past Howard with his skate.

Daniel Cleary started Detroit’s four-goal third period on a two-on-one with Tomas Tatar. Cleary grabbed a loose puck in the Detroit zone and carried it the length of the ice down the right wing before cutting to the net and shoveling a backhander past Subban.

Nick Johnson would score the only goal against McCollum with 8:28 remaining, taking a pass in the high slot and faking around Datsyuk to cut to the front of the net and roof a backhander over the goaltender.

Niklas Kronwall would respond with a power play goal just 1:24 later, firing a blast from the blue line that deflected off the stick of Daniel Paille in the slot on its way past Subban.

Only 32 seconds after that, Joakim Andersson golfed the rebound of a Gustav Nyquist shot in behind Subban to make it 7-2.

Datsyuk would round out the scoring with 5:47 remaining, taking a long stretch pass from Zetterberg to break in on Subban all alone and beat him top shelf.

The Red Wings were without forwards Daniel Alfredsson and Johan Franzen, who were allowed to rest minor injuries… Earlier in the day Patrick Eaves suffered a leg injury in practice… Jakub Kindl left the game early with a hip flexor… Before the game, forward Teemu Pulkkinen was suspended for four preseason games for boarding in Tuesday’s game in Chicago.

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.

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