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.

Brunnstrom Signs with Frolunda

Forward Fabian Brunnstrom has signed a three-year contract with the Frolunda Indians of the Swedish Elite League.

Brunnstrom was unlikely to be offered a contract by the Detroit Red Wings after playing in their organization last season.  The team had said they were happy with his performance in five games with the Red Wings and 45 games with the AHL’s Grand Rapids Griffins but the signing of Swiss forward Damien Brunner made Brunnstrom redundant.

In heading back to his native Sweden, Brunnstrom ends his NHL career with 104 games played between the Red Wings and the Dallas Stars.  He scored 19 goals and 22 assists.

Hockeytown Shifts Gears To Watch Worlds: Americans Discover Yearly Hockey Tournament

Five games into the post season (one game short of my playoff tickets) and the Detroit Red Wings have done the unthinkable.

Started their golf season early – just not as early as the Leafs, Blue Jackets, etc.

The Detroit Red Wings have become the first team to be eliminated from the playoffs; which means no more hockey for Detroit fans to enjoy (well other than if the Flyers beat the Penguins).

All of the Detroit stars and done, gone, no more hockey until the fall right. Well maybe, but adds are that is not true either.

You see there is this “little” known hockey tournaments every year (well not on Winter Olympic years) called the IIHF World Championship; and guess what. NHL players are allowed to play.

HOLY CRAP.

Now that the Red Wings have been eliminated early there is a chance that some of them will be asked to join their native country in the tournament that is taking place split between Stockholm, Sweden and Helsinki, Finland.

Currently none of the Red Wings have agreed to join their teams; however, other than for injury reasons I am sure a few may. Especially the Swedes and the Finn.

Team Sweden has gained Henrik Zetterberg, Niklas Kronwall, Johan Franzen, Jonathan Ericsson, Gustav Nyquist, Joakim Andersson, Fabian Brunnstrom and Tomas Holmstrom to their potential player pool. I know Nicklas Lidstrom is a Swede, he was captain for Tre Kronor in the Vancouver Olympics; but The Perfect Human is still injured and I do not see him joining the team.

Event co-host Finland now has Valtteri Filppula available. Last year Finland won gold without Filppula; however with Mikko Koivu‘s injury during the NHL regular season and the loss of goaltender Niklas Backstrom to surgery Filppula is probably already receiving calls.

Russia has been lackluster in the international tournaments as of late and could use the help of Pavel Datsyuk; however, injury may keep the Magician off the ice.

Justin Abdelkader, Chris Conner, Doug Janik, Drew Miller, Jimmy Howard and Ty Conklin have become available for Team USA. With the horrible finish in last years tournament the USA needs a strong push this time around and hopefully Miller, Howard and Abdelkader can have a better ending to their season by helping out the national team.

Hockey Canada… Detroit gives to you Todd Bertuzzi, Danny Cleary, Riley Sheahan, Garnet Exelby, Kyle Quincey, Brendan Smith, Corey Emmerton, Brad Stuart, and Ian White… if you shall choose.

To the Czech Republic Jiri Hudler and Jakub Kindl would be good additions to your team.

Tomas Tatar has seen two season end thus far but could still be a big part for Slovakia.

And Slovenia The Red Wings have given you Jan Mursak.

Now Detroit fans and National Team fans sit and wait to see who will be joining as the Red Wings clear out their lockers and scatter for what is the longest off-season they have had since before winning the cup in 2008.

Red Wings Ride Three-goal First Period to 4-1 Win over Sabres

The Detroit Red Wings scored three times in the first period and never looked back, cruising to a 4-1 win over the Buffalo Sabres Friday night.

Jakub Kindl, Johan Franzen, and Valtteri Filppula provided the offense in the game’s opening frame, continuing a trend that sees the Red Wings undefeated when either Franzen or Filppula scores.

Kindl opened the game’s scoring 8:50 in. After the Sabres failed to clear their zone, Kindl threw a shot from the left point on net, handcuffing Buffalo goalie Jhonas Enroth for his first goal of the season.

Franzen made it 2-0 with 6:22 left in the first. With Detroit on a power play, Franzen got the puck in the slot and put a wrister past Enroth.

Just 1:03 later, Henrik Zetterberg took the puck away from Jochen Hecht at the Buffalo blue line and fed a streaking Filppula, who jumped up into the slot and snapped a shot by Enroth to make it 3-0.

Hecht would eventually atone for his giveaway, getting the Sabres on the board with 6:13 left in regulation. Hecht raced down the ice with Jason Pominville on a two-on-one, taking a pass from Pominville to beat Detroit netminder Jimmy Howard stick-side.

Hecht’s goal would not be the start of a Buffalo comeback, however. Pavel Datsyuk rounded out the game’s scoring with an empty-net goal from center ice.

Franzen’s goal was the lone power play goal of the night. Detroit had five tries with the extra attacker while Buffalo had four.

Howard made 27 saves on 28 shots in earning the win. Enroth stopped 32 of the 35 shots he faced.

The Red Wings continue their three-game road trip on Monday when they visit the Colorado Avalanche.


Detroit forward Chris Conner made his first appearance of the season, skating on the third line with Darren Helm and Danny Cleary after having been called up from the Grand Rapids Griffins on Wednesday night… Fabian Brunnstrom is not travelling with the team, as they’ve allowed him to spend time with his wife and newborn son before he will be sent back to the Griffins… Cory Emmerton and Mike Commodore were healthy scratches… Justin Abdelkader left the game in the third period after taking a high hit but later said he would be fine.

Postgame: Red Wings @ Sabres – 12/2

The Wings’ win over the Sabres tonight wasn’t quite what it seemed. Based on the first period and the final score, you’d think Detroit dominated the game. In reality, Detroit controlled the first period and then – until the last five minutes or so – both teams pretty much just coasted.

Buffalo had fewer shots in the first period than either the second or third and the first was the only period in which the Red Wings outshot them. The Wings took as many shots in the first (18) as they did in the rest of the game combined.

What you end up with is a period that defined the scoreboard but not the game.

I’m not sure if Detroit got lazy after taking the 3-0 lead or Buffalo started playing better; probably a combination of the two. The latter you have to expect but the former is disappointing. The now-seven-game win streak the Wings are on has gotten them back to the top of the conference. It’s going to end someday but I’d hate to see that loss come because the Wings got sloppy.

Jimmy Howard is a fantastic goalie but the team can’t continue to ride him like they have at times during the streak.

One good bit of news to come out of the latter stages of the game is that Justin Abdelkader is fine after taking a high hit in the third period.

Also good: Chris Conner looked solid in his first game as a Red Wing. I have to think he’s officially ahead of Fabian Brunnstrom on the depth chart right now, but things are going to get interesting once Jan Mursak returns from injury.

Red Wings Reassign Brunnstrom to Grand Rapids

The Detroit Red Wings reassigned forward Fabian Brunnstrom to the American Hockey League’s Grand Rapids Griffins on Saturday.

Brunnstrom has been up and down between the two teams several times this season, playing in five games with the Red Wings and four with the Griffins.

Brunnstrom had been kept on the Detroit roster after the Red Wings called up Chris Conner on Wednesday to let him spend more time with his wife and newborn son.

With Brunnstrom having been sent back to Grand Rapids and both Jan Mursak (leg) and Patrick Eaves (jaw) on injured reserve, the Red Wings have 22 players (13 forwards, 7 defensemen, 2 goalies) on their active roster.

Filppula Scores Twice as Red Wings Defeat Predators, 4-1

Valtteri Filppula scored two goals and added an assist Saturday night, leading the Detroit Red Wings to a 4-1 win over the Nashville Predators.

Filppula opened the game’s scoring with 6:37 remaining in the first period, lifting a backhander from an acute angle over sprawled Nashville goalie Pekka Rinne after a Todd Bertuzzi chance bounced off the post.

Henrik Zetterberg made it 2-0 just 1:31 into the second period. Zetterberg picked drifted backwards from in close to Rinne, outwaiting him before firing a shot from the left faceoff circle into the top of the net.

At 8:34 of the period, Filppula’s second put the Red Wings up by three. Jakub Kindl threw a shot towards the net that was deflected by both Jiri Hudler and Filppula to get past Rinne.

Danny Cleary finished off Detroit’s scoring at 4:03 of the third period. Darren Helm stole the puck from Mike Fisher as the Predators attempted to clear their zone, then sent a pass to Cleary in the right faceoff circle for a one-timer past Rinne.

Nashville’s lone goal came 1:31 later, when Jack Hillen snuck in behind Helm and Jonathan Ericsson in the slot to take a pass from Colin Wilson and tip it past Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard.

Howard, making his fifteenth consecutive start, needed to make only 18 saves on 19 shots. Detroit held Nashville to only eight shots in the game’s first forty minutes.

Rinne made 33 saves on the Red Wings’ 37 shots.

Filppula’s first goal was the only power play tally of the night. Detroit had two chances with the extra attacker while Nashville had three,

After three games in four nights, the Red Wings are off until Wednesday when they host the Tampa Bay Lightning.


Detroit forward Patrick Eaves left the game late in the third period after taking a Roman Josi shot to the side of his head. He was taken to the Detroit Medical Center for observation, where he is expected to be held overnight… Cory Emmerton, Fabian Brunnstrom and Mike Commodore were the Red Wings’ healthy scratches.

Red Wings End Bruins’ Streak in Shootout

Todd Bertuzzi scored on the final shot of the shootout Friday afternoon, giving the Detroit Red Wings a 3-2 win over the Boston Bruins in the NHL’s inaugural Thanksgiving Showdown.

Detroit’s victory ended a ten-game Boston winning streak.

Bertuzzi beat Bruins’ netminder Tuukka Rask on Detroit’s third shootout shot, swinging out to his right before backing in towards Rask and flipping ther puck past him.

Pavel Datsuyk also scored in the tiebreaker, while Nathan Horton beat Detroit’s Jimmy Howard.

The Bruins controlled play for much of the game but it was the Red Wings who scored first. With 7:17 remaining in the opening period, Valtteri Filppula carried the puck into the Boston zone and passed it off to Henrik Zetterberg, who sent it back to Filppula for a tip from the top of the crease past Rask.

Boston’s Daniel Paille tied things up at 4:05 of the second. Attempting to clear the puck from behind his net, Howard sent a pass along the boards right onto the stick of a forechecking Horton. Horton put it out to Paille, who was able to backhand a shot into the net as Howard dove to get back into position.

Datsyuk restored the Red Wings’ lead just 35 seconds later. Bertuzzi sent a pass from the right wing boards between defenseman Zdeno Chara‘s legs to Datsyuk in the right faceoff circle. As he cut to the goal alone, Datsyuk kicked the puck from his skate to his stick and batted it past Rask.

Patrice Bergeron tied the game back up at 7:52 of the third period. Zetterberg bobbled a pass in the left faceoff circle of his own end and Bergeron picked up the loose puck before driving a shot past Howard.

Howard finished the night with 41 saves on 43 Boston chances. Rask stopped 29 of Detroit’s 31 shots.

Neither team scored a power play goal. The Wings had three tries with the extra attacker while the Bruins had two.

The win temporarily put the Red Wings in first place in the Central Division, a spot they relenquished when the Chicago Blackhawks won later in the day.


Patrick Eaves, Fabian Brunnstrom and Mike Commodore were the healthy scratches for Detroit. Brunnstrom did not make the trip to Boston as the team allowed him to stay home with his wife, who is expecting their first child.

Holmstrom Leads Red Wings Past Flames

Tomas Holmstrom scored twice on the power play Wednesday night, helping the Detroit Red Wings to a 5-3 win over the visiting Calgary Flames.

The goals lifted Holmstrom into a tie with Brendan Shanahan for fifth place all-time in Red Wings power play goals scored.

Holmstrom opened the game’s scoring at 6:14 of the first period, deflecting a shot intentionally fired wide of the net by Nicklas Lidstrom past Calgary netminder Miikka Kiprusoff midway through a Detroit power play.

Jarome Iginla evened things back up just 44 seconds into the second, getting the puck on the right wing on a three-on-two and wristing a shot past Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard.

Brendan Morrison put the Flames up 2-1 2:12 later, getting into the left faceoff circle untouched and blasting a shot past Howard.

Former Flame Ian White, appearing in his first game since blocking a shot with his face on November 12, tied things back up at 7:38 of the middle frame. White drifted from the high slot to the right wing boards with the puck, finally flinging a shot on net that found its way through past Kiprusoff.

Holmstrom’s second of the night put the Red Wings back into the lead. At 2:42 of the third he took a Pavel Datsyuk pass at the edge of the crease and spun around, backhanding a shot past Kiprusoff from in close.

Calgary’s Olli Jokinen replied 2:24 later, snapping a shot from the left faceoff circle past Howard for a power play goal.

Pavel Datsyuk put the Red Wings in front yet again with 7:21 remaining. With the Red Wings on a two-man advantage, Datsyuk sent the puck to the front of the net and it deflected off the skate of defenseman Jay Bouwmeester, bouncing through Kiprusoff’s pads.

Valtteri Filppula made it 5-3 1:14 later when his backhand attempt deflected off the stick of defenseman Chris Butler and past Kiprusoff just three seconds after the close of a power play chance.

The Red Wings finished the night three-for-four on the power play. The Flames scored on one of their four tries with the extra attacker.

Howard made 19 saves on 22 shots against while Kiprusoff stopped 25 of the 30 Detroit chances he faced.

The Red Wings, winners of three in a row, next play in Boston in the inaugural Thanksgiving Showdown on Friday.


With Ian White’s return to the Detroit lineup, Brendan Smith was a healthy scratch. Smith was kept in Detroit in case Brad Stuart was unable to play but with both White and Stuart healthy, Smith was returned to the Griffins after the game… Fabian Brunnstrom was sent to the Griffins for the night to make room for Smith on the roster. He returned to Detroit when Smith was sent down… Patrick Eaves and Mike Commodore were healthy scratches for the Red Wings.

Kronwall Escapes Injury as Red Wings Fall to Blues

The Detroit Red Wings dropped a 2-1 decision to the St. Louis Blues Tuesday night, but avoided further loss when defenseman Niklas Kronwall was able to finish the game after taking a hit from behind by Chris Stewart.

Kronwall left the game in the first period after Stewart sent him dangerously into the boards with 8:46 remaining. He would return to start the second period, however.

Stewart was ejected for the hit and given a five-minute penalty for checking from behind.

The Red Wings, leading at the time of the hit, seemingly lost focus during the long power play. They failed to score on it and managed only four shots in seven total minutes of time with the extra attacker in the opening period.

The Blues scored on their first power play shot of the game with 2:41 remaining in the period, as Matt D’Agostini snapped a shot from the slot over a sprawling Jimmy Howard.

Alexander Steen gave St. Louis a 2-1 lead just past the midway point of the second period. Johan Franzen‘s no-look backhand clearing attempt landed on Steen’s stick at the blue line and he carried the puck up to the top of the left faceoff circle to fling the puck past Howard.

Justin Abdelkader had opened the game’s scoring at 6:07 of the first, throwing the puck to the front of the net from the side of the goal. It bounced around and slipped through the pads of Blues’ netminder Brian Elliot to give the Red Wings the early lead.

Elliot finished the night with 21 saves on 22 Detroit shots. Howard stopped 35 of 37 shots against.

The Blues went one-for-four on the power play, including a late five-on-three to end the game. The Wings were scoreless on six power play tries, among them the five-minute major to Stewart.

The Red Wings will continue their road trip on Thursday in San Jose.


Detroit defenseman Brendan Smith served the final game of his five-game suspension. He is expected to remain with the Red Wings for the remainder of their road trip rather than return to the Grand Rapids Griffins… Forward Todd Bertuzzi remained out of the lineup with a sinus infection… Fabian Brunnstrom was the team’s healthy scratch.