Morning After: Red Wings – Bruins

That was fun.

I’m not saying that Detroit’s 6-5 shootout win over Boston was good, it was just a lot of fun to watch.

I keep mentally comparing the Boston game with the Montreal game.  Both were wins, much-needed points against division rivals.

Against Montreal, the Red Wings locked things down.  Detroit was strong defensively and Jared Coreau was stellar when challenges got through.  But it wasn’t necessarily fun to watch.  It was good to see the Wings play a game like that, but it wasn’t exciting.

Against Boston, the Wings started horribly.  They looked awful in that first period.  Mike Green‘s giveaway leading to the shorthanded goal really represented the whole 20 minutes.  Then they took control.  Petr Mrazek looked great.  They moved the puck well.  They got some great scoring chances.  They were still sloppy defensively, though, which bit them in the ass on the fifth goal.  They looked like they had a chance, though.

I mean, this should come as no surprise.  Scoring chances are exciting.  Bad defense (by both teams) can lead to scoring chances.  So the well-played Montreal game is less exciting than the sloppy Boston game.

I focus on these two games because, even with the three-game winning streak, I don’t see the Red Wings making the playoffs this year.  That doesn’t mean good won’t come of the season.  There will be games where the team plays well and there will be games that are exciting.

I think that there’s a lot of talk out there that equates a rebuild (which the Wings can’t even really do anyway, given their contract situations) with years of bad, boring hockey.  I think it’s worth noting that it doesn’t have to be that way.  Even teams that miss the playoffs have good nights and it’s okay enjoy those in the midst of a losing season.

Postgame Thoughts: Centennial Classic Edition

Everything the Red Wings had going for them tonight felt like a fluke.

That’s the best way I can sum up today’s Centennial Classic loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs at BMO Field.

Aside from the final two and a half minutes of the game, with Detroit’s net empty and the team down a pair of goals, there was maybe one shift of sustained pressure from the Red Wings all game.

Zone entries were awful, especially on the power play.  I’m shocked at the number of shots the Wings had because I can’t remember a time when it felt like Frederik Andersson was challenged.

The Wings defense got absolutely undressed on at least two of Toronto’s goals, probably three.  Jared Coreau was the only thing keeping the Red Wings in the game.

Then they rattled off a series of improbable goals, capped by one that probably shouldn’t have counted.  Maybe it’s just a case of my eye test failing, but the way I see it, they made what should have been a disaster of a game into one that looked respectable and they got a point out of it.  Some people would take that as a positive.  I don’t.

On Judging the Kids

It’s no secret that I’ve written off this season for the Red Wings and want to see them “play the kids.”  I wrote early this month that I liked that Ryan Sproul had been in position to make the mistake that led to a Florida Panthers overtime win.

The game after that mistake, Sproul was a minus-3 in a loss to Pittsburgh.  He’s played in just four of the Red Wings’ 11 games since then.  He’s spent time behind both Brian Lashoff and Nick Jensen on the Wings’ depth chart.

Andreas Athanasiou had seven shifts last night.  At the end of the first period, on his fourth shift, the Senators scored with seconds left to tie things up.  On his sixth shift, he jumped the gun to try to force an odd-man rush and was out of position when the pass he was waiting for got picked off, turning into an Ottawa goal.  His seventh shift closed out the second period.  He didn’t play in the third.

I want to see what the kids can do when given opportunity.  Benching takes that opportunity away.  We may find out over a season that Sproul doesn’t have it.  We may find out that Athanasiou can’t handle more than 12 minutes per night.  But we don’t know unless they get that opportunity.

I will say that, with Sproul benched, I’m glad that Nick Jensen is getting his own opportunity.  That makes a lot more sense to me than Lashoff playing.


There are two things about the small sample size that these guys have to prove themselves that have been rattling around in my head.

#1 – Lets say that Sproul plays a full season, fills in well, but is otherwise unspectacular.  Hey, a kid stepped into the NHL and proved he belonged and that’s good, right?  Yeah, but don’t throw a four-year deal at him all of the sudden.  Looking at you, Brian Lashoff.

#2 – Jared Coreau is a great story.  Two wins in his first three NHL starts after he started his pro career going a full year without a win.  He’s probably going to start the Centennial Classic and, given Petr Mrazek‘s struggles, he probably should.  But you know who else won two out of his first three starts for the Red Wings?  Norm Maracle.  Just saying, lets not get ahead of ourselves proclaiming him the starter or anything.

Pregame: Marchenko, Athanasiou, Howard Return as Wings Host Jackets

The Red Wings are getting some bodies back, as three players will return from injury tonight.

Goalie Jimmy Howard, defenseman Alexey Marchenko, and forward Andreas Athanasiou will all be in the lineup as Detroit starts a five-game homestand against the Columbus Blue Jackets.

With Howard – who will back-up Petr Mrazek tonight – and Athanasiou back, Jared Coreau and Tomas Nosek returned to the Grand Rapids Griffins.  Brian Lashoff remains with the Red Wings but will likely be a healthy scratch in place of Marchenko.

Game time is 7:30 PM on FSD+.


Stupid Stat of the Day: The Red Wings have never lost in regulation to the Blue Jackets in December at Joe Louis Arena.  The last meeting between the teams in December in Detroit was a 1-0 shootout win for Columbus.

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.

Red Wings Re-sign Goalie Coreau

As CapFriendly first revealed last night, the Detroit Red Wings have re-signed goalie Jared Coreau.

The deal sheds some light on what the Wings’ organization expects their goalie situation to look like in the coming years.

While Coreau’s one-way deal for 2017-18 does not prevent him from being sent down to Grand Rapids, it would appear that the 2016-17 campaign will be his last with the Griffins and he’ll be with the Red Wings for their first season at Little Caesars Arena.  One can assume that he would back up Petr Mrazek, with Jimmy Howard having been traded or claimed by Las Vegas in next summer’s expansion draft.

Coreau had opted for salary arbitration earlier in the day but, obviously, the hearing was not necessary.  This leaves defenseman Danny DeKeyser as the lone Red Wing facing arbitration.

Along with DeKeyser, the Red Wings still need to sign Teemu Pulkkinen, Mrazek, Colin Campbell, Ryan Sproul, Mitch Callahan, and Louis-Marc Aubry, who are all restricted free agents.

Tatar Leads Red Wings to Preseason Win over Blackhawks

Tomas Tatar scored three goals for the Red Wings, leading Detroit to a 4-1 win over the Chicago Blackhawks in their exhibition home opener. The win came one night after Detroit fell to the Blackhawks in overtime in Chicago

Tatar opened the game’s scoring with 8:30 left in the first period, working a quick give-and-go with former Blackhawk Brad Richards before snapping a shot from the slot past Chicago goalie Corey Crawford.

With 5:31 left in the second, Andrew Shaw tied things up, snapping a shot from the left faceoff dot through a screen by Bryan Bickell on a Chicago power play and beating Detroit netminder Jared Coreau, who replaced starter Petr Mrazek midway through the game.

Just 1:36 later, Justin Abdelkader took a long feed from Niklas Kronwall to break in all alone and beat Michael Leighton for a power play goal, restoring the Detroit lead.

Tatar’s second made it 3-1 at 4:24 of the third period, as he banged home a loose puck in the crease after Richards threw it on net.

With 1:34 remaining, Tatar completed the hat trick with an empty net goal.

Each team finished the night with a power play goal. Chicago had six tries with the extra attacker while Detroit had four.

Mrazek stopped all 16 shots he faced in net for the Red Wings in 29:23 of play. Coreau made 14 stops on 15 shots over the remainder of the game. Crawford stopped seven of eight shots in 30:35 while Leighton went 14-for-16 to close things out.

The Red Wings will play their third game in as many nights tomorrow when they host the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Red Wings Announce Signings of Jensen, Callahan

The Detroit Red Wings announced the signings of defenseman Nick Jensen and forward Mitch Callahan on Monday.

Jensen’s deal is for two years while Callahan’s is for one. Both are two-way contracts. Financial terms were not officially announced but reportedly Callahan will make $600,000 at the NHL level while Jensen will make $882,000.

Both players are expected to spend next season with the Grand Rapids Griffins of the American Hockey League.

Jensen, 24, was selected by the Red Wings 150th overall in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft. In two seasons with the Griffins, he’s played 120 games, scoring six goals and adding 30 assists for 36 points.

He has yet to receive an NHL call-up.

Callahan, 23, was also selected in the 2009 draft (180th overall). In 237 AHL games, all with the Griffins, he has 59 goals and 52 assists for 111 points. He also has 271 penalty minutes.

Callahan made his NHL debut with Detroit during the 2013-14 season, playing one game and being held off the scoresheet.

With Jensen and Callahan inked, in addition to last week’s signings of Gustav Nyquist and Jared Coreau, the Red Wings’ remaining restricted free agents are Teemu Pulkkinen, Tomas Jurco, and Louis-Marc Aubry.

Howard Out 2-4 Weeks with Groin Tear

Detroit Red Wings general manager Ken Holland announced on Tuesday that starting goalie Jimmy Howard is expected to miss two-to-four weeks with a slight groin tear.

The injury occurred just 1:53 into Saturday night’s loss to the Washington Capitals. Howard made an awkward slide across the crease, failing to stop a Troy Brouwer attempt, and had to be carried off the ice on a stretcher.

An MRI showed damage on Sunday when the team got back to Detroit and an ultrasound on Monday confirmed the severity.

Howard will be unavailable for the All-Star Game. He was named as the Red Wings’ lone representative only an hour before the injury occurred.

With backup goalie Jonas Gustavsson still out with a separated shoulder, Petr Mrazek takes over between the pipes for Detroit. Tom McCollum will be his backup. As the shift cascades down to the Red Wings’ affiliates, Jared Coreau is now the starter for the Grand Rapids Griffins (backed up by pro tryout Pat Nagle) and Jeff Lerg starts for the Toledo Walleye (backed up by Neil Conway).

Pregame: Stars @ Red Wings – 11/7

The Red Wings are back home after a 3-1 Western Canadian road trip, hosting the Dallas Stars tonight.

Winning three of four on the road would normally be a good thing but the lack of effort in their 4-2 loss to close out the trip in Winnipeg should be a concern. It was a standard trap game and the first game back home is one as well so we’ll see what kind of team comes out tonight.

Jimmy Howard gets the start for the Wings with Jared Coreau backing him up, having switched places with Petr Mrazek earlier in the week as Jonas Gustavsson remains injured.

Mikael Samuelsson swaps in for Patrick Eaves on the fourth line. Johan Franzen remains out with a mystery injury and Jordin Tootoo, who cleared waivers earlier in the day, will be the healthy scratch.

On defense, with both Brendan Smith and Jonathan Ericsson still hurt, Adam Almquist makes his first home appearance.

Kari Lehtonen gets the start for Dallas.

Stupid stat of the day: The Red Wings are .500 all-time on November 7 with a 11-11-6 record.

Bonus stupid stat: The Red Wings have met the Stars organization exactly once on November 7, a 5-2 win over the Minnesota North Stars in 1968.

Game time is 7:30 on FSD.