Red Wings Make Blueline Roster Moves

The Detroit Red Wings announced three roster moves at defense on Friday.

Blueliner Alexey Marchenko has been called up from the Grand Rapids Griffins of the American Hockey League. In 42 games with Grand Rapids this season he has two goals and 15 asssists for 17 points. He made his NHL debut with Detroit last season, taking two penalty minutes.

To make room for Marchenko, Xavier Ouellet was returned to the Griffins. Ouellet appeared in 21 games for the Red Wings this season, scoring two goals an adding an assist as an injury call-up.

The swap is intended to give the Red Wings an opportunity to see what Marchenko can do at the NHL level.

“X played really good the last couple of games, but we made this decision a while ago because we wanted to have a look at Marchy and see what he could bring,” Detroit head coach Mike Babcock said.

Additionally, the Red Wings placed defenseman Brian Lashoff on waivers. Lashoff has been the team’s seventh defenseman even when Ouellet has been in the lineup, appearing in only eleven games thus far this season.

Lashoff’s waiving could be a precursor to goalie Jonas Gustavsson returning from injury. Gustavsson is expected to begin a conditioning stint in Grand Rapids as early as Saturday and the team would need to clear a roster spot to bring him off Injured Reserve.

Mrazek Shines on Hasek’s Night in Buffalo

On the night that saw his idol’s jersey number raised in Buffalo, Detroit netminder Petr Mrazek stopped 25 of 26 shots to earn the win for the Red Wings.

Longtime Sabre and former Red Wing Dominik Hasek was honored before the game with his Number 39 raised to the First Niagara Center rafters. The Czech Olympic champion was an inspiration for a generation of players from his country, including Mrazek and Buffalo goalie Michal Neuvirth, who stopped 27 of 30 shots in taking the loss.

Darren Helm opened the game’s scoring for Detroit at 9:42 of the first period. On a shorthanded two-on-one with Joakim Andersson, Helm snapped a shot from the right wing over Neuvirth’s stick and into the top corner for a 1-0 lead.

The special teams continued to produce for the Red Wings in the second period. At 7:34 of the middle frame, Gustav Nyqiust knocked home the rebound of a Pavel Datsyuk shot after it bounced off Justin Abdelkader for a power play goal.

Mike Weber‘s first goal of the season cut Detroit’s lead to 2-1 with 6:36 left in the period. After a turnover in the Buffalo zone by Tomas Tatar, crisp passing from Drew Stafford and Brian Flynn got the puck to trailing man Weber for a shot past Mrazek as the Red Wings struggled to recover.

Tatar would make up for the turnover 1:45 later, knocking the rebound of a Kyle Quincey chance under Neuvirth for a 3-1 score in what would be the last goal of the game.

Detroit finished the night one-for-four on the power play while Buffalo went scoreless and allowed a goal in two chances with the man-advantage.

The Red Wings will close out their six-game road trip on Thursday in St. Louis.


The Red Wings announced earlier in the day that starting goalie Jimmy Howard is expected to miss two-to-four weeks with a slight groin tear… Howard, Jonas Gustavsson, Johan Franzen, and Jakub Kindl all remained on injured reserve… Xavier Ouellet and Teemu Pulkkinen remained in the Detroit lineup while Tom McCollum backed up Mrazek… Daniel Cleary, Tomas Jurco (back), and Brian Lashoff were healthy scratches.

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).

Red Wings’ Slump Reaches Six with Shootout Loss to Avalanche

The Detroit Red Wings lost their sixth consecutive game on Sunday night, a 2-1 shootout decision to the Colorado Avalanche.

It was the fourth loss of the sixth to come in the tiebreaker.

Petr Mrazek took the loss for the Red Wings, making the start in goal in place of the injured Jimmy Howard. Mrazek stopped 22 of the 23 shots he faced and six of nine shootout attempts.

Nathan MacKinnon and Matt Duchene beat Mrazek to start the shootout, then Mrazek made six straight stops before Jarome Iginla scored what would be the game-winner.

Avalanche netminder Calvin Pickard stopped Pavel Datsyuk before Gustav Nyquist and Tomas Tatar scored to force sudden death rounds. Pickard wouldn’t allow a goal the rest of the way, stopping Brendan Smith to secure the win in the ninth round.

Pickard made 34 saves on 35 shots in regulation and overtime.

After two scoreless periods, Pavel Datsyuk opened the game’s scoring at 4:52 of the third. With Detroit on a power play, Datsyuk took a feed from Riley Sheahan in the left faceoff circle and snapped a shot past Pickard.

With 4:15 left in the period, the Avalanche tied things up on a power play of their own. Erik Johnson‘s blast from the top of the right circle appeared to deflect off defenseman Jonathan Ericsson‘s stick on its way past Mrazek.

Detroit finished the night one-for-four on the power play while Colorado went one-for-two.

The Red Wings have one more game remaining before the Christmas break, Tuesday night against the Buffalo Sabres.


With Howard injured and Jonas Gustavsson still weeks from returning, Tom McCollum was called up to back up Mrazek… Jakub Kindl was back in the lineup as Xavier Ouellet was sent back to the Grand Rapids Griffins to make room for McCollum… Daniel Cleary replaced Joakim Andersson for his tenth appearance of the season, triggering a $1 million bonus in his contract.

Pregame: Canucks @ Red Wings – 11/30

The Red Wings close out November with an afternoon tilt against the Vancouver Canucks.

Detroit will ice a lineup that’s as healthy as they’ve been all season, as Brendan Smith returns from IR. Xavier Ouellet was returned to the Grand Rapids Griffins to make room for Smith.

The only player remaining on injured reserve is backup goalie Jonas Gustavsson. Daniel Cleary and Joakim Andersson will be healthy scratches up front while Brian Lashoff is the odd-man-out on defense.

Jimmy Howard will get the start in goal opposite Ryan Miller, brother of Detroit forward Drew Miller.

Stupid stat of the day: The Red Wings are 22-23 since 2005 in Sunday afternoon games.

Game time is 2:00 PM on FSD.

Pregame: Flyers @ Red Wings – 11/26

Pavel Datsyuk returns to the Detroit lineup tonight as the Red Wings host the Philadelphia Flyers.

Datsyuk will skate on a third line made up of three natural centers, along with Darren Helm and Stephen Weiss. Tomas Jurco drops to the fourth line to make room for Datsyuk.

Joakim Andersson will join Daniel Cleary and Brian Lashoff as healthy scratches. Brendan Smith will miss at least one more game with his hand injury/infection while Jonas Gustavsson is weeks away from returning from a shoulder injury.

Jimmy Howard gets the start in goal.

Stupid stat of the day: The Red Wings are 22-16-4 on the day before Thanksgiving since 1942.

Game time is 7:30 PM on FSD+.

Pregame: Red Wings @ Maple Leafs – 11/22

The Red Wings visit the Maple Leafs looking to sweep their three-game road trip tonight.

Detroit’s visit to Toronto comes amid much drama for the Leafs. After a series of embarrassing losses, the team finally won a game on Thursday night, but drew the ire of some by not taking part in the postgame ritual of saluting their fans.

The Red Wings have significantly less drama, though they remain without several roster players. Pavel Datsyuk is still out with a groin injury, Brendan Smith‘s infected hand has him on IR, and former Toronto goalie Jonas Gustavsson is also still on IR. Xavier Ouellet will make his second appearance of the season on the Detroit blue line with Jakub Kindl the healthy scratch once again.

Jimmy Howard gets the start in goal for the Wings opposite Jonathan Bernier.

Stupid stat of the day: Detroit is 30-59-20 all-time in the final game of a three-game road trip. They’re 5-9-1 when that game is in Toronto.

Game time is 7:00 PM on FSD.

Pregame: Canadiens @ Red Wings – 11/16

Coming off a dominant 4-1 win over the Chicago Blackhawks, the Red Wings take on another Original Six foe tonight as they host the Montreal Canadiens.

The last time the two teams met, the Red Wings thought they’d gotten a late goal by Pavel Datsyuk to put them up on the Habs, but the goal was called back on Justin Abdelkader‘s goalie interference against Carey Price and Montreal went on to win in overtime.

Price will be on the bench for the Canadiens tonight, having gotten the start in Montreal’s 6-3 win over the Philadelphia Flyers last night. Backup Dustin Tokarski gets the nod against Detroit’s Jimmy Howard.

The only lineup change for the Red Wings from the Chicago game is Brian Lashoff in for Jakub Kindl on defense. Kindl didn’t play for the final thirty minutes on Friday. Andrej Nestrasil and Daniel Cleary will be the healthy scratches, with Stephen Weiss and Jonas Gustavsson still on IR.

Stupid stat of the day: The last time the winning team scored fewer than five goals in a November 16th game in Detroit was the Red Wings’ 3-2 win over Chicago in 1959.

I’ll be on Montreal Hockey Talk‘s pregame show at about 6:20 to talk about the matchup.

Game time is 7:00 PM on FSD.

Pregame: Devils @ Red Wings – 11/7

Coming off a three-game road trip in which the Red Wings collected two points but were held winless, Detroit hosts the New Jersey Devils tonight.

The game is Military Appreciation Night in Detroit. As such, the pre-game will feature the team wearing camouflage jerseys, a first for the franchise. It was reported by the team that it marks the first time Detroit wears something other than red and white but the Detroit Falcons featured gold in addition to red and white so it’s not entirely true.

The lineup will remain almost unchanged from Wednesday’s loss to the New York Rangers, meaning Daniel Cleary and Andrej Nestrasil are in while Tomas Jurco and Joakim Andersson are out. Kyle Quincey remains out on the blue line. Petr Mrazek will back up Jimmy Howard as Jonas Gustavsson is expected to miss two months with a separated shoulder suffered on the final play of the game in New York.

Stupid stat of the day: The New Jersey Devils have gone through two name changes (Kansas City Scouts, Colorado Rockies). The last team the Red Wings beat in regulation on November 7 has also gone through two name changes, as the Arizona Coyotes were formerly the Phoenix Coyotes and the Winnipeg Jets.

Game time is 7:30 PM on FSD.

Postgame: Red Wings @ Flyers – 10/25

I wasn’t able to focus on much of the Red Wings’ 4-2 loss in Philadelphia last night due to hosting a Halloween party. I had it on in the background and the one thing that kept popping into my head was that it felt like every mistake Detroit made ended up behind Jonas Gustavsson. I don’t know if the stats back that up, I’m not going to go back and look, but it was the feeling I got.

The other obvious stuff…

Had to know the penalty kill streak would end but with the power play so awful, it was nice to at least have a perfect PK to balance it out.

Now that the PK isn’t perfect, can we please get a frikkin’ PPG? Or any goals? The Wings have scored more than two goals precisely once twice this season, once against the Maple Leafs and once in their ridiculous comeback against Pittsburgh.

They’re off until Wednesday now so that’s time to work on some of this.