Why Standing Pat Won’t Work at the Deadline

Red Wings’ general manager Ken Holland is on the record stating that he’s looking to trade for talent, not depth as the NHL trade deadline approaches.

I agree with that strategy. This team already has tons of depth, to the point that they’ve been pushing bottom-six forwards into the top six all season. They just gave away Kent Huskins essentially for free because they were able to sign Danny DeKeyser and also get Carlo Colaiacovo and Kyle Quincey back from injury (though Quincey isn’t due back until later this week).

Depth isn’t going to help this team. Talent is, and a move to acquire it is admirable.

If talent isn’t available, however, standing pat should not be an option for Holland. He has to switch gears and become a seller.

As assembled, this Red Wings team is good enough to make the playoffs. They can finish in the bottom half of the postseason teams and probably drop a six-game series in the first round. Their consecutive playoff appearance streak will remain intact but, with that outcome, you would hardly be able to call the season a success.

I know people will say all you really need to do is get into the playoffs and then anything can happen. Just look at the Los Angeles Kings of last season. The Kings, however, were able to add talent in the form of Jeff Carter at the trade deadline. The team as assembled prior to the trade deadline does not make that run.

Without a move to get better, the Wings will not make a run, and as such should sell.

We keep hearing that there aren’t many sellers in the market right now. Too many teams are still in the hunt. The Wings are still in the hunt, too, but I believe it’s worth risking their position this season – a season in which they’re not likely to win the Cup anyway – to put themselves in better position next season.

With defensemen at a premium, what return could Ian White fetch the Red Wings? A second-round draft pick? More?

I’d love to suggest dealing Colaiacovo as well but, as he’s been injured all year, I can’t imagine he has much trade value.

Michael Handzus just got San Jose a fourth-round pick. What would Daniel Cleary bring Detroit?

Would Mikael Samuelsson waive his no-trade clause if Holland told him “We’re buying you out this summer, here’s your chance to impress a different team?”

The Wings want to keep him, but what would Valtteri Filppula bring in trade?

I’m not suggesting Holland blow the team up. Dealing Fil would require a good return. Pending free agent Jimmy Howard isn’t going anywhere.

Clearing out a few bodies gives a chance for more of Detroit’s youth to get playing time. DeKeyser has an open roster spot. Joakim Andersson and Gustav Nyquist remain in the lineup.

If the young guys prove they’re not ready, Holland can go back to signing veterans like Samuelsson and Colaiacovo over the summer, as he did preemptively last year.

I just don’t think doing nothing should be an option. As assembled, this team is not going to win the Cup. Either get better and take a shot at it or risk getting worse and still not winning the Cup.

Personally, I’d rather miss the playoffs this year (a deep draft year) and come back stronger next year than have two years of seventh-place finishes and first-round exits.

Red Wings Deal Huskins to Flyers

The Detroit Red Wings announced on Saturday that they have traded defenseman Kent Huskins to the Philadelphia Flyers for a conditional seventh round draft pick in 2014.

Huskins suited up for the Red Wings in eleven games this season, scoring no points and taking four penalty minutes while going a minus-three. He was signed just hours before the team’s home opener, when Detroit was already down three defensemen only two games into the season.

Huskins had last played on February 24 against the Columbus Blue Jackets.

With the pending return of Carlo Colaiacovo from injury and the Red Wings’ recent signing of defenseman Danny DeKeyser, Huskins became expendable.

With Huskins dealt and DeKeyser signed, the Red Wings still have a full 23-man roster, with Kyle Quincey, Todd Bertuzzi, Darren Helm and Mikael Samuelsson all on injured reserve.

Pregame: Blackhawks @ Red Wings – 3/31

It’s Easter Sunday and Gordie Howe‘s 85th birthday and the Red Wings host the Chicago Blackhawks in an afternoon matchup.

In honor of Mr. Hockey’s birthday, all Detroit players will take the pre-game skate in #9 Howe jerseys, with a commemorative patch above the tip of the winged wheel crest and the player’s actual number on the opposite side (which will make for a crowded space if the C and A are kept for Zetterberg, Datsyuk, and Kronwall).

The Wings may have Mikael Samuelsson back in the lineup. In that case, Gustav Nyquist will likely be out and reassigned to Grand Rapids as Detroit would need to open up a roster spot for Samuelsson. Even with that move, there are 13 forwards in the lineup so a to-be-determined healthy scratch is expected.

On defense, the lineup is known. With Kent Huskins off to Philadelphia and Carlo Colaiacovo with the Griffins on a rehab stint, newcomer Danny DeKeyser is the lone scratch. DeKeyser is expected to make his pro debut on Thursday on the road against the Phoenix Coyotes.

Jimmy Howard gets the start in goal for Detroit.

Stupid stat time: Detroit is 12-14-5 all-time on Howe’s birthday.

Bonus stupid stat: Detroit is 13-14-4 all-time on Easter Sunday.

Game time is 12:30 PM on NBC, which means Eddie Olczyk will be covering his home team against their bitter rivals for a national audience.

Pregame: Red Wings @ Sharks – 3/28

The Red Wings wrap up their four-game road trip tonight in San Jose, having won the first three games of the trip.

For Detroit, Jordin Tootoo swaps back into the lineup for Patrick Eaves, who’ll be the healthy scratch up front. Kent Huskins will continue his role as the healthy scratch on defense.

Jimmy Howard gets the start in net, opposite Antti Niemi for the Sharks.

Stupid stat of the day: The Red Wings are 83-127-27 all time in the fourth game of a road trip. They’re 5-7-1 when that game is in San Jose.

Game time is 10:30 PM on FSD.

Zetterberg, Abdelkader Score Twice as Red Wings Down Canucks, 5-2

Henrik Zetterberg and Justin Abdelkader each scored twice for the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday night, leading the team to a 5-2 win over the Vancouver Canucks.

The Canucks opened the scoring a team-record six seconds into the game. After Vancouver won the opening faceoff, Detroit defenseman Brian Lashoff pressured and left an opening for Daniel Sedin and Alexandre Burrows to advance on a two-on-one. Niklas Kronwall failed to cut off a cross-ice pass from Sedin to Burrows, who rifled a shot from the inside edge of the right circle past Red Wings’ netminder Jimmy Howard.

Pavel Datsyuk‘s bank shot 6:08 in got the Wings on the board. Datsyuk threw the puck on net with Abdelkader driving to the edge of the crease, banking it off Abdelkader’s skate and in behind Vancouver goalie Roberto Luongo.

Datsyuk set up the goal that put the Red Wings in front with 6:03 left in the second period. He gathered up the puck at the bottom of the left faceoff circle after an initial Red Wings chance and threw it to Zetterberg in the slot for a snap past Luongo for a power play goal to make it 2-1.

Zetterberg would score just 1:20 into the third period to extend Detroit’s lead, one-timing a feed from Valtteri Filppula past Luongo from the top of the right faceoff circle.

Daniel Cleary make it 4-1 at 5:57 of the third on a smooth passing play with Damien Brunner and Joakim Andersson. Brunner gained the Vancouver zone and cut into the high slot before passing off to Andersson on the left wing. Andersson sent it all the way across to Cleary at the top of the right circle where he snapped a shot past Luongo.

Detroit’s scoring was rounded out with 5:16 to play on another Datsyuk attempt that deflected off Abdelkader and in for Abdelkader’s second goal. Datsyuk lofted the puck from the right wing towards Abdelkader as he cut to the net. The puck went off Abdelkader, bounced around off of Luongo, and eventually dropped into the net for a goal that had to be confirmed by video review.

Off the rebound of a Burrows deflection from in front, Kronwall knocked the puck past his own goalie to round out the scoring and give the Canucks their second goal with 2:38 remaining.

Zetterberg’s first goal was the only power play marker for either team on the night. Detroit had three power plays and Vancouver had six, with each team going scoreless on a five-on-three. Jannik Hansen also missed on a penalty shot for the Canucks.

Howard finished the night with 33 saves on 35 shots. Luongo stopped 21 of 26 chances.

Having completed their first Western Canadian road trip of the season, the Red Wings are now off until Wednesday when they host the Minnesota Wild.


Defenseman Ian White was back in the Red Wings’ lineup after Kyle Quincey was injured on Friday night in Edmonton… Gustav Nyquist was a healthy scratch up front, while Kent Huskins continued to be a healthy scratch on defense.

Red Wings Rally for 3-2 OT Win over Oilers

The Detroit Red Wings went into the third period down 2-0 but rallied for a 3-2 overtime win over the Edmonton Oilers on Friday night.

Pavel Datsyuk won the game for the Red Wings with 1:21 left in the overtime period. Datsyuk took a pass from Johan Franzen in the neutral zone and raced into the Edmonton zone, faking around defender Jeff Petry and snapping a shot past netminder Devan Dubnyk.

Taylor Hall had opened the scoring at 3:34 of the first period, picking up the puck at the Detroit blue line and cutting to the middle, splitting the Red Wings’ defense through the slot and snapping a shot under Howard to make it 1-0.

Edmonton went up 2-0 with 3:42 left in the second period on a goal by Sam Gagner. After Hall tied up Jonathan Ericsson behind the Detroit net, Nail Yakupov picked up the puck and cut in from the left wing boards, around Niklas Kronwall, and shoveled a shot on Howard from the slot. Gagner was there to bang home the rebound.

Valtteri Filppula cut the Edmonton lead in half at 4:27 of the third. Henrik Zetterberg won a battle along the boards in the left corner and Filppula came in to pick up the puck. Filppula cut through the left faceoff circle on the backhand and flung a shot on net, through a screen by Damien Brunner and past goalie Devan Dubnyk.

Detroit tied things up with 5:53 remaining in the third on their second road power play goal of the season. Niklas Kronwall threw a shot on net from the blue line and Dubnyk kicked it aside. Defender Jeff Petry turned to knock it away but ended up putting it in behind his own goalie.

Howard finished the night with 30 saves on 32 shots while Dubnyk stopped 25 of 28 Detroit chances.

Detroit went one-for-five on the power play. Edmonton was scoreless with three power play attempts.

The Red Wings are back in action on Saturday in Vancouver as they close out their Western Canadian road trip.


Ian White, Kent Huskins and Patrick Eaves were healthy scratches for the Red Wings… Kyle Quincey left the game late in the third after taking a puck to the face. He will not travel with the team to Vancouver.

Pregame: Red Wings @ Oilers – 3/15

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted pre-game notes. It’s also been awhile since the Wings have won, as they come off two losses to the Columbus Blue Jackets and one to the Calgary Flames. I won’t pretend the lack of pre-game notes is tied to the losses, but lets hope both streaks end tonight with Detroit visiting the Edmonton Oilers.

On the plus side, the Oilers are the last team the Red Wings actually managed to beat, a 3-0 decision in Detroit on March 7.

The Red Wings have been mum on any lineup changes that could be coming tonight. Jimmy Howard will get the start, having recovered from the flu, and the blueline will remain as it was on Wednesday in Calgary (meaning Ian White is again a healthy scratch, as is Kent Huskins). Up front, Jordin Tootoo may swap in but it won’t be determined who he’d switch with until the pre-game skate.

All-time, the Red Wings are 11-17-5 in the second game of a Western Canadian road trip. When the second game is in Edmonton, however, they’re 6-5-4.

Game time is 9:30 PM on FSD.

Red Wings Rally Twice but Fall to Blue Jackets in Shootout

The Detroit Red Wings twice rallied from down a goal against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Sunday night but could never get out front, dropping a 3-2 decision in the shootout.

Jakub Kindl and Johan Franzen undid 1-0 and 2-1 deficits, respectively, but only Pavel Datsyuk scored for Detroit in the tiebreaker while Columbus got goals from Ryan Johansen and Matt Calvert for the win. Damien Brunner and Henrik Zetterberg were stopped by Blue Jackets’ netminder Sergei Bobrovsky.

After a scoreless first period, Derrick Brassard got Columbus on the board at 3:10 of the second. Just as a Blue Jackets’ power play expired, Brassard rifled a shot from the right wing half-boards into the top corner over Detroit netminder Jimmy Howard‘s glove.

The Red Wings would respond just 30 seconds later. Datsyuk won the puck in a battle along the right wing boards and carried it through the top of the right faceoff circle before sending a pass across to Kindl for a blast from the high slot past Bobrovsky.

The Jackets regained their lead just 45 seconds after that on a goal by R.J. Umberger. Niklas Kronwall whiffed on a clearing attempt in the Detroit zone and the puck came to Johansen for a shot from the right circle. Howard kicked that chance right back out but Zetterberg couldn’t corral the puck and it came to Umberger for a shot from the top of the circle that again beat Howard glove-side.

Franzen would tie things back up with the Red Wings skating on a five-on-three just 25 seconds into the third period. After cycling the puck along the right wing, Zetterberg got it to Brunner alone down low on the left wing. As the defense shifter to Brunner, Franzen drifted into the slot to take a pass and snap a shot past Bobrovsky.

Franzen’s goal was the lone power play goal of the night. The Red Wings had six tries with the extra attacker including a long five-on-three. Columbus had five power plays.

Bobrovsky made 21 saves on 23 shots just a day after his first career shutout. Howard stopped 19 of the 21 chances he faced.

The Red Wings will be off until Wednesday when they start a Western Canadian road trip in Calgary.


After being a healthy scratch for six games, defenseman Ian White got back into the lineup, swapping in for Brian Lashoff. Kent Huskins remained a healthy scratch.

Howard Blanks Oilers as Red Wings Win, 3-0

The Detroit Red Wings cruised to a 3-0 win over the Edmonton Oilers on Thursday night, with goalie Jimmy Howard only needing to make 22 saves to pick up his second shutout of the season.

After a scoreless first period, Jakub Kindl got the Red Wings on the board at 3:16 of the second. Kindl battled to keep control of the puck as he cut from the right faceoff circle to the slot, then knocked a shot through Edmonton netminder Devan Dubnyk that just rolled across the goal line.

Cory Emmerton added another goal from the Red Wings’ depth players with 7:41 left in the period. After a shift of strong pressure in the Edmonton end by Detroit, Emmerton jumped onto the ice on a change and slipped into the slot, getting a pass from Drew Miller to snap a strong shot past Dubnyk.

Justin Abdelkader finished the scoring with an empty-net goal with 1:10 remaining.

Dubnyk finished the night with 25 saves on 27 shots.

There was only one power play on the night, with the Red Wings failing to score with the extra attacker.

The Red Wings will next be in action on Saturday in Columbus, the first game of a weekend home-and-home series with the Blue Jackets.


For the fourth consecutive game, Ian White and Kent Huskins were the healthy scratches on defense for Detroit.

Brunner Lifts Red Wings over Sharks in Shootout

Damien Brunner scored his second shootout goal in as many career tries on Thursday night, giving the Detroit Red Wings a 2-1 shootout win over the San Jose Sharks.

Brunner slowly skated in on San Jose netminder Antti Niemi before snapping a shot past him for the only goal of the shootout.

Niemi had previously stopped Pavel Datsyuk. Detroit goalie Jonas Gustavsson, making his first start with the Wings, stopped Michal Handzus, Patrick Marleau and Ryane Clowe in the skills competition.

After a scoreless first two periods, the Sharks got on the board at 4:49 of the third. Joe Thornton stripped a bouncing puck from Justin Abdelkader just inside the Detroit blue line, then fed Logan Couture for a one-timer from the right faceoff circle off of Gustavsson and in.

The Red Wings responded 1:32 later, when a Niklas Kronwall shot from the blue line deflected off San Jose forward T.J. Galiardi, then Patrick Eaves, then a post before hitting the back of the net to make it 1-1.

Niemi finished the night with 33 saves on 34 shots. Gustavsson earned his first win as a Red Wing with a twenty-five save performance.

Neither team scored a power play goal on the night. Detroit had two tries while San Jose had one.

The Red Wings now head back home to host the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday afternoon.


Ian White and Kent Huskins were the healthy scratches for the Red Wings… Valtteri Filppula remained out with an injury.