Red Wings Sign Goalie Greiss

The Detroit Red Wings got their goalie on Saturday, signing Thomas Greiss to a two year deal.

The Red Wings didn’t announce financial terms, of course, but even before they confirmed the deal, it was reported to carry a $3.6 million salary cap hit.

The hit feels a tiny bit high to me but I really don’t care, because it’s a two-year deal, which was my biggest hope.  They could have dropped $7 million on Marc-Andre Fleury as long as it was only two years.  That term gets them through the Seattle expansion draft but not to the point that the rebuild should be done, so there’s a ton of flexibility.

Also, $3.6 million is less than I expected even if I feel like it’s a little high, so it’s a win either way, I’m just nitpicking the amount.

Greiss was one of my top two targets for Detroit, along with Cam Talbot.  So the Wings got the cheaper of the two on shorter term.  Win all around.

Jersey number geek thoughts: Greiss has worn #1 throughout his NHL career, which won’t be possible here.  He wore #40 with Germany but probably can’t have that.  He wore #33 early in his career in the minors but it seems like if anyone gets that in the Detroit organization, it’s going to be Kienan Draper.  Will the Red Wings hold #35 out of respect to Jimmy Howard?  If not, that makes sense for Greiss.  With Brendan Perlini gone, #29 could make sense.

Some additional contract talk:

I wonder if that structure is with the Seattle expansion draft in mind.

The Red Wings will have to make at least one goalie signed for the 2021-22 season available via the expansion draft.  Right now, only Greiss and Kaden Fulcher are signed for that season, so Fulcher would be the one available.  But if Detroit happened to pick up another goalie between now and then, someone they wanted to protect, putting more of the actual cash owed to Greiss in the 2021-22 season could serve to scare off the Kraken, making it so that Greiss could be left unprotected but not selected.

Of course, it could also be that, for the 2020-21 season, Greiss is expected to split time with Jonathan Bernier.  For 2021-22, with Bernier possibly gone, Greiss would be the starter and would get paid like it.

Postgame: Red Wings @ Penguins – 4/9

Kind of hard to do postgame notes on a night when the lone point the Red Wings earned clinched the team’s 23rd consecutive playoff appearance. In the end, that point is all that mattered. Two would have been nice and the Wings are now in a quick battle with the Blue Jackets for playoff seeding, but the team can drop the last two games and their season will still go beyond next Sunday.

I guess I’ll work backwards?

The minute I saw Jussi Jokinen’s shootout goal, I knew it would hold up as the winner. Jonas Gustavsson successfully poke-checks the puck away only for it to pop up, flutter over him and in? That was the kind of ridiculousness this game deserved as a finish.

A similarly wacky bounce tied things up with 1:15 left in regulation, as Riley Sheahan‘s shot from the point was deflected, floated over Marc-Andre Fleury, off the crossbar and in. The play kind of summed up Detroit’s season, as the Kid Line was out there for a crucial faceoff in the offensive zone in the closing seconds and came through. Sheahan beat Sidney Crosby on the faceoff the started the play off. These guys weren’t even supposed to be on the team this year (okay, Tatar was on the roster but a healthy scratch to start the season) and they got the Wings into the playoffs.

Detroit seemed to be heading home with no points earlier in the period, when Jokinen found the loose puck off a Kris Letang chance and knocked it home to put the Penguins up 3-2. Letang’s shot slipped through Gustavsson, who thought he had it covered, and Jokinen got to it before anyone else realized it was still live to give Pittsburgh its first lead.

James Neal scored both of Pittsburgh’s previous goals early in power play opportunities. Tomas Jurco and Jakub Kindl scored for Detroit.

I’ve gotta say, I thought Kindl’s goal could have come back for goalie interference. I guess the Wings are only owed about seven more of those at this point.

But as I said off the top, the loser point is all that matters tonight. With it, they sit eighth in the East, tied with Columbus but the Blue Jackets have the tiebreaker. Detroit hosts Carolina (a game they should win) and visits St. Louis (a game they should lose). Columbus visits Tampa (a game they should lose) and Florida (a game they should win). The Jackets’ finish up on Saturday while Detroit does on Sunday, so the Wings will go into their last game knowing what they need to do.

Miller Scores Only Detroit Goal in 5-1 Preseason Loss to Penguins

Drew Miller scored the only goal for Detroit on Wednesday as the Red Wings dropped a 5-1 preseason decision to the visiting Pittsburgh Penguins.

Miller avoided being sandwiched by defensemen Brooks Orpik and Deryk Engelland at the Penguins’ blue line but lost control of the puck, giving goalie Marc-Andre Fleury a chance to race out. Miller beat Fleury to it, though, and chipped a shot over the diving netminder and into the vacant net with 7:11 remaining in the middle period to make it 3-1.

It would not be the start of a Detroit comeback, as Chris Kunitz stole the puck in the neutral zone and broke in alone on netminder Petr Mrazek, rifling a shot from the slot past him with 2:34 left in the second.

Kunitz would add another at 9:28 of the third, roofing a shot over Mrazek from in close after being left all alone on a Pittsburgh power play.

Jussi Jokinen had opened the scoring with 4:54 remaining in the first. Jokinen got in behind the Detroit defense at the Red Wings’ blue line and took a long pass from Matt Niskanen, breaking in alone on Mrazek before putting a backhander past him.

Pascal Dupuis made it 2-0 2:29 later taking a feed from Sidney Crosby on a two-on-one before snapping a shot past Mrazek from the slot.

Craig Adams tipped a blast by Evgeni Malkin past Mrazek at 3:14 of the second to make it 3-0 before Miller finally got Detroit on the board.

The Penguins got two power play goals to Detroit’s zero, with each team having three tries with the extra attacker.

Mrazek made 32 saves on 37 shots against. Fleury stopped 16 of the 17 shots he faced.

The Red Wings wrap up their preseason schedule this weekend, facing off against the Maple Leafs at home on Friday and in Toronto on Saturday.

TGTW: Red Wings Drop Two of Three in Week Fourteen

The Games That Weren’t is one of many projects simulating the NHL’s original 2012-13 schedule, lost by the lockout. I’ll be checking in periodically on the fictional Red Wings’ season so we can see what might have been.

The Detroit Red Wings went 1-2 in the fourteenth week of the NHL season, sliding two points further back in the Central Division standings.

The Wings started the week with a 4-2 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday. Chicago’s Viktor Stalberg opened the game’s scoring at 7:55 of the first and Patrick Kane made it 2-0 with 5:37 left in the period before Valtteri Filppula cut the lead in half with 54 seconds left. Patrick Sharp put the ‘Hawks back up by a pair just 57 seconds into the second period. Niklas Kronwall cut the lead to a goal again at 9:09 of the third but Marcus Kruger added an insurance marker with 1:38 left. Jimmy Howard made 22 saves on 26 shots in taking the loss.

The Wings headed out west on Wednesday, picking up a 2-0 win in San Jose. Kronwall opened the scoring at 6:08 of the first and Filppula wrapped things up with 5:11 left in regulation. Howard made 21 saves in the shutout effort.

It was on to Los Angeles on Saturday, where the Kings rallied for a 3-2 win over the Red Wings. Detroit took a 2-0 lead off goals by Todd Bertuzzi at 5:10 of the first and Darren Helm at 2:26 of the second. Rob Scuderi got the Kings on the board with 4:25 left in the middle period and Trevor Lewis tied things up just 1:12 into the third. Simon Gagne scored with 2:43 left in the third to break the tie and give LA the win. Howard made 24 saves on the night.

The Red Wings remain in third in the Central Division and sit in sixth place in the Western Conference. They are four points behind the Nashville Predators with four games in hand and two up on the Blackhawks with two games in hand.

Howard’s shutout of the Sharks gave him seven on the season, one more than Jean-Sebastien Gigure of the Colorado Avalanche and Marc-Andre Fleury of the Pittsburgh Penguins for the league lead.

The Red Wings continue their road trip next week with visits to Anaheim, Phoenix, and Vancouver.

TGTW: Wings Fall From Central Lead in Week Twelve

The Games That Weren’t is one of many projects simulating the games lost by the NHL lockout. In the absence of actual games to write about, I’ll be checking in periodically on the fictional Red Wings’ season.

The Detroit Red Wings went 1-2 on a Christmas week road trip, dropping them out of first place in the Central Division heading into the Winter Classic in Ann Arbor.

Opening their trip in Raleigh on Wednesday, the Red Wings rallied late for a 4-3 win over the Carolina Hurricanes. After a scoreless first period, the Hurricanes got on the board with a Drayson Bowman goal at 6:30 of the second and made it 2-0 with 1:29 left in the period on a Jamie McBain tally. Pavel Datsyuk cut the lead in half at 3:10 of the third but Eric Staal made it 3-1 at 4:41. Johan Franzen put the Wings back within a goal while shorthanded at 7:27 and Todd Bertuzzi tied things up with 8:21 left in the period. Jonathan Ericsson‘s sixth goal of the year with 2:23 remaining gave Detroit their first lead of the game and they held on for the win. Jimmy Howard made 24 saves on 27 shots in earning the win while Cam Ward stopped 30 of 34 shots for Carolina.

The next night in Pittsburgh would feature no such comeback for the Wings, dropping a 5-1 decision to the Penguins. Chris Kunitz opened the game’s scoring at 4:40 of the first and Tanner Glass made it 2-0 midway through the opening period. Sidney Crosby‘s shorthanded goal at 3:16 of the second extended the lead to three and Kunitz added another with 6:19 left in the middle period. Carlo Colaiacovo finally got the Red Wings on the board with a power play goal with 3:03 remaining but Evgeni Malkin scored with 1:13 left to chase Howard from the Detroit crease. Jonas Gustavsson would face only six shots in the third, stopping them all for a 5-1 final. Howard finished the night with 12 saves on 17 shots in 38:47 of play while Marc-Andre Fleury made 24 saves on 25 shots.

The Red Wings’ scoring troubles continued on Saturday in Ottawa, where they couldn’t score a goal in a 1-0 loss to the Senators. Daniel Alfredsson scored the game’s only goal at 5:13 of the first period and 28 saves by Robin Lehner made it stand up as the game-winner. Howard rebounded from his awful night in Pittsburgh with a 31-save performance.

With only two of a possible six points earned on the week, the Red Wings fell to third in the Central Division, four points back of both the St. Louis Blues and Nashville Predators but with two games in hand on the Preds. The Blues are the hottest team in the league heading into the New Year, riding an eight-game winning streak.

The next week will see the Red Wings take on the Toronto Maple Leafs in the Winter Classic at Ann Arbor’s Michigan Stadium, then host the Nashville Predators in the last game before a five-game road trip.

Datsyuk Leads Red Wings over Malkin’s Penguins

Pavel Datsyuk scored Detroit’s first goal and made a slick stick play to set up another as the Red Wings earned a 4-1 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Fellow Russian Evgeni Malkin scored Pittsburgh’s lone goal as the countrymen appeared locked in a duel early in the game.

Malkin got the Penguins on the board with just five seconds remaining in the first period. Racing down the right wing on a two-on-one with Chris Kunitz, Malkin snapped a quick shot to the wide side of Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard, off the post and into the net.

Datsyuk pulled the Red Wings back even with 3:59 left in the second period. After Todd Bertuzzi took the puck away from Matt Niskanen in the left corner he got it to Datsyuk at the top of the left circle. Datsyuk slid across into the high slot and flung a backhander back across Penguins’ netminder Marc-Andre Fleury, beating him stick-side.

Johan Franzen‘s power play goal at 5:15 of the third period put Detroit out in front. Datsyuk knifed an attempt to clear the Pittsburgh zone by Matt Cooke out of the air and worked the puck down to Franzen in the left faceoff circle. Franzen wristed a high shot past Fleury to make it 2-1.

Danny Cleary added an insurance goal with 4:24 remaining. On a rush with former Penguin Chris Conner, Cleary drove to the net and tipped a pass through Fleury, giving Detroit a 3-1 lead.

Cleary’s empty-net goal with six second remaining rounded out the scoring.

Franzen’s goal was the only power play tally of the night. The Red Wings had two tries with the extra attacker while the Penguins had four.

Howard finished the game with 25 saves on 26 shots while Fleury stopped 21 of 24 chances.

The Red Wings are back in action on Thursday when they visit the Nashville Predators.

Healthy scratches for Detroit were Cory Emmerton and Mike Commodore… The Penguins were without Sidney Crosby, Kris Letang and Zbynek Michalek.

Nyquist Scores Twice as Wings Down Pens in Exhibition Finale

Red Wings rookie Gustav Nyquist scored twice and added an assist Sunday night, helping Detroit to a 3-2 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins in the team’s final exhibition match of the preseason.

Nyquist opened the game’s scoring just 1:03 in, when he pounced on a rebound given up by Pittsburgh goalie Marc-Andre Fleury and slid the puck into the net.

He assisted on Detroit’s second goal, sending a pass from behind the net to Johan Franzen out in front. Franzen stepped around Fleury and wristed a shot in the open net, giving the Red Wings a 2-1 lead with 9:17 left in the first.

Nyquist’s power play goal with 3:53 left in the second made it 3-1. Nyquist took the puck in the left faceoff circle and dished it off to Franzen along the boards. Franzen sent it back to Nyquist for a quick one-timer past Fleury.

Paul Martin and Tyler Kennedy scored for Pittsburgh. Martin’s goal came at 5:48 when he pinched in to blast a loose puck past Jimmy Howard from the left circle. Kennedy knocked the puck home with 50 seconds remaining during a scramble in front of the net.

The Red Wings went one-for-three on the power play on the night. Pittsburgh was scoreless on four tries with the man-advantage.

Howard made 25 saves on 27 Penguins shots while Fleury stopped 15 of 18 Detroit chances.

The Red Wings are next in action on Friday when they host the Ottawa Senators to open the regular season.

Nyquist was among eight players sent down to the Grand Rapids Griffins after the game.

Red Wings Return Home to Defeat Penguins, 3-1

The Detroit Red Wings returned to Joe Louis Arena after a week-long, three-game road trip through Western Canada and didn’t appear worn down from their travels, beating the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-1 Monday night.

The Red Wings earned points in all three of their games last week and added two more against the Penguins. They’ve picked up 17 of a possible 22 points since returning from the Olympic Break, going 8-2-1 in the eleven-game stretch.

Henrik Zetterberg figured into all three Detroit goals, scoring two of them and assisting on Valtteri Filppula‘s opening marker.

With 57 seconds left in the first period, Filppula took a cross-ice feed from Todd Bertuzzi and skated into the Pittsburgh zone. Cutting through the left faceoff circle, he dragged the puck as he cut inside and used defenseman Sergei Gonchar as a screen, snapping a shot between Gonchar’s legs and past goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury.

Zetterberg made it 2-0 at 7:38 of the second. He carried the puck off the left wing boards through the faceoff circle and backhanded a shot on Fleury. With Bertuzzi set up in front of the goal, Zetterberg got his own rebound and lifted it over Fleury’s pad.

The Penguins pulled back to within one when Pascal Dupuis poked a loose puck past Jimmy Howard with 3:06 left in the second.

Zetterberg restored the two-goal lead 1:20 into the third, snapping a shot from the high slot past Fleury.

Fleury finished the night with 30 saves on 33 Detroit shots while Howard stopped 26 of 27 Pittsburgh chances.

Neither team scored with the extra attacker. Detroit had four power plays and Pittsburgh had one.

The Red Wings continue their three-game homestand on Wednesday when they host the St. Louis Blues.

Detroit was without Patrick Eaves and Dan Cleary for the second consecutive game. Defenseman Derek Meech filled in at forward and Brett Lebda dressed but did not see playing time.

Howard Solid Again as Red Wings Fall to Penguins in Shootout

Jimmy Howard stopped 46 shots for the second consecutive game but this time the Detroit Red Wings couldn’t pull out a win, falling in a shootout to the Pittsburgh Penguins on Sunday afternoon.

After a 4-2 win over the Nashville Predators in which Howard stopped 46 of 48 shots, the Penguins picked up a 2-1 win despite Howard allowing only a goal on 47 chances. Pittsburgh scored on two of three shootout attempts while the Red Wings missed on two tries in the tiebreaker.

The Penguins carried the play in the first two periods but their only goal came with 3:14 left in the second, when Alex Goligoski fed a wide-open Sidney Crosby on the left wing. Crosby skated in on Howard, faked around him, and put it into the open side of the net.

Danny Cleary tied the game for Detroit with 8:50 left in regulation, tipping a Brad Stuart blast past Pittsburgh’s Marc-Andre Fleury.

Crosby and Evgeni Malkin scored the only goals of the shootout.

Neither team scored a power play goal on the night. Detroit had five tries with the extra attacker – including a four-on-three to end the overtime period – while Pittsburgh had three.

Fleury stopped 23 of the 24 shots he faced.

The Red Wings were without Tomas Holmstrom, whose return from injury was delayed at least one more game.

Datsyuk Tallies Two Assists in Return as Red Wings Trounce Penguins

Pavel Datsyuk returned to the Detroit lineup Saturday night, notching two assists in his first appearance in this year’s Stanley Cup Finals as his Red Wings lit up the Pittsburgh Penguins in a 5-0 win.

The Red Wings now lead the series 3-2 with a chance to claim their second consecutive Stanley Cup on Mellon Arena ice in Pittsburgh on Tuesday.

Chris Osgood made 22 saves en route to the shutout, his second of these playoffs and third against Pittsburgh in the last two Finals.

Detroit had to survive an early push by the Penguins. Pittsburgh got the game’s first power play and outshot the Red Wings 10-8 in the first period but it was the Wings with a 1-0 lead after 20 minutes.

Dan Cleary opened the game’s scoring with 6:28 left in the period. Datsyuk carried the puck into the Pittsburgh zone, drawing defenders to him before pushing the puck off to Cleary for heavy wrister past Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury from near the top of the right faceoff circle.

The Red Wings opened the game up in the second period, scoring four more goals including three on the power play, tying an NHL playoff record for most power play goals in a single period.

Valtteri Filppula put Detroit up by a pair just 1:44 into the period, five seconds after Chris Kunitz got out of the penalty box for goalie interference.

Osgood sent a long outlet pass to Marian Hossa, catching the Penguins in a line change. Hossa gained the offensive zone and centered the puck on to Filppula, who drove to the net and lifted a backhander over Fleury.

Niklas Kronwall scored the first of Detroit’s power play goals at 6:11 of the second. Kronwall gained the Pittsburgh zone and passed the puck off to Johan Franzen at the right point before driving to the net. With no play, Kronwall went down to the corner, getting the puck back from Franzen then jumping back out to the top of the crease, lifting a shot over Fleury.

Just 2:15 later, Brian Rafalski snapped a shot from the high slot past a screened Fleury to make it 4-0.

Henrik Zetterberg ended the game’s scoring with 4:20 left in the period. Jiri Hudler sent a hard pass from the left point down to Zetterberg in the left faceoff circle and Zetterberg roofed a shot that saw Fleury chased from the crease, replaced by backup Mathieu Garon.

The five Detroit goals came on 21 shots against Fleury. Garon would go on to stop all eight shots he faced in 24:20 of playing time.

The Red Wings finished the night with three goals on nine power play chances after having scored just once with the extra attacker in the previous four games of the series. The Penguins were held without a goal on two power play tries.

Game Six of the Stanley Cup Finals will take place Tuesday.

With Datsyuk’s return, rookie Ville Leino was scratched.

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