Red Wings Win in Shootout After Wild Comeback

Detroit goalie Petr Mrazek stopped both shots he faced and the Red Wings got goals from Pavel Datsyuk and Gustav Nyquist as they earned a 5-4 shootout win over the Minnesota Wild on Wednesday night.

The tiebreaker was necessary after Minnesota scored three times in the third period to erase Detroit’s 4-1 lead entering the final frame.

Zach Parise‘s power play goal at 6:01 of the third period gave the Wild life. Jason Pominville sent the rebound of a Thomas Vanek chance to Parise all alone in the slot for a shot into the open side of the net to make it 4-2.

Vanek would add one of his own one second past the period’s midway point, driving through the slot to lift a backhander past Mrazek, pulling Minnesota to within a goal.

Parise struck again with 6:39 left to tie things up. Detroit defenseman Jonathan Ericsson waited for several seconds to set up a play behind the net and then promptly turned it over to Parise all alone in front of Mrazek. As Ericsson dove to try to get in the way, Mrazek stopped the first chance but Parise knocked in his own rebound.

Parise would end up being Minnesota’s first shooter in the shootout but fired high. Datsyuk lifted a backhander past goalie Darcy Kuemper to score on his chance before Mrazek stopped Mikko Koivu and Nyquist slid a shot between Kuemper’s pads for the win.

Teemu Pulkkinen‘s first career NHL goal opened the game’s scoring at 9:09 of the first period. On a three-on-two, Stephen Weiss fed Pulkkinen for a one-timer from the slot that he blew past Minnesota starter Devan Dubnyk.

Koivu snapped a shot from the left faceoff circle past Mrazek with 6:38 left in the first – just seven seconds into a power play – to tie things back up.

Ericsson restored the Detroit lead 1:08 later with a blast from the point through a screen by Justin Abdelkader.

Nyquist tipped a Niklas Kronwall shot past Dubnyk for a power play goal to make it 3-1 at 3:41 of the second period.

Xavier Ouellet made it 4-1 at 7:25, stepping up into the high slot for a shot that deflected off Justin Fontaine and past Dubnyk, ending the netminder’s night.

Mrazek finished the night with 34 saves on 38 shots. Dubnyk stopped six of ten chances while Kuemper was a perfect 14-for-14 until the shootout.

Detroit scored on one of their two power play chances while Minnesota went two-for-five with the man-advantage.

The Red Wings are now off until next Tuesday for the All-Star break.


After the game, Pulkkinen was returned to the Grand Rapids Griffins so he can take part in the AHL All-Star Game. Ouellet, who was also selected as an AHL All-Star, will remain in Detroit to rest a sore wrist.

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.

Red Wings Lose Howard in Loss to Capitals

The Detroit Red Wings lost the game and their starting goalie on Saturday night.

Jimmy Howard, just an hour removed from being named to play in the NHL’s All-Star Game, injured his groin on Washington’s first goal, just 1:53 into the game.

With the Capitals on a power play, Mike Green dumped the puck into the Detroit end. Howard came out to play it behind the net and left it there, while defenseman Danny DeKeyser seemed to think he was going to pass it out. With DeKeyser slowed up, Troy Brouwer raced in and grabbed it for a wraparound attempt. Howard couldn’t get back fast enough and was seemingly injured doing an awkward split in a failed attempt to stop Brouwer’s chance.

Petr Mrazek would replace Howard in net and make it almost twenty minutes before allowing his first goal against.

At 1:35 of the second period, the Caps gained the Red Wings’ zone on a three-on-three break. Andre Burakovsky dropped the puck off to late-man John Carlson for a blast from the high slot past Mrazek to make it 2-0.

Joel Ward made it 3-0 with 8:21 left in the middle frame. His initial chance from the right faceoff circle was blocked by DeKeyser but Ward stuck with it and swatted a shot from the slot past Mrazek for what would be Washington’s last goal of the game.

Detroit broke Braden Holtby‘s shutout with twelve seconds left in the period but would be unable to get more. Jonathan Ericsson‘s shot from the blue line deflected through traffic and past Holtby for the game’s final goal.

Holtby finished the night with 26 saves on 27 shots. Howard made two saves on three shots before his injury, after which Mrazek stopped 12 of 14.

Each team had two power play chances on the night, with Washington scoring once and Detroit held scoreless.

The Red Wings will play the fifth game of their six-game road trip on Tuesday in Buffalo.


Teemu Pulkkinen made his season debut for the Red Wings, called up to replace the injured Johan FranzenTomas Jurco missed the game with a back injury… Daniel Cleary and Brian Lashoff were healthy scratches… Howard will be re-evaluated in Detroit on Sunday.

Quincey Signing Proves the Youth Movement is a Lie

Much has been made of the Red Wings’ supposed youth movement over the past two seasons. Last year alone, eleven rookies played at least one game for Detroit. That number does not include Gustav Nyquist, Tomas Tatar and Joakim Andersson, who had played too many games previously to count as rookies. Eight of those made their NHL debut during the 2013-14 season.

In the face of injuries that decimated the Detroit lineup, the kids were called upon, and there was much rejoicing. But while the focus is on the fact that the kids got their shot, maybe it should be on the qualifier that it was only in the face of so many injuries.

The Red Wings did not make an effort to further their youth movement. If anything, they tried to avoid it, as Tatar was benched to start the season and Nyquist was in Grand Rapids following the late-summer re-signing of Daniel Cleary.

Of the players making their much-lauded NHL debuts, three played only that game. The now-departed Adam Almquist played two. Teemu Pulkkinen played three. Xavier Ouellet and Landon Ferraro played four. Only Luke Glendening played a significant portion of the season, getting into 56 games (more than Jurco and Sheahan, only one less than Nyquist).

Which brings us to this summer, where the Red Wings wanted to upgrade their defense and failed, missing out on every free agent they attempted to woo. Did this open a spot for Ryan Sproul, the right-handed shooter of the kind they said they were looking to acquire via free agency? No, the team instead brought back Kyle Quincey, a left-hander and the very definition of not an upgrade, as it leaves the team with the exact same blueline as it had last year.

The Red Wings have Sproul, Ouellet and Alexey Marchenko all nearly ready (if not now ready) to make the jump to the NHL and they’ve assured that no roster spots are available to do so. There will be at most one spot available next summer, and that’s only if the team opts to let Brendan Smith walk as a restricted free agent.

Three players near-ready on the blue line, where there won’t be three spots available until 2016-17, at which point the three will all be restricted free agents.

The Red Wings had their chance to commit to the youth movement. Let Sproul have a shot to win a spot in camp. Instead they opted to make no spots available and bring back Quincey.

Postgame: Red Wings @ Blue Jackets – 3/25

I’m unhappy with the game-winner tonight but to focus entirely on that is to ignore the problems the Red Wings have.

Coming down the stretch, needing a goal to get even, how many unscreened shots from the blue line got straight through to McElhinney to grab for a stop in play? No second chances, no tips in front. And if it wasn’t the Gustav Nyquist / Riley Sheahan / Tomas Tatar line, there was no offense. They really are the new Eurotwins.

It’s not just Nyquist and Tatar, though. Sheahan is becoming a force. His move to get the puck to Nyquist on the first Detroit goal was beautiful.

Also on the personnel front, Mitch Callahan looked acceptable in his NHL debut. Better than Landon Ferraro, probably worse than Teemu Pulkkinen. Didn’t do enough to make me want to see more of him if Tomas Jurco comes back on Thursday but I wouldn’t expect that.

That said, let’s come back to that game-winner. I have issues with it on multiple fronts.

First is the call, that the net came off because Brendan Smith pushed Cam Atkinson into it. Yes, Smith pushed Atkinson. He didn’t push him that much.

Second is that Atkinson was standing in the space normally occupied by the post while he handled the puck. If he wasn’t able to be in that spot, he wouldn’t have been able to score. If he was able to be in that spot, clearly the net being off its moorings had an affect on the play.

Third, goes back to last weekend, when this goal was waived off but then Columbus’ is allowed to stand. Just feels like the Wings are the only team that can’t get away with anything around the net.

But coming out of the night Detroit still holds a playoff spot, sitting in eighth due to tiebreakers as they’re tied for seventh with Columbus, Toronto and Washington. Big games coming up against Montreal and Toronto later this week.

Postgame: Oilers @ Red Wings – 3/14

The important take-away from the Red Wings’ 2-1 shootout win over the Edmonton Oilers is two much-needed points. With the Wings in the East and the Oilers in the West, that Edmonton walked away with a loser point doesn’t matter for Detroit’s playoff chances.

That said, Edmonton is the worst team in the Western Conference. Second-worst team overall. There is no way the Red Wings should have required a shootout to get the win. Second-worst defense in the league and Detroit only managed a single goal. I get that the Wings have injuries but they’re not trying to make the playoffs with the team they could have, they’re going to have to do it with the team they’ve got. What they’ve got didn’t look all that good tonight.

On the positive side, Teemu Pulkkinen looked okay in his debut. Not afraid to shoot the puck, that’s for sure. And that second period hip check was awesome.

Unfortunately, the player that really stuck out was Brendan Smith for his awful giveaway leading to Edmonton’s goal. Absolutely inexcusable.

As I said off the top, though… Two points.

Trade Deadline Thoughts: Robidas, Draft Picks, and Kesler

In the final twenty-four hours before the NHL’s trade deadline I want to talk on a couple points based on some of today’s news.

Red Wings’ general manager Ken Holland has said the team is looking to make a “hockey trade” and that they want a top-four defensemen. “Hockey trade” apparently means that they’re not looking for a rental, or that they’re not willing to give up big assets for one.

That likely means the price tag for a player like Christian Ehrhoff from Buffalo or Alexander Edler from Vancouver will be too high. Andrew MacDonald was dealt from the Islanders for a fifth rounder this year, a third next year, and a forward prospect. Stephane Robidas was different, however.

Robidas went from Dallas to Anaheim for “just” a fourth round pick. Hardly an exorbitant amount for a right-handed shot on the point and a veteran with a mean streak. The Stars say they’re not selling assets off and that Robidas was an exception, so maybe the seemingly-low price was driven by that. Maybe Robidas wanted a deal to Anaheim, for example.

If Detroit could have had him for a fourth-rounder, though, I have a hard time saying I wouldn’t make that move. It would be a rental, yes. Robidas is 37, he wouldn’t be the long-term acquisition that Holland seems to be looking for. But at that cost, I do the deal. Especially given that the kind of deal Holland says he wants looks less and less likely.

Trading draft picks is a crapshoot, especially a fourth-rounder. No pick is a sure-thing. The fourth round is early enough that you can still find some good talent but late enough that it’s not easy to do so. Recently, the Red Wings have used fourth round picks to select Andreas Athanasiou, Teemu Pulkkinen and Gustav Nyquist. I wouldn’t trade any of those players for Robidas.

Before that, though, the fourth round brought Mattias Ritola, Evan McGrath, Johan Berggren, and Miroslav Blatak. I’d dump all of them (or equivalent players) for a Robidas rental. It would appear that Holland wasn’t willing to take that chance. Or he didn’t get the option.


To jump back to Ehrhoff’s name for a minute… The word is that Buffalo wants prospects in return for him, not picks. I think that, should the Wings decide to make a move, that favors them. Holland won’t want to dump his first-rounder but the Wings have some prospects that could be deemed extraneous. I’m still not sure it’d be worth it but it depends on what Buffalo wants. Trade a defenseman for a defensive prospect or for the best player you can get? I’m not sure I’d move a Pulkkinen but what about Ryan Sproul?

I mean, I’d prefer Ehrhoff for Kyle Quincey, straight up, but we’ve gotta be a little realistic.


After missing out on (or never being in on, or whatever) Robidas, we’ve still got reports that the Red Wings are going after Vancouver forward Ryan Kesler. There was a specific Tweet I wanted to reference on that but I lost track of it.

I just can’t see how this deal makes sense for Detroit. Vancouver wants a top young center plus prospects and picks. Maybe I’m biased against Kesler, he grew up in Livonia hating the Red Wings and I see that as a character flaw, but I wouldn’t deal any of the Wings’ young roster players for him. Dump some vets for him, sure. A couple draft picks? Yeah. The Canucks aren’t going to do that, though. As I said, we’ve gotta be a little realistic.

That said, if Holland somehow swings a deal for him, I’ll probably be able to justify it to myself somehow. As I said awhile ago, a slightly-dirty player who hates the Red Wings? Fifteen years ago that was Chris Chelios and it worked out okay when he came to Detroit.

Reviewing the Summer of Regret

With Jordin Tootoo having been called up from the Grand Rapids Griffins to replace Mikael Samuelsson in the Red Wings’ lineup tonight – and Samuelsson returning to his place as a healthy scratch – I figured it was a good time to go back and take a complete look at the signings of Detroit’s “Summer of Regret” (copyright The Production Line), the summer of 2012.

Step back to before the end of the actual 2011-12 season and we’ve got the signing of Riley Sheahan to his three-year entry-level deal in time for the last game of the regular season. There was no expectation that he’d do anything in Detroit immediately but he’s centering the fourth line tonight.

Teemu Pulkkinen was up next at the end of May, though he didn’t even come to North America until late last season. He’s yet to get a look at the NHL level but apparently was the other option when Sheahan got the call this week.

Darren Helm signed a four-year contract extension in June, the team’s last move before the opening of unrestricted free agency opened on July 1.

Three unexpected signings were Detroit’s big splash on the first day of free agency. Goalie Jonas Gustavsson would go on to displace Joey MacDonald as the backup last season. With Jimmy Howard hurt, he’s the starter tonight. Forwards Samuelsson and Tootoo were the other two. The team also announced the signing of Swiss forward Damien Brunner, a deal that had been expected at that point.

A few days later, Marek Tvrdon and Max Nicastro signed their ELCs. Both are in ECHL Toledo today.

Kyle Quincey re-signed as a restricted free agent on July 18. By avoiding suspension for his boarding of Ryan Getzlaf on Tuesday, he remains in the lineup tonight, one of only four Wings to play every game this season.

Martin Frk and Tomas Jurco signed their ELCs in August. Jurco is with the Wings now, having scored his first NHL goal on Tuesday. Frk is with Toledo in his first pro season.

Lastly, on the day before the league’s lockout of the players began, the Wings signed defenseman Carlo Colaiacovo to a two-year deal and RFA forward Justin Abdelkader to a four-year one.

The breakdown on that…

Six entry-level deals, all of whom are still in the Detroit organization. Three are currently in the ECHL, two of whom made their pro debuts this year. The others debuted with GR last season (though one was late in the year) and two of those are up as injury replacements with Detroit now.

Three re-signed restricted free agents, all of whom are still with the Red Wings.

Five unrestricted free agent signings. Colaiacovo has since been bought out and Brunner was allowed to walk last summer. Tootoo has been buried in the AHL for most of this season. Samuelsson has been a healthy scratch and would have been bought out last summer had he not been hurt at the time. Then there’s Gustavsson, who played in only seven games last year but started this season with a nine-game streak without a regulation loss.

Is there a point to this other than “2012 was a terrible summer?” I’m not sure. Maybe this just illustrates how awful of a summer it really was.

Griffins Jersey Number Updates

I’ve already looked at the Red Wings’ jersey number changes this season but now that the Griffins have released their camp roster, I can do the same for them.

None of last-season’s full-time Griffins are changing their numbers for the coming year but all of the players who joined the team late in the season have been assigned different numbers than those they wore during Grand Rapids’ Calder Cup run.

Defenseman Ryan Sproul gives up the #2 he had been wearing (having inherited it from Cody Lampl and Carlo Colaiacovo) to Joe Hartman, switching to the #7 vacated by Brendan Smith‘s ascension to the Detroit roster full-time. Fellow blueliner Xavier Ouellet switches from #37 to #16 while Richard Nedomlel goes from #41 to #45, a rare case of a Griffin wearing a high number.

With Ouellet taking #16, Marek Tvrdon drops to the #13 previously assigned to Gustav Nyquist, who seems poised to make the jump to the Red Wings.

Teemu Pulkkinen switches from #26 to the #6 that was briefly assigned to Andreas Athanasiou, with #26 going to free-agent signing David McIntyre. Calle Jarnkrok drops from the #25 he shared with Mike Knuble last year (and was originally assigned to Damien Brunner) to the #12 vacated by Brent Raedeke‘s departure. Kevin Lynch picks up the #25 from Jarnkrok.

Newcomer Alden Hirschfeld takes Francis Pare‘s old #9. Similarly, Martin Frk picks up Tomas Tatar‘s #27, Dane Walters gets Brian Lashoff‘s #32, Travis Novak will wear Jan Mursak‘s #39 and Alexey Marchenko gets the #3 that was shared by Erik Spady, Mark Mitera and Brett Skinner.

Goalie Jared Coreau gets his usual #31, meaning that he joins Landon Ferraro (#29) and Petr Mrazek (#34) as the only Griffins assigned the same number in Grand Rapids as they are in Detroit.

Joakim Andersson‘s old #18, Chad Billins‘ #14 and Danny DeKeyser‘s #55 were not assigned for camp.

Red Wings Assign Eight to Griffins

One day after sending seventeen players to the Grand Rapids Griffins, the Detroit Red Wings assigned eight more to their American Hockey League affiliate.

Forwards Riley Sheahan, Triston Grant, Landon Ferraro, Louis-Marc Aubry and Luke Glendening were sent down as the Griffins begin their training camp in Grand Rapids. They’re joined by defensemen Nathan Paetsch and Alexey Marchenko and goalie Jared Coreau.

The Red Wings are now down to 30 players on their training camp roster. Expected Griffins still in Detroit are Teemu Pulkkinen, Willie Coetzee, Adam Almquist and Petr Mrazek. Pulkkinen is currently suspended and required to remain with the Red Wings but is practicing with the Griffins, Coetzee has been injured, and Mrazek is expected to fill in for injured Detroit backup goalie Jonas Gustavsson.

Detroit has three preseason games remaining. The Griffins play two preseason matches this weekend.

DetroitHockey.Net is not officially affiliated with the Detroit Red Wings organization or the National Hockey League

Sort By Date (Oldest to Newest)