Red Wings Fall to Sharks in Shootout After Double Shutout

Detroit’s Jimmy Howard and San Jose’s Antti Niemi each earned a shutout on Monday night but the Sharks came away with the win, as Logan Couture scored the only goal of the shootout for a 1-0 win over the Red Wings.

Howard stopped all 27 shots he faced in 65 minutes of play and forced Patrick Marleau to the outside on the first San Jose shootout attempt before Couture scored on the second.

Niemi made 24 saves before Pavel Datsyuk missed and Daniel Alfredsson fired a shot into him. With the chance to seal the victory, Niemi made a spectacular save on Todd Bertuzzi, recovering from an initial fake-out to lift his pad into the air behind him and knock down Bertuzzi’s shot.

For the only goal of the contest, Couture made a quick fake in the slot and cut to his left, snapping a shot past Howard.


The Red Wings were without defensemen Niklas Kronwall (concussion) and Jonathan Ericsson (paternity leave). Xavier Ouellet made his NHL debut to fill the gap… Prior to the game, forward Luke Glendening was sent down to the Grand Rapids Griffins to make room on the roster for Ouellet… Mikael Samuelsson was the only healthy scratch at forward.

Pregame: Sharks @ Red Wings – 10/21

The Red Wings host the NHL’s best team tonight minus their top defensive pairing. Niklas Kronwall and Jonathan Ericsson are both out as the San Jose Sharks come to town.

Kronwall skated this morning and is expected to return on Wednesday against Ottawa, as he’s experiencing no ill effects from the mild concussion suffered in Colorado on Thursday.

Ericsson is out for personal reasons as his wife or girlfriend (depending on who’s reporting, though one would assume they’re the same woman) gave birth to a daughter this afternoon.

With both out, Brendan Smith remains in the Detroit lineup and will be joined by call-up Xavier Ouellet, who will make his NHL debut.

There are also changes up front, as Luke Glendening has been returned to the Grand Rapids Griffins. Justin Abdelkader is back with Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk, Stephen Weiss centers Daniel Cleary and Tomas Tatar, Johan Franzen centers Todd Bertuzzi and Daniel Alfredsson, and Joakim Andersson centers Drew Miller and Jordin Tootoo. Mikael Samuelsson will be the healthy scratch.

Stupid stat of the day: The Red Wings are a perfect 3-0 all-time against teams from California on October 21. With tonight’s game, they will have played each of the league’s California-based teams exactly once.

Game time is 7:30 on FSD.

Nyquist Demoted as Red Wings Set 23-Man Roster

The Detroit Red Wings set their initial 23-man roster on Monday, sending forward Gustav Nyquist to the American Hockey League’s Grand Rapids Griffins as part of the effort.

In addition to demoting Nyquist, the team placed forwards Darren Helm and Patrick Eaves on long-term injured reserve. Forward Jordin Tootoo and goaltender Jonas Gustavsson went on short-term injured reserve.

Though he cleared waivers earlier in the day and Detroit general manager Ken Holland had said he would be assigned to Grand Rapids, center Cory Emmerton remained with the Red Wings. He can be demoted any time in the next month or before he plays ten games without needing to clear waivers again.

To take advantage of the salary cap benefits of Helm and Eaves going on LTIR, defenseman Xavier Ouellet was callled up from the Griffins. Goalie Jared Coreau was called up to replace Gustavsson.

Some of these moves are expected to be “paper moves” with additional roster manipulation coming before the Red Wings’ opener on Wednesday night. Specifically, Coreau may switch spots with Petr Mrazek and Ouellet may swap out for someone else.

Pregame: Penguins @ Red Wings – 9/25

The Red Wings begin the final part of their preseason schedule tonight, hosting the Pittsburgh Penguins in the first of three games in four nights.

Detroit will be without Daniel Alfredsson and Jakub Kindl due to injury and will be sitting their top line and top defensive pair. Petr Mrazek will get the start in goal. Expected lines are as follows:

Johan FranzenStephen WeissJustin Abdelkader
Gustav NyquistJoakim AnderssonTomas Tatar
Drew MillerCory EmmertonMikael Samuelsson
Daniel ClearyRiley SheahanTodd Bertuzzi

Kyle QuinceyBrendan Smith
Danny DeKeyserXavier Ouellet
Adam AlmquistBrian Lashoff

Game time is 7:30 PM on FS+ and NHL Network.

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 Send 17 to Grand Rapids

The Detroit Red Wings announced on Sunday the assignment of 17 players to the Grand Rapids Griffins.

Forwards Tomas Jurco, Martin Frk, Andrej Nestrasil, Trevor Parkes, Mitch Callahan, Marek Tvrdon, Calle Jarnkrok, David McIntyre and Jeff Hoggan were sent down in preparation for the Griffins’ training camp this week in Grand Rapids. They are joined by defensemen Gleason Fournier, Ryan Sproul, Brennan Evans, Max Nicastro, Xavier Ouellet and Richard Nedomlel. Goalies Tom McCollum and Cam Lanigan will also join the Griffins at camp.

Of the 17, McIntyre, Hoggan, Evans, McCollum and Lanigan were not under contract with Detroit and were in the Red Wings’ camp as invitees. None of the others were expected to compete for a spot with the Red Wings, though Jurco could see time as a call-up in case of injury.

The moves leave Detroit with 38 players remaining on the roster.

2012 Red Wings Number Changes

It’s looking like some of the jersey numbers we saw at the Red Wings’ summer development camp weren’t as meaningless as was originally suggested.

Rather than wearing the #25 assigned to him last season, Brian Lashoff wore the #23 vacated by Brad Stuart.  Additionally, Martin Frk wore the #48 that Cory Emmerton wore last campaign.

Today, Bill Roose Tweeted that Emmerton would be switching to #25.  This means, of course, that #48 is available for Frk to keep and that Lashoff’s switch would be required.

Assuming the development camp numbers are all accurate, the following changes have taken place:

Louis-Marc Aubry – from #53 to #32
Mitch Callahan – from #65 to #42
Willie Coetzee – from #70 to #45
Landon Ferraro – from #57 to #41
Gleason Fournier – from #67 to #46
Richard Nedomlel – from #73 to #3
Xavier Ouellet – from #61 to #54
Alan Quine – from #74 to #59
Marek Tvrdon – from #71 to #60

Additionally, Trevor Parkes switched from #60 to #37, which is now taken by Mikael Samuelsson.  Ryan Sproul went from #62 to #22, which now belongs to Jordin Tootoo.

If the Red Wings have a training camp this season, we’ll see if any of the development camp numbers stick around.

On the Misguided Idea of Playing the Kids

In the aftermath of free agents Ryan Suter and Zach Parise having spurned an offer from the Red Wings to sign with the Minnesota Wild (and shortly thereafter, supposed Wings’ Plan B Matt Carle signing with Steve Yzerman‘s Tampa Bay Lightning), we’re hearing a lot about how Detroit should rebuild from within rather than signing free agents to replace their summer losses.

Red Wings’ GM Ken Holland himself has pushed that line of thinking.  I’ve already touched on his line of “There’s also got to be an opportunity for some of our kids and the guys we’ve just signed to play.”

That’s an idea that’s been espoused for some time by many fans.  With the constant idea that the Wings are too old and slow, there’s always a call to “just play the kids” and we’re seeing that again now.

There’s a problem with that idea this time around, though.

I’m not against playing the kids.  I want to see what Gustav Nyquist could do in a top-six role and I want to know whether or not Tomas Tatar is ready.  With Detroit’s current lineup, though, Nyquist and Tatar are going to start the season in Grand Rapids.

There are simply too many forwards on the Wings’ roster right now.  Up front is not where the kids will be given a chance.

Unless injuries happen, we’re not going to see Riley Sheahan ir Joakim Andersson.

It’s Detroit’s blueline that has holes.  Decimated by the loss of Nicklas Lidstrom and Brad Stuart, the Wings’ defense is where there’s room for someone to step up and take a bigger role.  The problem?  The Wings have no defensive prospects to do that.

Brendan Smith will make the full-time jump to the big club next year but that was virtually a given at the end of last season.  Aside from him, there are no NHL-ready defensemen in the Red Wings’ system.

Gleason Fournier?  Spent most of last year (his first in the pros) in the ECHL.  Ryan Sproul?  Has yet to play a pro game.  Same for Xavier Ouellet.  Adam Almqvist has played all of three AHL games.  Max Nicastro will make his pro debut this season.  Travis Ehrhardt is an unrestricted free agent on his way out of the organization, as is Logan Pyett.  Brian Lashoff is entering his third pro season but I’ve heard exactly no one say he’s ready.

So there are no kids for the Wings to rely on here.  It’s a bigger role for Smith or Kyle Quincey or Jonathan Ericsson or Jakub Kindl.  Or all of them.  As of right now, two of those four will be in the Red Wings’ top four.

A trade could always happen that shakes things up.  As things are right now, however, “just play the kids” is not a solution to the Wings’ problems.