It’s been 175 days since the Detroit Red Wings played. 175 days. That’s an awfully long offseason for the Detroit Red Wings and their fans. I’ve attempted to keep busy by taking up 12 new TV series, getting a real job (ew) and pretending to like baseball (Wait—how many innings are there? How come there are 4 bases? Oh. Go Tigers!)
Over the last month, 9 Red Wing players have signed contracts overseas…and 1 in Denver (Oh Quincey…you WOULD). I’ve spent countless hours looking for illegal websites so I can livestream some hockey and get my fix. I’m pretty bitter that I didn’t see Datsyuk’s header goal live. ESPN2 airing KHL games??? Best news I’ve heard in months.
Let’s sum up what we’ve been missing:
Valtteri Filppula – Jokerit Helsinki (Finland) – SM-liiga
8 GP, 9 pts, 4G, 5A, 2PIM, +5
(Out indefinitely with UBI)
Jan Mursak – HDD Olimpija Ljubljana (Slovenia) – Erste Bank Eishockey Liga
4 GP, 10 pts, 0G, 10A, 0PIM, +9
Pavel Datsyuk – CSKA Moscow (Russia) – KHL
7 GP, 9 pts, 3G, 6A, 2PIM, +6
Damien Brunner – EV Zug (Switzerland) – National League A
8 GP, 11 pts, 4G, 7A, 6PIM, +2
Fast forward to 1:07 – game against EHC Biel (Tyler Seguin’s team)
Jakub Kindl – HC Pardubice (Czech Republic) – Czech Extraliga
7 GP, 1 pt, 0G, 1A, 0PIM, -6
We haven’t missed anything yet from Cory Emmerton (signed with SaiPa in Finland this week), Jonathan Ericsson (Vita Hasten in Sweden), Drew Miller (Braehead Clan in Scotland – EIHL), Zetterberg (joining Damien Brunner on EV Zug in Switzerland), or Kyle Quincey (Denver Cutthroats…have I been watching too much Dexter or is that really graphic? – CHL).
Overall, I’m pretty impressed with what (4/5 of) the guys have been doing abroad and am interested to see how the other 5 look after a long summer. Wishing Filppula a quick recovery.
stats from hockeydb.com
Detroit Red Wings (15-7-1) vs. Buffalo Sabres (13-10-1)
I had hoped for there to be a Spartan overload on the ice tonight, but as of now, the chances are low. Spartan alum Justin Abdelkader and Drew Miller will be in the Red Wings lineup tonight, but Ryan Miller, the Sabres’ star goalie, will start on the bench. Ryan has been out since November 12th after suffering a concussion on a hit by Boston’s Milan Lucic. The last time the two teams played, Ryan Miller started in goal and his brother Drew was a healthy scratch. Another former Spartan, rookie Corey Tropp, has played 10 games for Buffalo this season but was reassigned to the Rochester Americans on Monday.
Feelin hot, hot, hot:
- The Red Wings have won 10 of their last 12 games
- Pavel Datsyuk has 10 points in the last 6 games
- Valtteri Filppula has 6 points in the last 4 games — as long as he continues to shoot, he’ll continue to score. (i love you)
- Jimmy Howard is 14-5-1 and leads the league in wins
- Chris Conner was called up from Grand Rapids yesterday and will play on a line with Cleary and Helm
- Emmerton and Commodore are healthy scratches, Eaves has his mouth wired shut
- Jimmy Howard will start in goal for the Red Wings
- Jhonas Enroth (8-4-1) will start in goal for the Buffalo Sabres
Game starts at 7:30 and will be aired on the NHL network and Fox Sports Detroit (shwing). Let’s make it 7 in a row…Go Wings!
Jonathan Ericsson had a 2-point game in the Detroit Red Wings’ 6th straight win tonight. The Detroit Red Wings outshot the Tampa Bay Lightning 35-23 and won 64% of the faceoffs. Pavel Datsyuk won 71% of his faceoffs and earned himself 2 points as well–that’s 6 points in the last 4 games for the great one. Jimmy Howard made some fabulous saves throughout the game and especially in the 3rd–upping the confusion regarding his absence on the All-Star ballot. Feel free to write him in.
Tonight was also Steve Yzerman’s first visit to the Joe as the GM of the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Red Wings paid their respects to the longtime Captain with a tear jerking tribute during the 1st period:
1st Period Highlights:
- Wings outshot TBL 18-8 (that’s what I’m talkin bout)
- Datsyuk wowed us with his 7th goal of the season at 4:58 (assisted by Bertuzzi and Franzen)
- Jonathan Ericsson shocked RW fans everywhere by scoring his first goal of the season (11:04, assist to Fil) Mazel tov!!!!!!
2nd Period Highlights:
- The Lightning outshot the Wings 6-5
- With Ericsson in the box, Martin St. Louis got a PPG to get his team back in the game (9:35, assisted by Purcell and Bergeron)
- Steven Stamkos tied the game with just 0:14 left in the period (assists to Gilroy and Lecavalier) — he scores goals? Weird.
- Pierre McGuire used the word “toughly” and then quickly recanted saying it wasn’t a word. It actually is a word…and Pierre actually was an English major #funfact
3rd Period Highlights:
- The Wings stepped it up and outshot the Lightning 12-9
- Brewer did the only thing he could do to prevent Datsyuk from scoring on a breakaway — hooked him. Holmer put the Wings up 3-2 only 9 seconds later—after all 5 RWs touched the puck (4:22, assists to Lidstrom and Datsyuk)
- Darren Helm sealed the deal at 14:13, giving the Wings a 2-goal lead (assisted by Kindl and Ericsson)
Notes: Commodore and Emmerton were scratched, Eaves out 6-8 weeks after having surgery on his jaw
The Wings will head to Buffalo to prep for their 7:30 game on Friday night
The sellout home crowd had plenty to cheer about early as the Red Wings rolled to a 5-3 win in Friday’s season opener. Some notes from last nights win.
- A wonderful effort from some of the Red Wings role players. Drew Miller and Cory Emmerton both had strong games in limited minutes, with the latter earning first star honors. Emmerton had a goal and assist, and Miller had two assists on the night.
- Todd Bertuzzi was effective early and often. He had a beautiful finish to open the scoring in the first, then delivered a big hit to create a turnover that ended up in the back of the net thanks to a heads up play by Nicklas Lidstrom. He was physical when needed and avoided taking a minor penalty.
- Jimmy Howard was better than the final score indicated, making big saves throughout the night to keep the lead. The Red Wings were very lackadaisical in the third period, and allowed the Senators back into the game with three goals.
- Ian White will see a lot of power play time this year. He looked good at the point with the top unit, and scored the fifth goal for the Wings. He did, however, take two penalties including one that resulted in the Senators third goal.
- Jiri Hudler is off to a fast start. After a terribly slow adjustment back to the NHL pace last season, the Czech was on the board early thanks to a beautiful entry pass from Pavel Datsyuk.
- Jonathan Ericsson and Jakub Kindl, two question marks on the Detroit blue line this season, were both +3 last night.
- Tomas Holmstrom continues to get the job done. He looked healthy and active in his 11:29 of ice time. He registered four shots and was effective in the offensive corners.
- The Senators are in serious trouble this season. They have a bad mix of aging veterans and unproven talent. I was not impressed by many outside of the top two forwards: Jason Spezza and Milan Michalek. Both Daniel Alfredsson and Sergei Gonchar showed their age, ending with a combined -5 rating.
- The Red Wings honored former assistant coach Brad McCrimmon before the game. Nicklas Lidstrom, Henrik Zetterberg, and Pavel Datsyuk joined his family on the ice before the game drawing the night’s loudest cheers.
Today’s edition of Fresh Faces will look at young Red Wing forward Cory Emmerton. The 23 year old from St. Thomas, Ontario is likely celebrating tonight after being named to the teams 23 man active roster yesterday. Emmerton has had three steady years in the AHL and played in two NHL games last season scoring once. Had the left winger/center not been chosen, he would have had to clear waivers and most certainly have been picked up by another team.
Emmerton had plenty to be nervous about early this preseason, with the emergence of Gustav Nyquist, the rebirth of Fabian Brunnstrom, and the stiff competition of Jan Mursak and NHL veterans Ryan Johnson and Chris Conner. However, Johnson and Conner failed to make an impression, Mursak fractured his ankle, and Nyquist (only a year out of college at Maine) was sent back to Grand Rapids for more polishing. Emmerton played in a team high seven games this preseason, but the Wings know what they are getting with the 6’0″ 190lbs forward.
Emmerton has averaged 11 goals and 25 assists in his three seasons in Grand Rapids. Coach Mike Babcock was happy with his effort this summer, “He won battles, really got stronger in the faceoff circle and played better,” Babcock said. “I played him four games in five nights to finish (the preseason), just to figure it all out, see what he was made of, and I thought he responded real well.”
Emmerton knew that his time to make the team was now or never. “I didn’t come into this season of the mind frame that I deserve that spot,” he said. “I’ve been kind of going through the system the last few years. I just knew coming in that this is a critical point in my career to take that next step.”
Knowing the nature of the treacherous 82 game NHL season, it is safe to assume that injury will propel Emmerton into the fourth line early and often this season. Until then, he’ll battle with Brunnstrom and veteran forwards Patrick Eaves, Drew Miller, and Jiri Hudler.
Fun fact: Emmerton is from the same hometown as San Jose Shark Joe Thorton and famous actress Rachel McAdams.
The Detroit Red Wings ended the Pittsburgh Penguins perfect preseason Sunday night, with a 3-2 victory at Joe Louis Arena. Gustav Nyquist lead the way with two goals and an assist. Paired with the sizable duo of Todd Bertuzzi and Johan Franzen, the line was unstoppable, accounting for all three goals tonight.
Nyquist opened the scoring on a rebound just one minute in, with assists from Bertuzzi and Franzen. Paul Martin quickly answered to tie the game with a one-timer just over five minutes in. Franzen got his own rebound and finished a pretty play to give Detroit the 2-1 lead halfway through the first period.
Nyquist scored his second of the night on the PP in the second, and that score would hold until late in the 3rd period. With 50 seconds left, Tyler Kennedy put the Pens within one after a flurry in front of Jimmy Howard. It was originally waved off, but after review was determined to be a goal. Despite a flurry of shots in the final minutes, the Red Wings held on for the 3-2 victory.
With the injury to Jan Mursak, you have to wonder if Nyquist can squeak his way into the fourteenth and final forward position with the Red Wings. His competition did not do much this game. Cory Emmerton took a penalty when the game was tied, Fabian Brunnstrom had 0 shots in over 15 minutes of ice time, and Tomas Tatar was -1. Patrick Eaves also left the game after a blocked shot on a penalty kill. His status is unknown, but could open up another forward position.
Howard was solid, with a few big saves in the 3rd period, when the Penguins outshot Detroit 12-4. Nick Lidstrom was steady as usual, with a +2 rating and over 23 minutes of ice time. Valtteri Fiilppula delivered a big hit and was dangerous for the majority of his 26 shifts. Jiri Hudler drew jeers from the crowd after a couple of turnovers in the 3rd period.
A fun moment occurred during the 2nd intermission. One end of the arena focused their attention to a Super Suite that had left their blinds open. A large television was showing the final inning of the Tigers – Yankees game, which the Tigers held on to win 5-3. The crowd reacted loudly as the final inning unfolded; once mistakenly thinking a replay from the night prior was instead a Yankee’s game tying home run. After minutes of confusion, the final Yankee out was recorded, drawing the loudest cheers from Joe Louis all night. The owner of the suite quickly realized what was happening, and closed the blinds for the remainder of the hockey game.
Click here for full video highlights.
OMG… did you hear about the Smith on Smith hit to the head?? People are struggling trying to decide if the hit was intentional or unintentional, but frankly, I’m not sure if that matters. Obviously the story deserves to be a HEADline (muahaha), but enough already… it’s in Shanny’s hands now.
Brunnstrom was on fire tonight, scoring a goal in the 1st and one in the 2nd, making it very clear that he is determined to wear a winged wheel this season. Rookies Emmerton and Smith each had two assists. I thought Drew Miller looked great on the ice and was really glad he got one in. I would have definitely liked to have seen a little more action from Eaves and Abs… it’s hard to believe they had 16-17 minutes of ice time each. Ericsson played like typical Ericsson–sometimes I wonder if he has body dysmorphic disorder. I think someone needs to remind him that he is 6’4/220 lbs, not 5’6/130 lbs — he needs to use his body and not allow himself to fall into the boards from a light push. And even though Conklin was 20-24, I think he played very well and had some awesome saves. It’s not his fault that the Blackhawks had all of their star players in their lineup tonight and the Wings had… well… none. Even so, we did more than hold our own. The game-winner was scored by Marian Hossa during a two man advantage in the 3rd period.
All in all, this game really annoyed me and Pierre McGuire didn’t help. I can’t wait until Friday when we’re back at the Joe.
Your days of searching the web for Red Wings news are over. We’ll share what others are saying right here. All your favorite articles and authors, all in one easy place.
- Ted Kuflan of The Detroit News says Ian White will partner with Nick Lidstrom this season and Cory Emmerton knows the pressure is on him to make the team this season.
- The Detroit Free Press provides Brad McCrimmon’s funeral details.
- Jiri Hudler hopes UFC training this offseason will lead to a bounce back year from Chuck Pleiness of The Daily Tribune.
- The Sporting News reporting that forward Todd Bertuzzi has a date in court for actions that led to the career-ending injury of Steve Moore.
- Dustin Pollack of Digital Journal picks the Wings to finish 4th in the West this year.
The Red Wings made a few big splashes this summer, resigning captain and veteran defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom, key forwards Patrick Eaves and Drew Miller, as well as signing free agent Ian White, previously of the San Jose Sharks.
The Wings find themselves in an unusal position this summer, with plenty of cap room. $5,845,456 to be exact (according to CapGeek.com). With the signing of role players Mike Commodore and Ty Conklin, the roster looks set. Newcomers Jan Mursak and Cory Emmerton – both of whom are out of minor league options – are poised to start the season in Detroit.
So will Ken Holland make one more move to bolster his already potent attack. Wings fans have asked for the team to unload Czech forward Jiri Hudler, who is coming off a disappointing season in which he struggled to crack the lineup in the playoffs. But the reality is few teams can accommodate his near $3 million dollar cap rate and give up a piece of value in return. With the free agent forward market stripped, it appears the Wings will hope the 27 year old can bounce back and become the productive scorer he once was in Detroit.
The other name rumored in trade talks has been Valtteri Filppula, but the Wings would expect a top 6 forward back in return. His low salary may be intriguing to teams – like Buffalo and Washington – who find themselves over the cap limit. The NHL season opens in just 30 days, so it should be an interesting month ahead for fans around the league.