|Petr Mrazek made this first-period save Wednesday at Edmonton. He made 10 saves on the period, but the Oilers went to the first intermission with a 1-0 lead, which they built on in the second period. (Photo by Getty Images)|
The Red Wings entered Wednesday night’s game with a gaudy win/loss record against the Edmonton Oilers, claiming eight straight victories since Feb. 4, 2012.
Since losing to the Oilers in the first round of the 2006 Stanley Cup playoffs, the Wings have been dominant at Rexall Place, producing a 9-0-5 mark in their past 14 games in Edmonton.
However, the Red Wings started slow Wednesday. Through the first 20 minutes, Detroit outshot 11-5 by the Oilers, who have won their last two games after starting the season 0-4.
In what is becoming a disturbing early-season trend, the Red Wings picked up their third bench minor for too man men on the ice at 5:53 of the opening period. As he has done the previous two times, Teemu Pulkkinen served the two-minutes in the penalty box.
Detroit’s PK managed to thwart the Oilers’ first power play on opportunity, but not their second chance.
With 42 seconds left in Drew Miller’s holding penalty the Oilers struck for a 1-0 lead. Nail Yakupov made a pretty play, skating backward long the wall and deep into the offensive zone. The No 1 overall pick in 2012, Yakupov sent a centering pass to Mark Letestu who was camped in the low slot where he managed to get his stick blade on the puck to redirect it behind Petr Mrazek.
The Red Wings had two power play chances in the period, but only generated one good scoring chance when Henrik Zetterberg rifled a rising shot that Oilers goalie Cam Talbot gloved.
EDMONTON 1, DETROIT 0
SCORING: 1, EDM, Letestu PPG (Yakupov, Schultz),
PENALTIES: 1, DET, Pulkkinen (too many men), 5:53; 2, EDM, Gryba (interference), 8:36); 3, DET, Miller (holding), 11:14; 4, EDM, Hall (tripping), 16:13.
SHOTS: Detroit 5, Edmonton 11
Connor McDavid, the Oilers’ fourth No. 1 overall draft pick since 2010, was relatively quiet in the opening period. He logged 4:48 of ice time, including 1:16 on the power play, without firing a shot.
But the 18-year-old from Richmond Hills, Ontario more than made up for it in the second period, dazzling the home crowd during back-to-back shifts.
First the youngster set up Letestu for what should have been the veteran’s second goal since joining the Oilers as a free-agent signing this past offseason.
Letestu’s scoring chance was made possible by McDavid, who picked Gustav Nyquist’s pocket clean as the Red Wings’ forward tried pushing the puck up ice. Quicky, McDavid created a scoring chance, threading a pass to Letestu who send a shot of the outside of the net to the left of Mrazek.
On his next shift, McDavid brought the sold-out crowd to its feet while sending the Red Wings’ goalie to his knees. Cruising down the middle of the ice, McDavid made an incredible deke, going right then pulling the puck back to his left leaving Mrazek with no chance to recover.
McDavid’s first goal at home, at 6:34 of the period, gave the Oilers a 2-0 lead.
A half minute later the home team built a three-goal cushion when Teddy Purcell was eventually credited with his first goal of the season when the puck caromed off a skate in front of Mrazek.
Purcell’s initial shot kicked off Mrazek’s right pad and into the slot where the puck glanced off Kyle Quincey’s left skate as the Red Wings’ defenseman backchecked
Drew Miller had the Wings’ best scoring chance in the period, racing in on Talbot midway through the frame, but his shot slid through the goalie’s pads and into the corner.
EDMONTON 3, DETROIT 0
SCORING: 1. EDM, McDavid (Pouliot, Yakupov), 6:34; 2. Purcell (Korpikoski, Fayne), 7:04.
PENALTIES: 1. EDM, Korpikoski (holding), 0:48; 2. DET, Green (tripping), 2:56; 3. EDM, Slepyshev (too many men), 4:09.
SHOTS: Detroit 11 (16), Edmonton 10 (21).
Puck possession and a face-off win in the defensive zone led to the Red Wings first goal of the game. Riley Sheahan beat Ryan Nugent-Hopkins on the draw to the left of Mrazek.
From there, the Wings rushed the puck of the ice, setting up Nyquist’s shot from the left wing. The Wings got a fortunate bounce as the Talbot kicked a rebound out to Tomas Tatar who was crashing the net from the opposite side as Nyquist.
Tatar lifted a backhand shot over Talbot’s left catching glove at 6:49 of the final period. The goal was Tatar’s first of the season.
Detroit had a couple of chances late to trim their deficit.
With less than five minutes left in regulation, the Wings had a chance to trim their deficit to one goal. But Justin Abdelkader grazed the outside of the right post under Talbot’s blocker.
The Wings’ power play went to work after Purcell was called for tripping Darren Helm with 3:13 left. Immediately, coach Jeff Blashill lifted Mrazek in favor of a sixth attacked.
Even after the Oilers successfully killed off the Purcell penalty, the Wings kept Mrazek on the bench.
Jimmy Howard will get the start Friday in Calgary, his fourth of the season, as the Red Wings continue their three-game road trip through Western Canada. Mrazek is expected to get his next start when the Red Wings play the Canucks at Vancouver’s Rogers Arena on Saturday night.
The Wings and Oilers will conclude their two-game season series in Detroit on Nov. 27.
EDMONTON 3, DETROIT 1
SCORING: 1. DET, Tatar (Nyquist), 6:49.
PENALTIES: 1. EDM, Klinkhammer (delay of game), 1:27; 2. EDM, Purcell (tripping (16:47).
SHOTS: Detroit 13 (29), Edmonton 6 (28).
The Montreal Canadiens have had oodles of chances to get their power play on track in the opening month of the season.
The first period at Bell Centre on Saturday wasn’t much different as the Red Wings sent two players to the penalty box in the first period.
Fortunately for the Wings, the Habs’ power play continued to struggle. Center Alex Galchenyuk and defenseman Andrei Markov both misfired on perfect chances that would have given the Canadiens a lead in the first 20 minutes.
The Canadiens were 0-for-2 on the power play in the first period and are now 2-for-23 in the season.
Standing in front of the crease on Montreal’s first man-advantage, Glachenyuk sent a knuckleball toward the net. With starting goalie Petr Mrazek out of postion, Jonathan Ericsson made a heady – inside the crease – play to knock the puck out of midair with his opened right hand.
During the Canadiens’ second power play, Markov had a wide-open net to shoot at after Petr Mrazek made the initial save at the far side of the crease. But the Canadiens’ defenseman rang a one-timer off the outside of the right post.
Meanwhile, the Red Wings’ newly formed fourth line – Drew Miller, Joakim Andersson and Darren Helm – created a few good scoring opportunities, especially Millers with under four minutes to play in the period.
The line pressured the puck and had good zone time. Miller got the line’s only shot of the period, snapping a quick wrister from the left circle that was stopped by Carey Price
Though the best chance of the period came when Gustav Nyquist and Riley Sheahan coasted in alone on Price in the final minute. Entring the zone with speed, Nyquist wired a shot toward the top of the net, but Price reacted in time to deflect the puck with his left catching glove.
DETROIT 0, MONTREAL 0
PENALTIES: 1, DET, Andersson (boarding), 3:07; 2, MTL, Semin (slashing), 6:42; 3. DET, Helm (holding the stick), 9:32.
SHOTS: Detroit 8, Montreal 12
The Canadiens made a bid to score first in the opening four minutes of the middle frame, but it was the Red Wings who jumped in front on a fluky goal by rookie Dylan Larkin.
After Mrazek made a blocker save on Max Pacioretty’s a close-range shot toward the Wings neet from the right of Mrazek. But the Wings’ goalie deflected the shot with his right blocker, which sent Detroit on a rush down the ice.
With 15:28 on the clock, Mrazek made a solid blocker save on Pacioretty’s shot from 10 feet. The save sprung the Wings on a rush down the where Larkin’ backhand shot from low inside the left circle eluded P.K. Subban’s clearing attempt and squeezing through Price’s pads.
The Canadiens got the equalizer on a controversial goal when Brendan Gallagher slid skates first into the net with the puck.
The referees and linemen got together at center ice, but couldn’t come up with a call on their own. Eventually the crew called the situation room in Toronto for an official ruling on the play at 7:44.
To the delight of the sold-out crowd at Bell Centre, referee Dave Jackson announced that, “the puck entered the net in a legal fashion.”
Things got rough when Torrey Mitchell hit Teemu Pulkkinen from behind along the boards in the Canadiens zone. The Habs’ center only received a two-minute minor for boarding Pulkkinen into the half wall at 17:14.
The Wings, however, did not register a shot on Price during the power play.
DETROIT 1, MONTREAL 1
SCORING: 1, DET, Larkin (Zetterberg), 4:47; 2, MTL, Gallagher PPG (unassisted), 7:44.
PENALTIES: 1, DET, Abdelkader (roughing), 7:18; 2, MTL, Fleischmann (tripping), 12:53; 3, MTL, Mitchell (boarding), 17:14.
SHOTS: Detroit 9 (17); Montreal 9 (21).
One too many treks to the penalty box by the Red Wings cot them dearly. The Canadiens’ power play notched the game-tying goal in the second and the winner on their next opportunity in the third.
The Canadiens’ PP chance was made possible when Ericsson was whistled for tripping minor for taking down David Desharnais at 5:20.
Less than a minute later, and metro Detroit native, Jeff Petry, the son of former Detroit Tigers’ pitcher Dan Petry, scored his first goal of the season.
Petry, who was acquired from Edmonton before last season’s trade deadline, walked along the blue line seeking a shooting lane before blistering a shot through traffic, beating Mrazek, who was screened in front by Deshanrnais
As he was throughout the night, Mrazek was again spectacular late in the third keeping the Wings in the game until Tomas Plekanec iced Montreal’s win on a Mike Green turnover at 17:56.
Detroit’s penalty killers also were responsible for holding the Canadiens to a one-goal lead for much of the period. The Wings’ PK went 3 for 5 against the only undefeated team in the Eastern Conference.
Center Brian Flynn capped with the Canadiens’ win with an empty-net goal at 19:59.
MONTREAL 4, DETROIT 1
SCORING: 1, MTL, Petry PPG (Glachenyuk, Deshanrnais), 6:32; 2, MTL, Plekanec (Gallagher), 17:56; MTL, Flynn EN (unassisted), 19:59.
PENALTIES: 1, DET, Ericsson (tripping), 5:20; 2, DET, Larkin (interference), 12:42.
SHOTS: Detroit 5 (22); Montreal 19 (40).
|Red Wings goalie Petr Mrazek was quite busy in the first period, making 18 saves against the Carolina Hurricanes. (Photo by Dan Mannes/Detroit Red Wings)|
Without Petr Mrazek as sharp as he was early on Saturday, the Hurricanes could have built an insurmountable lead on the Red Wings at PNC Arena.
Instead, the teams played a scoreless first period, mainly because of the job that the Wings’ 23-year-old goalie did. Mrazek was remarkable, especially during a 46-second span when the Wings were faced with countering a 3-on-5 disadvantage.
Almost immediately after winning the draw in the offensive zone, the Hurricanes peppered Mrazek with shot after shot, including a pair of great chances by Justin Faulk and Eric Staal.
As he did last night, fourth-line grinder Drew Miller came up with a huge clear during the 3-on-5, which allowed the Wings to get some fresh penalty killers on the ice. During Friday's 4-0 win over Toronto, Miller had two blocked shots after he discarded his broken stick earlier in his shift.
Because the Wings were chasing the puck so much in the period, the Hurricanes managed to hold a commanding 18-2 edge in shots on goal.
Detroit’s only shots came off the stick blades of Brendan Smith and Dylan Larkin. But Carolina goalie Cam Ward turned both shots aside.
DETROIT 0, CAROLINA 0
PENALTIES: 1, Det, Pulkkinen (hooking), 1:37; 2, Det, Abdelkader (interference), 2:51; 3, Det, Larkin (high-stick), 19:00; 4, Det, Abdelakder (roughing), 19:00; 5, Car, Skinner (rough), 19:00.
SHOTS: DETROIT 2, CAROLINA 18.
The second period started out pretty much the same way the first ended – with the Hurricanes carrying the play. However the second half of the period was much more entertaining with both teams finally scoring.
Carolina took a 2-1 lead into the second intermission getting goals from Victor Rask and Nathan Gerbe.
The Wings’ goal came on a pretty play by captain Henrik Zetterberg, who worked his way around Ward before tucking the puck behind the goalie’s right pad.
Early on, the sold-out crowd on opening night at PNC Arena though the home team took the lead on the power play when John-Michael Liles – a former Michigan State standout – whistled a shot past Mrazek. Fortunately for Mrazek, the goal post to his left was his best friend on the play. Striking the inside of the pipe, the puck traveled parallel with the goal line before exiting the crease to the right of the Detroit goalie.
For as poorly as things were going for the Wings, they received a huge lift from their captain, who gave them a 1-0 lead at 11:33. Zetterberg’s goal was the Wings’ sixth shot of the game.
Carolina capitalized on a defensive breakdown by the Wings. Rookie Noah Hanifin kept the puck in the offensive zone and fired a rocket high above the Wings’ net. The puck ricocheted off the glass and hit the top of the net before bounding in front of Mrazek, where Rask batted it out of the air and into the net.
The Hurricanes took the lead by taking advantage of another mishaps by the Wings in their own zone. Defenseman Ryan Murphy whipped a pass to Gerbe, who was camped in front of Mrazek, for the goal by the Detroit native.
The Hurricanes out-shot Detroit, 16-6, in the middle period and held a 34-8 edge through 40 minutes.
CAROLINA 2, DETROIT 1
SCORING: 1, Det, Zetterberg (Larkin, Abdelkader), 11:33; 2, Car, Rask (Hanifin), 15:12; 3, Car, Gerbe (Murphy), 19:03.
PENALTIES: 1, Car, E. Staal (interference), 0:39; 2, Det, Pulkkinen (too many men), 1:47; Det, Franzen (holding), 7:28.
SHOTS: DETROIT 6, CAROLINA 16
Needing to ignite the offense, coach Jeff Blashill juggled his line combinations early in the period. The move paid big dividends and Teemu Pulkkinen was the benefactor, scoring twice in a span of 1:57 to give the Red Wings a 3-2 lead.
Despite the slow start in the game, the Red Wings refused to go away and definitely played with more energy after the line changes, scoring thrree goals in the third.
Blashill moved Dylan Larkin off the top line, replacing the rookie with Gustav Nyquist, who was reunited with Zetterberg and Abdelkader. Meanwhile, Larkin, who drew an assist on the captain’s second-period goal, finished the game with Pulkkinen and Tomas Tatar.
Zetterberg’s line gave the Wings a two-goal lead when he made a heady play behind the Hurricanes’ net, finding Abdelkader in the slot for a 4-2 cushion at 16:25.
The top-six forwards all played extremely well in the third period, for the Wings who were still out-shot, 13-11, in the final 20 minutes of regulation. The Hurricanes end the game with a 47-19 edge in shots.
Carolina scored a last-second goal when Faulk scored with 2.1 seconds left.
Larkin finished with a team-high four shots. He had a game-high six shots in Friday’s win over the Maple Leafs.
DETROIT 4, CAROLINA 3
SCORING: 1, Det, Pulkkinen (unassisted), 4:39; 2, Det, Pulkkinen (Tatar), 6:36; 3, Det, Abdelkader (Zetterberg, Nyquist), 16:25; 4, Car, Faulk, PPG (Liles, Versteeg), 19:57.
PENALTIES: 1, Det, Pulkkinen (high-stick), double minor, 19:39.
SHOTS: DETROIT 11, CAROLINA 13
|Dylan Larkin picked up his first NHL point in the first period, setting up Justin Abdelkader, who scored twice in the the first half of the period. (Photo by Dan Mannes/Detroit Red Wings)|
The first period couldn’t have started any better for the Red Wings, who took a 2-0 lead in the opening eight minutes on a pair of Justin Abdelkader goals.
Detroit’s first power play resulted in a quick score at 1:15. With Joffrey Lupul in the box for hooking Tomas Tatar behind the Leafs’ net, the Wings needed just 11 seconds to grab an early lead when Abdelkader knocked a rebound across the goal line after Johan Franzen’s shot from the right face-off circle hit the far post behind Leafs starter Jonathan Bernier.
In between Abdelkader’s goals, the Leafs had a couple of chances, but the Wings’ defense squashed the opportunities. Perhaps the Leafs’ best chance in the first 20 minutes came on a quality chance when Nazem Kadri made a nice move to skate around Jonathan Ericsson near the high slot before getting off a shot that Jimmy Howard stopped and dropped on, at 2:35.
The Wings went on the power play for a second time after Martin Marincin was called for holding Henrik Zetterberg at 3:21. However, that power play was nullified 53 seconds later by a bench minor for too man men on the ice, which was served by Teemu Pulkkinen at 4:14.
The defense when on the offensive when Zetterberg blocked a shot sending rookie Dylan Larkin on a breakout down the left wing. The rush helped set up Abdelkader’s second goal and earned, Larkin, his first NHL point.
With Abdelkader out-battled Scott Harrington in front of the Leafs’ net, while Larkin was doing a bit of the same against Jake Gardiner in the corner. Persistent, the rookie swept a pass from the far wall into the slot, where Abdelkader, twirled and fired shot that beat Bernier at 8:20.
Larkin, who had two shots on goal in the period, made a bid for his first NHL goal going around the net and trying to jam the puck between Bernier and the left post at 12:19.
Then with 16 seconds left in the period, things got a little chippy when Ericsson took exception to Dion Phaneuf, who slashed Tatar in the back of the leg in front of the Leafs’ crease. The two defensemen wrestled a bit before the linemen broke them up. Both picked up off-setting roughing minors.
Somehow through it all, the Leafs had a 9-8 edge on shots.
Abdelkader and Landon Ferraro had three hits each in the period, while Luke Glendening won five of eight faceoffs.
DETROIT 2, TORONTO 0
SCORING: 1, Det, Abdelkader PPG (Franzen, Zetterberg), 1:15; 2, Det, Abdelkader (Larkin, Kindl), 8:20.
PENALTIES: 1, Tor, Lupul (hooking), 1:04; 2, Tor, Marincin (holding), 3:21; 3, Det, Pulkkinen (too many men), 4:14; 4, Tor, Phaneuf (roughing), 19:43.
SHOTS: DETROIT 8, TORONTO 9
For as good as the game began Friday, the beginning of the second period won’t soon be lost on one particular individual.
That’s because Larkin, a Waterford, Mich., native who was last year’s Big Ten freshman of the year for the University of Michigan, scored his first ever goal as an NHL rookie.
Just 20 seconds after the opening faceoff, Larkin raced up the left wing, took a perfect pass from Zetterberg, and sent a laser beam of a shot from an unlikely angle into the top of the net over Bernier’s right shoulder
The goal gave the Wings a 3-0 cushion and chased Bernier, who was replaced by backup James Reimer. Bernier allowed three goals on 10 shots.
A few minutes later the Wings had a 4-0 lead when Abdelkader brought the 189th consecutive sold-out crowd to its feet with his third goal of the game. It is the first Wings’ hat trick since Zetterberg scored three times in a 6-4 comeback win over Buffalo last January.
Zetterberg’s three assists lifted the captain into 10th place on the all-time points list among Swedish players, passing Hall of Famer Borje Salming. Zetterberg has 789 career points.
Drew Miller was a defensive catalyst in the period. The Wings’ fourth-line grinder made an incredible defensive showing midway through the period, blocking two shots with a skate. The forward was forced to make the plays without the use of a stick, which he broke and discarded earlier in the shift.
Glendening had a golden chance when he scooped up a turnover in the neutral zone by Mark Arcobello. The Wings’ fourth-line center raced in a lone on Reimer before lifting a back-hand shot into the right pad of the Leafs’ backup with about six minutes remaining in the period.
DETROIT 3, TORONTO 0
SCORING: 1, Det, Larkin (Zetterberg, Green), 0:20.
PENALTIES: 1, Det, Quincey (roughing), 8:52; 2, Det, Nyquist (tripping), 11:59; 3, Tor, Gardiner (tripping), 19:36.
SHOTS: DETROIT 8, TORONTO 7
The highlight of the last frame may have been the crowd, which at one point continued singing “My Own Worst Enemy” by Lit even after the Hockey Jockey stopped playing the music at The Joe.
The Detroit fans were definitely an enthusiastic bunch Friday as Jeff Blashill became just the ninth head coach in franchise history to win his debut behind the Red Wings’ bench.
Howard made 21 saves in the 4-0 victory, earning his 21st career shutout, his first shutout win since a 5-0 win at Columbus last November.
Not only did Larkin register two points in his debut, he collected a game-high six shots and finished with a plus-3 rating.
DETROIT 4, TORONTO 0
SCORING: 1, Det, Abdelkader (Zetterberg, Quincey), 3:54.
PENALTIES: 1, Tor, Phaneuf (slashing), 12:56.
SHOTS: DETROIT 6, TORONTO 6
|Tuna Tatare photo is courtesy FoodNetwork.com|
Now comes word of a new nickname in the Red Wings dressing room, and this one seems to be sticking.
Recently, some teammates when referring to sniper Tomas Tatar have called the 28-goal scorer Tuna, which we’re told is short for a delicious fish recipe involving his surname.
“I think (Tomas Holmstrom) came up with this way back ago,” Tatar said. “They called me Tuna Tatare and it kind of stayed there. … It’s like the appetizer so I guess the tuna kind of sticks with me.”
Like nicknames, Tuna Tatare is easy to make, and it makes for an impressive first course for any dinner party.
John Borso, executive chef for the Red Wings and Olympia Entertainment provides the following easy-to-make recipe. Bon Appétit!
1 pound sushi grade tuna, finely diced
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon wasabi powder
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
1/8 teaspoon cracked black pepper
Sliced French bread
In a bowl, stir together olive oil, wasabi powder, sesame seeds, and cracked black pepper. Toss tuna into mixture until evenly coated. Adjust seasoning as desired with additional wasabi powder or black pepper. Serve on sliced French bread.
Both Red Wings’ goalies have new Christmas-themed masks, which were donated by Vaughn, and are being auctioned off to benefit Volunteers of America Michigan's Adopt-A-Family program.
“It’s a good idea to get the Christmas mask,” said Mrazek, whose mask features an evil-looking snowman on the top and Peter Griffin, the main character from the cartoon sitcom “Family Guy”.
“It’s Christmastime and fans are going to enjoy it,” Mrazek continued. “I’m happy that they made a mask for me and Howie for Christmas.”
The Wings’ goalies are wearing the masks during the team’s current four-game homestand, prior to the league’s mandated three-day observance of the Christmas holiday. The Wings’ pair will wear the new masks for the last time when Detroit hosts the Buffalo Sabres Tuesday night at Joe Louis Arena.
Howard's mask has already seen game action, jacking up its value, as the veteran wore it in Tuesday's 1-0 shootout. Howard will play Friday when the Wings welcome the New York Islanders to The Joe.
Twelve Wings’ players adopted families this holiday season and the funds raised from the masks will allow Volunteers of American to purchase big-ticket items for the players' adopted families, including a washer and dryer for a family who lost their appliances during the torrential rains and subsequent flooding that ravaged parts of southeastern Michigan this past August.
“It’s always good whenever you can raise money for someone who needs that and will use it for a good thing,” Mrazek said. “So I’m really excited for that.”
The auction for the two masks is currently underway, and will conclude at 12 p.m. EST on Jan. 2. In order to submit a bid, please CLICK HERE.
|The Michigan high schools that Justin Abdelkader and Danny DeKeyser attended could meet in the state's Division 2 football championship game on Nov. 28 at Ford Field.|
DETROIT – Hockey players love to talk about the rivalries that they had before they turned pro. Usually those discussions are limited to college alma maters, not the high school level.
Should DeKeyser’s Warren De La Salle and Abdelkader’s Muskegon Mona Shores win two more playoff games, their schools would meet at for the Division 2 state championship at Detroit’s Ford Field the day after Thanksgiving.
“That would be awesome,” said DeKeyser, who’s Pilots face league rival Birmingham Brother Rice on Saturday. “We’d definitely have a nice little rivalry game going on in here; maybe see if he wants to make a little bet or something.”
When it comes to playoff football, the two schools have contrasting pasts. The Pilots have qualified for the postseason eight of the past nine seasons, even reaching the Division 2 championship game in 2006 and 2008, DeKeyser’s senior year. But De La Salle lost both times to Muskegon, which is Mona Shores’ archrival.
“Ever since I left there I always try to keep track of them,” said DeKeyser, who did not play football. “When I did go to school there they made a lot of good playoff runs, including a couple times down to Ford Field. I think it’s great every time they can do good.”
Meanwhile, Abdelkader was a two-year, varsity quarterback in back to back three-win seasons for the Sailors. Last season was the first year they reached the playoffs, and two weeks ago the Sailors enjoyed their first ever postseason victory, downing Caledonia, 42-14.
So excited to see the enthusiasm surrounding the football team, Abdelkader took to social media to wish the Sailors well before their game against Midland Dow last week, writing on Twitter: “Good luck @shoressailors tonight! One game at a time! Road to Ford Field #leaveitonthefield”.
“I haven’t seen them play this year, obviously with our schedule in the fall we’re really busy,” said Abdelkader, about his alma mater, which is closer in proximity to Grand Rapids than it is Detroit. “I know they have a really good team. They have a college quarterback (recruit Tyree Jackson) that started four years for them, I think that’s big. He’s grown under the system and learned that way.
“For us at Mona Shores, we haven’t seen much success with the football team. It’s nice to have seen them win their first ever playoff football game a few weeks back and beat our cross-town rival Muskegon the week before that. It’s been fun to watch and exciting to see.”
Abdelkader, who graduated from Mona Shores in 2005, will be beside himself should the Sailors make it to Ford Field. And more than better, he said, should his alma mater face his DeKeyser’s school in the title game.
“That would be really cool,” Abdelkader said. “Unfortunately, I looked at our schedule and we’re going to be gone on Friday (at New Jersey) when they would play. But it would be something else. We’d have to have something on the line for that game for sure.”
Shots: 0 | +/-: E
But the veteran center isn’t sure if he’ll make the trip, which begins Tuesday in Columbus.
“Not sure. Not sure,” Weiss said when asked if he’s traveling with the team. “I want to play games to be honest. I’m sick of practicing, but at the same time you have to be smart about it too. I’ve only had three practices after being off for quite a long time. You want to make sure your conditioning is up to par so you’re just not out there to be out there. You’re ready to go. I think a few more practices and some extra skating afterwards will help with that and make a big difference. Then go in and play and be ready to go.”
Last month, Weiss had a setback in his recovery from a sports hernia that saw the veteran center undergo two surgeries to correct the painful problem. He missed most of last season, and while he was a healthy scratch for most of October, he’s appeared in just one game for the Red Wings this season.
Weiss was assigned to a two-game stint with the Griffins last month, but midway through the first game the groin injury resurfaced. He returned to Detroit the next day.
Now pain-free, he’s practiced every day this week with the Wings. He says he’s cleared to return to action, but first, he’ll likely need a rehabilitation assignment next weekend with the AHL Griffins who will play a home and home against the Lake Erie Monsters.
“I’m just focused on this weekend here and then I’ll talk to whoever I need to talk to and see if I’m going to Columbus or going to GR and practicing there,” Weiss said Friday morning.
“I’m going to get a few more practices in and then go and play one game there,” he added. “They play Friday and Saturday. Saturday I think is at home so one of those two.”
|Red Wings rookie Andrej Nestrasil will play in his third NHL game when the Red Wings host the Bruins Wednesday night at Joe Louis Arena. (Photo by Dave Reginek/Detroit Red Wings)|
DETROIT – It’s been a whirlwind first week filled with congratulations for Andrej Nestrasil.
Last Thursday the rookie forward made his playing debut with the Red Wings. And that was followed up by his Svátek day back home.
Svátek is sort of a Hallmark holiday that everyone in the Czech Republic receives well wishes for prosperity and good health on their annual feast day. Kind of low-level birthday party, the feast day recognizes a different given name each day of the year in the central European country.
Nestrasil’s Svátek day falls each year on Oct. 11.
“It’s a Czech thing,” Nestrasil said. “There is a name on the calendar each day and whoever’s name is that day you send them wishes for good luck.”
Leading up to his debut last week, Nestrasil estimates he received more than a hundred text messages and calls from family and friends back home congratulating him on making it to the NHL.
“It’s settling down now,” he said. “I think the first game, the two days before the game, and after was crazy, especially with my phone.”
But just when he thought it was safe to pick up his cell phone again, it was Svátek for Andrej.
“When I actually thought I was going to have a day off from my phone, that day was my name, so everybody was texting me again to offer congrats,” Nestrasil said. “I woke up and I was like, ‘There will be no messages’ and I looked and I was like, ‘Oh, my God.’ ”
Nestrasil will be in tonight’s lineup when the Red Wings host the Bruins for the second time in a week. For someone with little experience at this level, he sees perhaps a slight advantage to playing the Bruins again so quickly.
“Maybe with some little details, so I can know what to expect from their Ds when I’m down low,” he said. “I had a little trouble controlling the puck down low when they were really heavy and they were doing certain things which got into my head. Now I know that I can expect it tonight, so that might help a little bit.”
Nestrasil isn’t sure where he’ll be next week. A lot hinges on the health of center Pavel Datsyuk, still recovering from a separated right shoulder.
A guy who wasn’t given much of hope of making it to the league, Nestrasil is just happy to be here, even though that means living the hotel life for the last month.
“But I’ve been living like this for the last three years,” Nestrasil said. “I mean, I didn’t get permission to get my own place my first year in Grand Rapids, my second year in Grand Rapids. Actually, last year I had my own apartment in Grand Rapids, but the first two years I was just going from Toledo to Grand Rapid to Toledo and I was living out of my suitcase. And I’m just doing it again, but I’d do it for 20 years if I have to. I wouldn’t mind it.”
|Red Kelly is featured on a new Canadian stamp honoring great defensemen of the Original Six era. He played 13 seasons with the Red Wings. (Courtesy of Post Canada)|
DETROIT – It’s an unarguable fact that Nicklas Lidstrom is the best defenseman in Red Wings’ history.
But the Perfect Human – as he’s known to his former teammates – has some work to do now that he’s been passed up by Leonard ‘Red’ Kelly in the postage stamp category.
Kelly, who played 13 seasons for the Wings, between 1947-48 and 1959-60, is among six former NHL stars with their own stamp that will be released by Canada Post this Friday.
It is the second time in 12 years that Kelly has been featured on a Post Canada stamp. He was the subject of a 2002 series: NHL All-Stars that included Glenn Hall, Tim Horton, Howie Mirenz, Guy Lafleur and Phil Esposito.
The latest series pays homage to great defensemen of the Original Six era, featuring Boston’s Bobby Orr, Toronto’s Horton, Montreal’s Doug Harvey, Chicago’s Pierre Pilote and the New York Rangers’ Harry Howell.
The new stamps feature an image of the player in uniform with his jersey number enlarged in the background
Kelly was a member of eight Stanley Cup winning clubs. Only seven players in NHL history have won eight or more championships.
A member of eight Stanley Cup-winning teams, Leonard Patrick 'Red' Kelly played junior hockey with the St. Michael's Majors. In 1947, he became a member of the Detroit Red Wings. Though he was a defenseman, Kelly won the Lady Byng Trophy – awarded to the player best combining skill and sportsmanship – four times and played in 13 All-Star Games. In 1960, he was traded to Toronto, where he claimed his last four Cup titles.
Kelly finished his career as coach with Los Angeles, Pittsburgh, and Toronto.
Lidstrom, who leads the franchise in at least 11 all-time offensive categories, was depicted on a postage stamp in Sweden last year.