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POSTED ON Tuesday, 10.13.2015 / 10:35 PM ET
By Dana Wakiji - Editor | DetroitRedWings.com / The Wheel Deal


Tomas Jurco made his season debut Tuesday against the Lightning. The Red Wings' forward had a first-period high two hits in five shifts. (Photo by Dan Mannes/Detroit Red Wings)
Johan Franzen, who participated in Tuesday's morning skate, did not skate in warm-ups.

The Wings said Franzen was not feeling 100 percent so he was kept out as a precaution.

Landon Ferraro took Franzen's spot in the lineup and Tomas Jurco, making his regular-season debut, took Franzen's spot on a line with Brad Richards and Tomas Tatar.

Ferraro played on the fourth line with Luke Glendening and Drew Miller.

The Tampa Bay Lightning, playing in the second game of a back-to-back after a matinee in Boston, came into the game 3-0-0. They had outscored opponents 13-6 in those first three games.

The Wings did not get a shot on net until 6:32 of the 1st when Brad Richards shot from the left boards.

Wings defenseman Brendan Smith had to leave for the dressing room at 13:51 of the first after taking a slash on the left arm from Tampa Bay's Alex Killorn.

The Wings had a couple of good chances when the Lightning's Jonathan Drouin went to the box for holding the stick at 16:12 of the first, but could not get the puck past goaltender Ben Bishop.

There was no score after one period.


DETROIT 0, TAMPA BAY 0


SCORING: None.

PENALTIES: 1, TBL, Drouin (holding the stick), 16:12.

SHOTS: DETROIT 8, TAMPA BAY 7





After not having to kill off any penalties in the first period, the Wings lost one of their better penalty killers when Luke Glendening was called for hooking at 8:07 of the second.

Landon Ferraro, who was not scheduled to play until Johan Franzen was a late scratch, was one of the main reasons the Lightning did not get a shot on their power play.

However, shortly thereafter, the Lightning had a 2-on-1 with Mike Green as the lone player back.

Vladislav Namestnikov took the shot from the right circle and goaltender Jimmy Howard stopped it.

J.T. Brown could not catch up to the rebound after the save.

After the non-excitement of the dance-off competition, in which the in-arena host called "some of the worst dancing we've seen," it was up to Justin Abdelkader to get the crowd going.

With 4 minutes remaining in the period, Abdelkader hit Alex Killorn in the right circle in front of Howard.

Then, a minute later, Brown appeared to have a breakaway but Green dove to the ice to knock the puck to safety.

The Wings got their second power play of the game when Matt Carle was called for tripping Gustav Nyquist at 17:40 of the 2nd.

Just 12 seconds later, Nyquist's shot from the right circle to the top right corner beat Ben Bishop.

Justin Abdelkader, standing in front of Bishop, was originally credited with the tipped goal, but was changed back to Nyquist after the period. Niklas Kronwall and Henrik Zetterberg had the assists.

Tomas Jurco was called for holding with 6.5 seconds left in the second.

DETROIT 1, TAMPA BAY 0


SCORING:
1, DET, Nyquist PPG (Kronwall, Zetterberg), 17:52.

PENALTIES: 1, DET, Glendening (hooking), 8:07; 2, TBL, Carle (tripping), 17:40; 3, DET, Jurco (holding), 19:53.

SHOTS: DETROIT 8, TAMPA BAY 4




Dylan Larkin picked up another assist Tuesday, getting the helper on Henrik Zetterberg's third-period goal that gave the Red Wings a 2-0 lead. (Photo by Dave Reginek/Detroit Red Wings)
The third period seemed to be special-teams focused as the Wings had to kill off the remainder of the Tomas Jurco penalty and then another when Riley Sheahan was called for high-sticking at 3:02.

The Lightning got a shot on each power play but did not score.

The Wings got their chance on the power play as Victor Hedman was called for interference with Justin Abdelkader at 5:03.

The Wings were not able to score on their man-advantage either.

But at 8:25, Dylan Larkin fed the puck to Henrik Zetterberg in the slot and Zetterberg picked the top right corner for the 2-0 lead.

Zetterberg has two goals and five assists in the first three games of the season.

Kyle Quincey got the second assist on the goal.

The Lightning finally got on the board at 11:03 of the 3rd when Ryan Callahan's shot from the bottom of the right circle beat Jimmy Howard glove-side.

Jonathan Drouin and Anton Stralman assisted.

Larkin got the fans out of their seats when he had a breakaway at 17:04. His shot missed the net but ricocheted off the boards and nearly went in behind Bishop.

The Wings iced the game with 1:48 left when they won the face-off and Quincey scored an empty-net goal for the 3-1 lead.

DETROIT 3, TAMPA BAY 1

SCORING: 1, DET, Zetterberg (Larkin, Quincey), 8:25; 2, TBL, Callahan (Drouin, Stralman), 11:03; 3, DET, Quincey EN (Miller, Richards), 18:12.

PENALTIES: 1, DET, Sheahan (high-sticking), 3:02; 2, TBL, Hedman (interference), 5:03.

SHOTS: DETROIT 8, TAMPA BAY 10.









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POSTED ON Saturday, 10.10.2015 / 7:59 PM ET
By Bill Roose - Managing Editor | DetroitRedWings.com / The Wheel Deal

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.

With Teemu Pulkkinen (hooking) and Justin Abdelkader (interference) serving minor infractions at 1:37 and 2:51 respectively, the Hurricanes’ power play jumped all over the Red Wings.

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

SCORING: None

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

 

 

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POSTED ON Friday, 10.9.2015 / 9:22 PM ET
By Bill Roose - Managing Editor | DetroitRedWings.com / The Wheel Deal


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


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POSTED ON Thursday, 04.2.2015 / 3:52 PM ET
By Bill Roose - Managing Editor | DetroitRedWings.com / The Wheel Deal

Tuna Tatare photo is courtesy FoodNetwork.com

DETROIT – The Red Wings have had a number of past players with food-like names in their moniker. There’s Fred Berry, Milan Chalupa, Paul Coffey, Jim Korn, Mark Lamb and Adam Oates.

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!

Ingredients:

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

Directions:
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.

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POSTED ON Thursday, 12.18.2014 / 4:21 PM ET
By Bill Roose - Managing Editor | DetroitRedWings.com / The Wheel Deal

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DETROITJimmy Howard and Petr Mrazek are in the Christmas spirit now.

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.

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POSTED ON Friday, 11.14.2014 / 6:38 PM ET
By Bill Roose - Managing Editor | DetroitRedWings.com / The Wheel Deal

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.

But this week, two Red Wings – defenseman Danny DeKeyser and forward Justin Abdelkader – were unaware that their high schools are on a football collision course.

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.”

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POSTED ON Friday, 11.14.2014 / 4:43 PM ET
By Bill Roose - Managing Editor | DetroitRedWings.com / The Wheel Deal

Stephen Weiss
Center  - DET
Goals: 0 | Assists: 0 | Pts: 0
Shots: 0 | +/-: E
DETROIT – For now, Stephen Weiss will practice with the Red Wings before the team hits the road for three games in Columbus, Winnipeg and Toronto next week.

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.”

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POSTED ON Wednesday, 10.15.2014 / 5:26 PM ET
By Bill Roose - Managing Editor | DetroitRedWings.com / The Wheel Deal

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.”

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POSTED ON Thursday, 10.2.2014 / 5:30 PM ET
By Bill Roose - Managing Editor | DetroitRedWings.com / The Wheel Deal

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.

Gordie Howe and Terry Sawchuk appeared on Canadian stamps in 2000 and 2001, respectively.

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POSTED ON Tuesday, 09.30.2014 / 2:08 PM ET
By Bill Roose - Managing Editor | DetroitRedWings.com / The Wheel Deal
Henrik Zetterberg has a pretty good idea of what Daniel Alfredsson is dealing with in his latest back-pain saga. (Photo by Getty Images)
DETROITDaniel Alfredsson has skated a handful of times on his own in the past two weeks, but persistent nerve pain in his lower extremities, caused by herniated or bulging disks, is preventing him from making a decision on whether or not he’ll play this season for the Red Wings.

Captain Henrik Zetterberg has remained in contact with the team’s leading scorer from last season. Like the 41-year-old Alfredsson, Zetterberg knows all about debilitating lower-back pain, but he’s hopeful that the 18-season veteran will return for one more season.

“Says he feels better and I think this week will be an important week, and hopefully he will be with us next week,” Zetterberg said. “I think it was a wise decision for him to really take the time now and do his rehab and really give it a last shot. Hopefully it will work.”

Zetterberg had no other choice but to have surgery when a bulging disk reached the boiling point last February causing excruciating pain that prevented him from continuing in the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

“The symptoms are similar,” Zetterberg said. “It’s a different part of his back that he’s having issues with, so I hope that the last few weeks have been good for him and he’s doing the good things and hopefully he’s ready to go soon.”

The Red Wings still have 25 forwards in camp, but getting a healthy Alfredsson – who produced 18 goals and 49 points in 68 games – back in the lineup would be an early-season benefit, especially since Pavel Datsyuk (right shoulder) is expected to miss the first six or so regular-season games.

Meanwhile, Zetterberg, who returned to play in the final two games of last spring’s playoff series against Boston, said his bad back issues appear to be in the rearview mirror.

“I feel good,” he said. “I think the second game against Boston I felt better than the first one, and it’s nice to be in the preseason, in camp, and feeling good. Just preparing for games and you prepare for practicing and just feel ready to go when the season comes.”

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SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 WSH 50 37 9 4 163 112 78
2 FLA 52 31 15 6 143 115 68
3 NYR 52 29 18 5 148 134 63
4 TBL 51 29 18 4 137 118 62
5 BOS 52 28 18 6 151 137 62
6 DET 52 26 18 8 130 131 60
7 PIT 51 26 18 7 132 130 59
8 NJD 53 26 20 7 119 120 59
9 NYI 50 26 18 6 135 126 58
10 CAR 53 24 21 8 129 141 56
11 PHI 50 23 18 9 119 130 55
12 MTL 53 25 24 4 142 142 54
13 OTT 53 24 23 6 148 165 54
14 BUF 53 21 26 6 120 139 48
15 TOR 51 19 23 9 117 140 47
16 CBJ 54 21 28 5 135 168 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
D. Larkin 51 18 19 25 37
H. Zetterberg 52 9 25 2 34
T. Tatar 51 15 17 -2 32
G. Nyquist 52 14 15 -2 29
J. Abdelkader 52 14 12 -4 26
P. Datsyuk 37 6 20 11 26
M. Green 46 4 17 -7 21
N. Kronwall 45 3 14 -10 17
B. Richards 38 5 10 6 15
D. DeKeyser 48 6 8 12 14
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Mrazek 19 10 4 .932 2.03
J. Howard 7 8 4 .904 2.89