Detroit Red Wings presented by AT&T
2015-16 Ticket Plans Available Follow @DetroitRedWings on Twitter! Follow the Red Wings on Facebook! Follow @DetroitRedWings on Instagram! Follow the Red Wings of YouTube! Follow DetroitRedWings on Periscope! Follow the Red Wings on Vine! Follow the Red Wings on Google +! Follow OfficialDRW on Snapchat! Follow the Red Wings on Pinterest! Follow the Red Wings on Tumblr! Get Red Wings Email Updates Get Red Wings Text Updates Get the Detroit Red Wings Official Mobile App

  • RSS

Three Questions: Wings-Capitals's Michael Caples analyzes the Wings' 49th game

Saturday, 01.31.2009 / 3:24 PM ET / News
By Michael Caples  - Detroit Red Wings Staff Writer
Share with your Friends

Three Questions: Wings-Capitals
Who was the star of the afternoon?

Ville Leino made his NHL debut Saturday afternoon, and he scored the game’s best goal in the first period.  Leino, who signed with the Wings last spring, skated with Marian Hossa and Pavel Datsyuk, and he had no problems fitting in with his superstar linemates.  With just under two minutes remaining in the opening period, Leino grabbed a bounce pass from Datsyuk, and raced to the Washington goal.  The 25-year-old was cut off in his drive to the cage, so he pulled a quick toe drag, and ended up spinning around so his back was facing goaltender Jose Theodore.  It didn’t stop Leino from scoring however; the former Finnish Elite League star scored on a backhand wraparound shot, beating Theodore low with a surprising shot.

Leino looked like an NHL regular throughout the contest.  He skated for 12:20 on 16 shifts, and picked up two hits to accompany his one-for-one shooting percentage.  Leino controlled the puck along the boards well, and his puckhandling and passing skills allowed him to excel with Datsyuk and Hossa.  His performance shouldn’t be a surprise; coach Mike Babcock said that Leino was the best player he had ever had to send down to the minors at the beginning of the season.

How did Justin Abdelkader look?

Former MSU Spartan Justin Abdelkader got his first chance with the Red Wings today as well.  Abdelkader, who was called up yesterday when the Red Wings reassigned Aaron Downey, centered the third line with Jiri Hudler and Dan Cleary.  Abdelkader was able to display his speed and grit throughout the contest.  He skated for 9:25, and he picked up two hits, two shots, and won both face-offs he took.  Abdelkader, along with Leino, is not far off from finding a permanent home on an NHL roster. 

What went wrong?

Leino and Abdelkader were able to get into the line-up because the Wings are banged up.  Henrik Zetterberg missed his second straight game, and Tomas Holmstrom missed the trip to Washington.  Hudler was questionable for the game, after his foot was so swollen that he couldn’t practice yesterday, but he made it into the line-up for today’s game.  Needless to say, the Red Wings are having trouble adjusting to looking at a different roster every game.  Once healthy, the Wings will be able to find more consistency between their lines, and they will be a very difficult team to stop.


H. Zetterberg 77 17 49 -6 66
P. Datsyuk 63 26 39 12 65
T. Tatar 82 29 27 6 56
G. Nyquist 82 27 27 -11 54
J. Abdelkader 71 23 21 3 44
N. Kronwall 80 9 35 -4 44
R. Sheahan 79 13 23 -3 36
D. Helm 75 15 18 7 33
D. DeKeyser 80 2 29 11 31
S. Weiss 52 9 16 -2 25
J. Howard 23 13 11 .910 2.44
P. Mrazek 16 9 2 .918 2.38 is the official Web site of the Detroit Red Wings. Detroit Red Wings and are trademarks of the Detroit Red Wings. NHL, the NHL Shield and the word mark NHL Winter Classic are registered trademarks and Original Six is a trademark of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks as well as all other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. Copyright © 1999-2015 Detroit Red Wings and the National Hockey League. All Rights Reserved.
© NHL 2015. All Rights Reserved.

Advertise/SponsorshipsOlympia Entertainment | Code of Conduct | Privacy Policy | AdChoices | Employment | Contact Us | Terms of Use | Site Map