Three Questions: Red Wings-Maple Leafs
DRW.com's Michael Caples analyzes the Wings' seventh preseason game
So Nick, how’s the nose?
Most people would have a little trouble getting back onto the ice after taking a puck to the face and suffering a broken nose, but not Nick Lidstrom. The Red Wings’ captain returned to the Joe Louis Arena ice sporting a new visor, but it didn’t interfere with his Norris Trophy-winning skills. Lidstrom sent a friendly message to Hockeytown fans everywhere that he’s feeling okay when he blasted a one-timer past goaltender Vesa Toskala to give the Red Wings the early lead. He was the first defenseman out on the penalty kill, and he fired off crisp passes all across the ice the entire game.
Who’s going to fill in for Cheli?
With defenseman Chris Chelios out three to six weeks with a broken tibia, the Red Wings have a roster spot open on defense. To fill Chelios’ spot, coach Mike Babcock is probably looking at Kyle Quincey or Derek Meech. My money’s on Meech, who played in 32 games with the Red Wings last season. Meech recorded 19:04 worth of ice time in Friday night’s 5-3 Detroit win, and he shared the point with Mikael Samuelsson on the second powerplay unit. He should be seeing ice time with the Red Wings at points this season.
What was the lucky break of the night?
The Red Wings caught a break early in the game, when the Maple Leafs’ Jason Blake found himself with the puck all alone in the Detroit slot. The Leafs moved the puck around after a broken play, and Blake walked in slowly on goaltender Ty Conklin. Lucky for Conklin, the puck struck metal, and the crossbar kept out a goal that would have given Toronto a much too early lead.