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The important things of a short season

Players believe chemistry will be among team priorities

Wednesday, 01.9.2013 / 4:38 PM ET / News
By Bill Roose  - Managing Editor | DetroitRedWings.com
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The important things of a short season

Jordin Tootoo
Right Wing - DET
GOALS: 6 | ASST: 24 | PTS: 30
SOG: 136 | +/-: -5
TROY, Mich. – Getting geared up for the start of the upcoming abbreviated 2013 season will be a challenge for everyone, but even more so for guys like Jordin Tootoo, who is starting over in a NHL city.

Tootoo is back in town to participate in informal skates with his new Red Wings teammates at the Troy Sports Arena. He was joined by forwards Justin Abdelkader, Johan Franzen and Drew Miller on Wednesday morning.

After playing 486 games with the Nashville Predators, Tootoo signed a three-year contract with the Red Wings in July. Team chemistry will be a big factor in a shortened season for Tootoo, as well as forward Damien Brunner, defenseman Carlo Colaiacovo and goalie Jonas Gustavsson – all newcomers to the Wings.

“Guys come and go throughout the year and we understand it’s going to be a quick process,” Tootoo said. “We got to make every opportunity count. For me, it’s taking it one day at a time and making sure I’m mentally and physically prepared for whatever’s thrown at me.”

Tootoo spent much of the lockout at home in Rankin Inlet on the northwestern coast of Hudson Bay in Nunavut, and trained off and on with the Kelowna Rockets of the Western Hockey League.

“Physically, I feel great,” he said. “We’ve been in practices here the last four months with the Rockets, so about 10 of us in Kelowna are maybe a couple steps ahead of some other guys that are coming back. You can practice all you want, it’s about being in game shape and I think it might take one or two or three good, hard practices with the big men.”

It’s been reported on some web sites that a short training camp will start Sunday with a 48-game regular-season beginning on Jan. 19.

Getting ready for the season, from learning new systems, whether that means implementing a new penalty-kill or power play, the success of teams will hinge on coaches and players getting onto the same page from the start.

“Chemistry is always a big thing but at the same time you play within your system, guys know where they need to be and where they need to go,” Abdelkader said. “Whoever you play with it’s going to be a quick turnaround, a lot different than what we’re used to with no preseason games and a shortened camp. At the same time I think we’re ready to get things started and get playing games. It’s got its pros and cons. We’ll just have to work hard next week and be ready for the weekend.”

With the year-round nutrition and fitness regiments followed by the majority of players it’s expected that the Red Wings’ players will hit the ice in good shape. For one, Franzen said he hasn’t felt this good in a long, long time.

“Body feels good,” Franzen said. “The knees are good and the body feels good in general. Maybe this was a well needed break. Hopefully it’ll do some good.”

It’s been speculated that those players who played in European leagues during the lockout will inherently have an advantage at the start of the season, which is viewed as a race to the playoffs.

“Guys have been skating here, but the biggest difference will be game shape and playing in different game situations,” said Miller, who played 21 games for Braehead Clan in Scotland. “That’s the big reason I went over there, I wanted to stay sharp and play in game situations. Guys will have an advantage, but guys here won’t be that far behind. They’ve been skating and doing mini camps to try and stay sharp.”

Follow Bill Roose on Twitter | @Bill_Roose

SCHEDULE

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AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - NYR 82 53 22 7 248 187 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 214 184 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 259 206 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 237 199 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 245 224 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 231 211 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 232 208 99
8 x - PIT 82 43 27 12 217 204 98
9 BOS 82 41 27 14 209 201 96
10 FLA 82 38 29 15 198 213 91
11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 227 248 89
12 PHI 82 33 31 18 212 223 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 176 209 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 183 219 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 206 257 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 153 269 54

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
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
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Howard 23 13 11 .910 2.44
P. Mrazek 16 9 2 .918 2.38

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