Detroit Red Wings
Clear Bag Policy Follow @DetroitRedWings on Twitter! Follow the Red Wings on Facebook! Follow @DetroitRedWings on Instagram! Follow OfficialDRW on Snapchat! Get Red Wings Email Updates Get Red Wings Text Updates Get the Detroit Red Wings Official Mobile App

  • RSS

Glendening seeks elusive first goal

Rookie center continues to contribute in all other areas for the Red Wings

Wednesday, 04.2.2014 / 10:04 PM ET / News
By Bill Roose  - Managing Editor |
Share with your Friends

Glendening seeks elusive first goal

Luke Glendening has been a pest in the face-off circle this season for top-line centers like Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby. (Photo by Dave Reginek/Detroit Red Wings)

DETROITLuke Glendening’s never been afraid of working hard for everything he’s received.

Whether it was as a walk-on at the University of Michigan or as an undrafted rookie this season, Glendening has been a coach’s ideal commodity – a hard-working center, who is often utilized in key situations.

But while he often receives praise from his current coach, Glendening would feel more comfortable about Mike Babcock’s approval if he could just score that first NHL goal.

“I think I talk about it more because I want to score,” said Glendening, who played in his 50th NHL game Wednesday night. “I’ve never been known as a goal-scorer but it’s still frustrating when the goal never goes in. I get a lot of Grade-A opportunities and to not be able to find the net is frustrating. So it’s on my mind obviously, hence the reason I talk about it a lot.

“It’s hard to always be like, ‘Yeah, well I’m playing really well’ when your point production is so low. You really have to concentrate on other parts of your game.”

Nearly two weeks ago, Glendening established a new little known franchise record for rookie forwards when he surpassed Cummy Burton who had held the drought mark, playing his entire 43-game Detroit career without scoring a goal in the late 1950s.

The team record for going without a goal to start his Red Wings career is held by former defenseman Jim Watson (1963-70), who played 77 games without a goal.

Veteran forward Drew Miller, who isn’t known for his scoring acumen either, has been a good sounding board for Glendening.

“Scoring definitely is a huge part of hockey but I think when you look at the balance of a team you have different roles and the big-money people are the ones who are paid to score the goals,” Miller said. “If you’re going to have a good, successful team you need some balance and some guys you can count on to be consistent and defensive and step up in that department. I think that’s something that where Glennie has been finding a role, a niche, where he can produce and step up for the team in other ways than scoring.

“That’s something that I’ve prided my game on for a long time. You have to find a role that might not be the one that everyone looks at as the big role on the team that brings you maybe the accolades that some of the goal-scorers get, but every team needs that balance, and I think the guys that play that play their role and go about their business.”

Glendening knows he can’t get down on himself; he has a role to fill and he understands it. But getting that first goal, sooner than later, would make his ascension to the NHL much sweeter.

“I have to be good on face-offs, be good in my own zone, and be good on the penalty kill,” he said. “Just frustrate the other team, and hopefully, one of these days a goal is going to pop in. I can’t dwell on that because if I do it’s going to be a frustrating year. You just have to find a way to help the team out every night.”

The 24-year-old Glendening has been a trustworthy center for Babcock and the Red Wings, who have counted on him and a litany of youngsters to bridge the gap since a cavalcade of veterans landed on injured reserve this season.

At one point, all four centers that began the season in Detroit’s lineup – Pavel Datsyuk, Stephen Weiss, Darren Helm and Joakim Andersson – landed on IR. It could have been devastating to the Red Wings, who are still competing for a spot in the Stanley Cup playoffs for a 23rd consecutive season, if not for young players like Glendening, who has been called up from Grand Rapids six times this season.

Glendening has produced five assists with a minus-10 rating. He is third among forwards with 75 hits. He’s also one of the team’s most reliable penalty-killers, averaging 2:45 of ice-time in shorthanded situations.

“He competes every night. He does his best,” Babcock said. “Is he great every night? No, but he competes every night and he gives us an opportunity for success. He plays hard against people. He'll be in a matchup tonight that is going to be hard for him, but he's going to be hard on the other guy.”

The rookie center has been a steady contributor this season on the fourth-line forecheck, as well as in the face-off circle. An example of Glendening’s skill and his ability to stymie opposing top-line centers occurred in a 5-4 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins when he won 11-of-19 face-offs against Sidney Crosby.

“I didn't know he was going to play regular here,” Babcock said. “I thought he'd start as a right winger here. He's better than we expected, but there's a whole bunch of guys that.”

Follow Bill Roose on Twitter | @Bill_Roose




1 WSH 54 40 10 4 178 124 84
2 FLA 56 32 18 6 153 132 70
3 NYR 55 31 18 6 157 140 68
4 BOS 56 30 20 6 163 150 66
5 DET 56 29 18 9 138 134 67
6 NJD 57 29 21 7 125 124 65
7 TBL 54 30 20 4 144 130 64
8 NYI 54 29 19 6 153 137 64
9 PIT 54 28 19 7 139 136 63
10 CAR 56 25 21 10 137 146 60
11 PHI 54 24 20 10 128 140 58
12 MTL 56 27 25 4 151 151 58
13 OTT 57 25 26 6 159 177 56
14 BUF 57 23 28 6 135 156 52
15 CBJ 57 23 28 6 144 175 52
16 TOR 54 20 25 9 127 151 49


D. Larkin 54 18 20 25 38
H. Zetterberg 55 10 28 5 38
T. Tatar 54 16 17 -1 33
G. Nyquist 55 14 16 -1 30
P. Datsyuk 40 9 21 14 30
J. Abdelkader 55 14 15 -2 29
M. Green 47 4 17 -7 21
N. Kronwall 45 3 14 -10 17
B. Richards 41 5 11 6 16
D. DeKeyser 51 7 8 12 15
P. Mrazek 21 10 5 .933 1.94
J. Howard 7 8 4 .904 2.89