Updated at 6:44 PM: Of Red Wings-related mainstream media note this evening:
1. As the Free Press’s Helene St. James notes, Andreas Athanasiou believes that the chicken comes before the egg, and that ice time begets performance:
Consistency is an issue: at one point last season, Athanasiou went 15 games without scoring a goal and contributing only four assists. He later went 13 games without a goal.
“I think it’s just consistently playing – I think when I get those consistent minutes, I consistently produce,” Athanasiou said. “So as long as those minutes don’t fluctuate from a lot to a little, if it’s a comfortable amount of minutes, I definitely can produce with it.”
Athanasiou’s minutes did fluctuate during the 15-game stretch, but he topped 14 minutes in eight of those games. Athanasiou has been vocal about ice time – or lack of it – before.
“I think any player would argue more minutes will equal more production,” coach Jeff Blashill said. “I don’t know that’s necessarily always true. I’d also argue there’s lots of players in the league that have found ways to be very, very good without lots of minutes, and then what generally happens then is more minutes follow.”
Blashill said he plans to be vigilant that “whatever line is really going, they have to keep getting lots of ice time.”
St. James continues, and you can watch Athanasiou’s comments here:
Zadina, the sixth pick this year, had just one goal and two assists in four games in the Prospects Tournament. His linemates fared better – Joe Veleno, the 30th pick this year, led the Red Wings with seven points (two goals, five assists) and Michael Rasmussen, the ninth pick in 2017, led the team with three goals (he had five points).
Zadina missed part of the third period in Tuesday’s championship game loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets after injuring his wrist on a hit from Justin Wade.
“Prospect Tournament was tough because everyone was trying to show other people they’re good,” Zadina said. “I got a couple hits. I get up. It was a new experience for myself because it was actually my first tournament against rookies and AHL players. It was good time. We played well.”
He set the bar high for himself, however.
“I want to win so bad the game, win this tournament, but I didn’t score three games in a row,” Zadina said. “I was kind of disappointed in myself, but I said it was start of the preseason, just trying to be a better player right now and I think I’m doing well. On the ice I’m feeling way better than I felt during the tournament. It’s just going to take some time.”
3. And among the Red Wings’ Day 2 videos are clips of comments from Mike Green, Anthony Mantha, Dennis Cholowski and coach Jeff Blashill:
Update: Here’s more on Zadina from the Free Press’s Helene St. James:
Only so much can be gleaned when the Detroit Red Wings split up into two squads that will play one another in the annual Red-White game, but Zadina is being put in a position to shine: He’s pencilled in to play with Thomas Vanek and Andreas Athanasiou.
“I get unbelievable line, AA and Vanek,” Zadina said Saturday. “It’s pleasure for me to play. I will try my best to play with them at the same level. It is going to be huge game for me so I am excited.”
Athanasiou is a speedy skater who can create a scoring chance out of nowhere, and Vanek has a knack for making smart plays and putting the puck on a linemate’s stick.
“It’s huge experience,” Zadina said. “I am going to learn from those players. It is good for myself that I can play with them. It is going to be my first time playing with older guys. I’m just going to play my best.”
The Detroit News’s David Guralnick posted a 39-image photo gallery;
And among the Detroit News’s Ted Kulfan’s notes:
Goaltender Jonathan Bernier isn’t going to be satisfied being a backup. Bernier will push Jimmy Howard for playing time.
“I’m pushing every day,” Bernier said. “That’s my job and that’s Howie’s job, to push each other and get this team better and win games. That’s my mindset going in.”
Blashill said a key reason for signing Bernier was the need for the Wings to get consistently elite goaltending every game, and not relying on just one goalie (Howard) for much of the season.
Bernier can give Howard a regular breather, and maybe more if Bernier can provide the goaltending he showed in Colorado (2.85 goals-against average, .913 save percentage).
Colorado was a surprise team in the NHL last season despite a young roster. Bernier believes the same is possible with the Wings.
“When I signed in Colorado everyone was like ‘Ah, I don’t know’ but what I saw on paper of what they (the Avalanche) had last year, it made me want to go to Colorado, and it’s the same with this team, too,” Bernier said. “Losing Z (Zetterberg), you can’t replace a guy like that. But I do think we have a great team.”