In Larkin we have another case of managers overlooking players from bad teams. While there may be concerns about the Red Wings’ potential this season, there shouldn’t be as much of a question of whether or not to draft Larkin.
He may not be Detroit’s captain this season, but Larkin is still one of their best players. On a disappointing team last year, he still managed 73 points — and they were fairly balanced between goals (32) and assists (41). Plus, the Red Wings took about 54 percent of the shots with him on the ice.
Few players fire the puck as often as Larkin. The center’s 494 shot attempts ranked 10th in the league in all situations last year. Of the 494 attempts, 287 reached net, which put him a slot higher on the league’s rankings. Shots on goal are an important category to cover, and Larkin does that while still contributing to other offensive categories. The risk with any player on a bad team is +/-, but that shouldn’t stop owners from adding the shoot-first center.
Better or worse: This best hope the Red Wings have for significant improvement is some rapid development from a young player or two (Filip Zadina, Evgeny Svechnikov, Michael Rasmussen) and continued progress from players like Dylan Larkin, Andreas Athanasiou, and Anthony Mantha. Even if all of that works out perfectly there are still significant question marks around the roster. They may not be worse, but they may not be significantly better, either.
Strengths: Not to be overly bleak about this team’s chances, but there are not a ton of strengths here. Larkin has become an outstanding player and even though it seems like he has been around forever, he is still only 23 years old. He is probably just now hitting his prime years and is coming off of a great year. Beyond him, the Red Wings have a ton of draft picks at their disposal, some intriguing young players coming through the farm system, and they hired one of the top general managers in the league (Steve Yzerman) to help try and turn this thing around. Long-term, that provides some hope. Short-term, things still look rough.
Weaknesses: They lack proven impact players, they lack depth at forward and defense, they were 22nd in goals scored a year ago, 27th in goals against, 19th on the power play, 27th on the penalty kill, and 23rd in team save percentage and a lot of the same players responsible for that performance are still there. In other words, there are weaknesses everywhere.
Early each morning, I ride the stationary bike at rehab in downtown Boston, next to a window overlooking a variety of city views: the State House, financial buildings and hundreds of people. However, what usually grabs my attention are the beautiful trees in the park. Lately, I’ve been seeing the trees change. From a sheeny green to a dull orange, the trees are always different. It’s kind of like the rhythm of life – always evolving. That’s what my life has felt like for the past 365 days.
I’m unfortunately a member of the club that no one wants to be in. Today, September 18th, marks the one-year anniversary of my role model’s passing. My brother Roosy’s unexpected death is truly the tragedy of a lifetime. The power that grief possesses is insanely potent. The death of a loved one consumes you from the first breath you take in the morning, all the way until you fall asleep at night. It’s so powerful. But, like the trees, I’m changing, evolving.
Red Wings prospect Joe Veleno probably won’t make the Wings’ roster out of training camp, but the QMJHL alumnus believes that he’s come a long way over the past couple of seasons, and that he is an asset to whatever team he ends up playing upon, as he told the Free Press’s Helene St. James…
“What do I better than other guys?” Veleno said after Wednesday’s morning skate. “Make a difference whether it’s creating a chance or playing well defensively, all the little details are going to be important to my game. One of my best attributes is using my speed.
“You know you can always get better at something every year and I guess in a lot of players, it’s looking to score more goals. You want to contribute offensively and having a good shot, being able to score goals, have that skill, comes a long way.”
Veleno is hoping to do what Larkin did and make the Wings at 19 years old. Larkin had a terrific rookie year (23 goals, 45 points) but he spent the season playing wing on a line with veteran Henrik Zetterberg at center. Veleno is up against a depth chart down the middle that numbers Larkin, Valtteri Filppula, Frans Nielsen and Luke Glendening, plus prospects Michael Rasmussen, Christoffer Ehn and Jacob de la Rose (some of those players could also make it as a wing).
“It’s a hard league to play in and you have to work hard for every little bit of it,” Veleno said. “For some guys, it’s pretty much their jobs and you’re trying to earn a spot, trying to take someone’s job. That’s what it comes down to now.”
Nickelodeon Night headlines this season’s new entertainment
PLYMOUTH, Mich. – USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program announced its promotional schedule for the 2019-20 season this afternoon, which features giveaways, theme nights and community initiatives.
Team USA kicks off the season with a pair of NCAA matchups against Northern Michigan University and the University of Notre Dame on October 5 and 6, respectively. Promotions for opening weekend include a 2019-20 magnet schedule giveaway for the first 2,500 fans, as well as the Under-18 team poster giveaway and postgame autograph session after Sunday’s game.
“I probably skated, I was on the ice around June and working on little details, post work,” Bernier said. “I thought we were getting a lot of shots from low to high so I kind of worked on that. You just train hard and you make sure that physically you’re ready to go.”
Bernier played in 35 games last season, 30 starts, and went 9-18-5 with a 3.16 goals-against average and .904 save percentage.
Bernier seemed to get in more of a groove when he and Jimmy Howard alternated starts for a while late in the season but there’s no guarantee of a specific workload this season.
“Obviously, I think it’s a lot easier to feel confident and being focused on the game but I gotta find a way when I don’t play a lot to come in and be sharp like I was playing every night,” Bernier said.
Continued; the Wings posted a video of Bernier’s remarks as well:
Red Wings prospect Moritz Seider will play against the Chicago Blackhawks when the Wings travel to Chicago for preseason action tonight (8:30 PM EDT on the NHL Network/NBCS Chicago Plus/WXYT AM). Seider spoke with MLive’s Ansar Khan regarding the opportunity which presents itself this evening…
“It’s a great opportunity playing in the United Center against some very, very good NHL guys, I think one of the best (Kane),” Seider said after the morning skate at Little Caesars Arena. “It’s always nice when you have a challenge in a game or a nice, important role. I had the opportunity to play one of the best NHL guys in an exhibition game already against USA (Kane at the World Championship) so I’m kind of familiar with that. It was on the big ice. I think it’s completely different in the States (smaller ice).”
The game starts at 8:30 p.m. and will joined in progress on the NHL Network following the Florida-Montreal game that starts at 7 p.m.
“I think when you’re tall you have to use your size and that’s what I try every single night,” Seider said. “I think playing hard and making the opponent tough to play against me is probably one of the parts of my game, too.”
“One of the ways you can become a great defenseman is be as efficient as possible,” Wings coach Jeff Blashill said. “The best D in the world are super-efficient, In terms of winning D, we had the best of all-time here in Nick Lidstrom probably in terms of pure efficiency, created offense without hardly giving anything up. I’m not comparing the two by any stretch but I think Seider has to be super-efficient, he has to use his offensive instincts when the opportunity presents itself but not at the risk of 50-50 plays.
“Sometimes in the Prospects Tournament he got over the 50-50 plays, where he was trying to force things that aren’t necessarily there and that’s how you end up beating yourself as a hockey team. He doesn’t have to, I think he’s got real good offensive and defensive instincts, so use them and be impactful and be a great defender.”
Throughout camp and again tonight in Chicago, Seider has been paired with veteran Trevor Daley.
“He’s one of the most experienced guys in the league, over (1,000) games, I think,” Seider said. “It’s great. He helps me a lot, we communicate a lot. It makes it a lot easier.”