Babcock’s quip of the day

You may take this Tweet from 97.1 the Ticket’s Jeff Riger for what you will:

The coach was part of the group agreeing to sacrifice part of his future, and then he left.

Update: Now, with video…



St. James, Kronwall discuss on and off-ice adjustments

Red Wings defenseman Niklas Kronwall spoke with the Free Press’s Helene St. James for 2-and-a-half minutes, with Kronwall discussing the adjustments made to his game and training as his age and arthritic knees catch up with him, the absence of Henrik Zetterberg; then St. James speaks with Jeff Blashill about what Kronwall can still bring to the table:


Wallner checks in with former Griffin Logan Pyett

The Grand Rapids Press’s Peter J. Wallner spoke with Hershey Bears defenseman and former Grand Rapids Griffins defender Logan Pyett, who’s overcome a significant medical hurdle:

Bumps, cuts and bruises are part of hockey, but what Logan Pyett experienced after a preseason game just wasn’t right.

There was an annoying lump on the inside of his left thigh and the veteran defenseman and former Detroit Red Wings prospect knew it wasn’t typical.

“At first trainers thought it might be scar tissue, whatever, but then I got this shooting pain in my leg,” Pyett said. “I played the one game and complained afterward. My leg just felt heavy, not right.”

As much as he wanted to wish it away – he had just joined Lehigh Valley and the season was about to start – Pyett informed staff, went to have it checked out and heard what he didn’t want to hear.

A tumor was discovered, and it had wrapped around an artery and caused a blot clot. He was diagnosed with synovial sarcoma, a rare type of cancer. Within a week, he began six cycles of chemotherapy, then five weeks of radiation before undergoing surgery.

That journey began in October 2015. It was a scare and a setback and, ultimately, a winnable fight for him against the rare form of the disease that accounts for less than one percent of all cancers.


Red Wings-Maple Leafs post-morning skate media availability + Leafs skate: Kronwall, Abdelkader ‘good to go’

The Red Wings held a quick morning skate ahead of tonight’s game against the Toronto Maple Leafs (7:30 PM EDT on FSD/TSN4/97.1 FM), and afterward, the locker room opened up to the media:

Continue reading Red Wings-Maple Leafs post-morning skate media availability + Leafs skate: Kronwall, Abdelkader ‘good to go’

The Athletic’s Burtchfield talks about Dylan Larkin, power play contributor

The Athletic’s Max Bultman penned a lengthy article discussing Dylan Larkin’s need to evolve into a power play performer:

Larkin’s need to improve on the power play is not a new idea. Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill discussed it in the preseason, and, after Detroit’s 3-2 season-opening loss to Columbus, he tacked it onto the end of an answer about Larkin taking the proverbial next step. After running through general comments about Larkin’s compete level and saying he had done “a pretty good job” in that game, Blashill paused for a full beat.

“His next step for me,” he then said, “will be being great on the power play.”

Looking at the fourth-year center’s numbers, that is hard to argue. His 2.7 power-play points per 60 minutes last year fell far behind many of the 70-plus-point centers he might otherwise accompany — guys like Nicklas Backstrom, whose even-strength production rate is similar to Larkin’s, despite 10 more total points. In their case, the difference is essentially that Backstrom is twice as efficient on the man advantage. It, of course, also helps to have a supporting cast like Backstrom does in Washington. Broadly speaking, though, there’s a similar separation between Larkin and some of the game’s best two-way centers, as 97.1’s Will Burchfield explored last month.

The more complicated question, though, is not so much whether Larkin needs to up his production at 5-on-4. It’s how he can do it. And an easy answer is not so simple to find.

“I’d say with him, he’s a guy who wants to attack,” Blashill said last week. “I’d say unforced errors would be the biggest thing for him. Don’t give the puck away. Let’s have the puck as much as we can on the power play. Make plays without trying to force things that aren’t there, and then be a shooter.”

Continued (paywall)…

Red Wings-Maple Leafs morning skate Tweets: Abdelkader absent as black lower-bowl seats make their debut

The Detroit Red Wings will attempt to stifle the Toronto Maple Leafs’ offensive machine this evening (7:30 PM EDT on FSD/TSN4/97.1 FM), with the Wings hoping to earn their first win of the season against the 3-and-1 Leafs.

The betting odds for today’s games do not favor the Wings, and

The Red Wings hit the ice at Little Caesars Arena just before 10:30 AM for their morning skate, as noted by the Detroit News’s Gregg Krupa…

And the Red Wings:

Krupa spotted a change to LCA’s lineup, as it were:

Continue reading Red Wings-Maple Leafs morning skate Tweets: Abdelkader absent as black lower-bowl seats make their debut

CBC podcast includes Kris Draper’s take on the Wings-Avs rivalry

The CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada podcast has just launched, and this week’s episode includes Rob Pizzo speaking with Kris Draper and Chris Nilan about heated rivalries:


Red Wings-Maple Leafs set-up: winless Wings hope to slow down streaking Leafs

The Detroit Red Wings will attempt to earn their first win of the season as the 0-1-and-2 Wings host the 3-and-1 Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday night (7:30 PM EDT on FSD/TSN4/97.1 FM).

The Wings will play minus Dennis Cholowski, who’s got an upper-body injury, but Niklas Kronwall will be making his return to the lineup as the Wings hope to hold the fort down versus the offensively-prolific Leafs.

Our friends from Toronto are coming off a 7-4 victory over the Dallas Stars on Tuesday. The Leafs have scored 20 goals over the course of their first 4 games, yielding all sorts of all-time-great-comparison gobbledygook for Auston Matthews, gushy praise for John Tavares, Nazem Kadri and everyone else wearing blue and white, and the Toronto Sun’s Lance Hornby suggests that the Maple Leaf Hype Train is backed up by some really impressive stats:

Continue reading Red Wings-Maple Leafs set-up: winless Wings hope to slow down streaking Leafs