If you’ve been following the Wings’ prospects on TMR at Kukla’s Korner, you probably know that Michael Rasmussen and Dennis Cholowski have displayed dominant form in the WHL, but if you’re not familiar with the pair, the Free Press’s Helene St. James has you covered:
Rasmussen, 18, had a goal and two assists as he played back-to-back games over the weekend for the Tri-City Americans of the Western Hockey League. The Ams won both games, improving to 25-16-7 and taking over the first wildcard spot in the WHL playoff race.
Rasmussen has 17 goals and 17 assists in 24 games. His 1.42 points-per-game average leads the team, and his nine power-play goals rank second on the team.
A 6-foot-6, 215-pound center, Rasmussen had an impressive first camp with the Wings. He was adept at going to the net and screening opposing goaltenders, and scored four goals in five exhibition games.
Fellow top prospect Dennis Cholowski is also having a standout season: he just had an eight-game point streak snapped over the weekend, leaving him with 13 goals and 36 assists in 47 games (he has 10 assists in 10 games since being traded to the Portland Winterhawks from the Prince George Cougars). Cholowski, drafted 20th overall in 2016, ranks fifth overall in scoring among WHL defensemen.
The Detroit News’s Gregg Krupa penned an article about the progress made by Dylan Larkin, Andreas Athanasiou and Anthony Mantha, and he prefaced it with the following:
It is fairly bleak, for certain. Late January, the All-Star weekend, and the Red Wings looking forward not to the playoffs, but to the intrigues of the trade deadline.
For a second season, a roster of stars too old, and prospective ones either developing or not, is failing to add up to postseason play.
The contracts up and down the roster suggest this could go on for a while.
That their performance in the last game before the break sputtered and coughed like too many before, in a season when a team that vowed to play with chip firmly on shoulder has sometimes skated and played docilely.
There are, however, reasons for Red Wings fans to be optimistic. Some fans recoil from the assertion, but good things are happening for the Red Wings.
They are certainly less compelling than playing and winning in late May and June. But to regain that glory, the Wings must emerge from the decline.
Red Wings defenseman Mike Green scored 2 goals and added an assist while playing in yesterday’s All-Star Game, and USA Today’s Kevin Allen suggested that Green was “auditioning” for other teams:
Mike Green’s audition?
“Anybody can get lucky,” Green said when asked about his two goals in the final for the Atlantic. But Green could have also been responding to a question about his next landing spot. Even though Green, who also had an assist in the semifinal, brushed off a comment from a reporter about Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin saying he’d love him to return, Green’s time in Detroit is coming to an end. The Detroit Red Wings defenseman is playing on an expiring contract and could help any contender — even the Lightning, who are in the market for a right-handed shooting blueliner. He will be highly sought after as the Feb. 26 trade deadline nears.
Also of Mike Green-related note:
Continue reading All about Mike Green and his All-Star ‘audition’
The Sheffield Star’s Bob Westerdale reports that the Red Wings are scouting an intriguing 2018 draft prospect–6’2,” 157-pound forward Liam Kirk, who plays for the English Ice Hockey League’s Sheffield Steelers:
Continue reading Wings scouting a British player for the 2018 draft
The Washington Post’s Jesse Dougherty wondered aloud whether Red Wings defenseman Mike Green might welcome a trade back to the Washington Capitals:
“Obviously it’s been brought up just recently,” said Green, who was drafted by the Capitals in 2004, of his status heading toward the trade deadline. “I haven’t put too much thought into it. Obviously as the season goes on you focus on the day-to-day path. I wish I could give you more of an answer. I’m sure as the next couple months go on we’ll find out more. I’ll find out more.”
Of prospect-related note:
In the ECHL, the Toledo Walleye received 2 goals from Shane Berschbach, 3 assists from Kyle Bonis and 28 saves from Matej Machovsky in the Walleye’s 6-2 victory over the Cincinnati Cyclones. The Walleye’s website posted a recap:
Continue reading Sunday/Monday prospect round-up: Walleye beat Cyclones; Zablocki stars for Royals
Pavel Datsyuk spoke with the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Jason Mackey about what Datsyuk believes is a lack of creativity in professional hockey today:
“There are not many creative players now,” Datsyuk said after Team Russia’s World Cup of Hockey practice Sunday at UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex in Cranberry. “It’s less and less every year. There’s lots of talent, but teams are playing more systems.”
Datsyuk continues: Continue reading Datsyuk discusses creativity in hockey, or the lack thereof
The Globe and Mail’s Roy MacGregor asks an intriguing question:
It’s not likely to happen – but it’s not entirely inconceivable, either.
Canadian hockey fans cheering against Team Canada?
It’s early in the relatively meaningless exhibition round of the World Cup, but there are still some things to be learned. And the most obvious has to be is the most-gimmicky team is for real.
Team North America – more often referred to as the Under-24s by the hockey world – is pretty damn good. The kids, as they’re also known, made easy work of Team Europe in two exhibition games last week. And while Team Europe – composed of players from Slovakia, Denmark, Norway, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, France and Slovenia – isn’t expected to be a factor, no one really knows what to expect from the kids.
They could fizzle; they could contend; they could … As the Globe and Mail’s Montreal sports reporter, Sean Gordon, put it in Monday’s paper, they’re “half high-speed circus, half hockey team.”
“Let’s face it,” Team Europe captain Anze Kopitar quickly conceded, “they’re faster than us.” And more skilled. And more ambitious.
The Red Wings posted a very slick Instagram video of a drone flying over Detroit’s skyline, including Little Caesars Arena…
And the Red Wings were very busy in terms of posting Instagram content on Monday. It was good to see Johan Franzen skating again:
Continue reading Flying over Little Caesars Arena and a happy Mule
I love this story: Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston hit a chord (no pun intended) in explaining why Team Canada goaltender Braden Holtby is wearing a Tragically Hip-themed mask during the World Cup of Hockey:
“Everyone knows the story in Canada,” Holtby told Sportsnet in an interview. “It’s one of those things that has turned a positive from a negative. It’s pretty amazing kind of what Canadians do. I grew up and I can have vivid memories of listening to my first Hip songs. We even had a class in school, a little part of it that was based on (the song) ‘Wheat Kings’ – I mean you just remember it. It’s Canadian, it’s the Hip, and with me being a huge music lover (it made sense).
“This being the biggest stage for hockey and a lot of Gord’s songs have hockey in them, I mean it ties the two in and I think it’ll be very good.”
The plan, ultimately, is to auction the mask off for charity. Word has already been passed along to the band and Holtby hopes the Hip will determine where the money ends up.
He’s never met Downie or other members of the band, but has long been a fan.
Johnston continues, and the mask looks awesome:
Continue reading Braden Holtby’s mask pays tribute to the Tragically Hip