Articles from Wings practice: Wings looking to shoot as depleted defense bears down for prolific Leafs; on Mantha’s confidence

The Red Wings practiced this morning at Little Caesars Arena minus Dennis Cholowski, who’s out with an upper-body injury, and with Niklas Kronwall, who hopes to make his return to the lineup when the Wings host Toronto on Thursday night.

After practice, the Red Wings talked about their emphasis on shooting the puck more regularly, as noted by the Free Press’s Helene St. James in video and then text form:

“We have been passing up too many shots in the slot where there is a grade-a scoring chance and we’re trying to look for somebody back door for a tap-in,” Gustav Nyquist said Wednesday. “It usually hits someone’s skate or someone’s stick and then it deflects in the corner and then it’s not a scoring chance any more. I think it’s a matter of when you have a good scoring chance, take it and shoot yourself. The guy who is waiting for a back door tap-in can get to the rebound.”

The Wings host the Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday (7 p.m., Fox Sports Detroit) at Little Caesars before heading back on the road for four games. The Leafs are one of the most talented teams in the NHL, as borne out by a five-goals per game average.

The Wings have been beset by injuries on defense to start the season, and that trend continues as rookie Dennis Cholowski is sidelined by an upper-body injury, joining veterans Trevor Daley, Jonathan Ericsson and Mike Green. Niklas Kronwall, who missed the first three games because of injury, is ready to play; he can’t skate like he used to, but he’s still a smart player.

On the front end, the only pending change appears to be Nyquist and Justin Abdelkader swapping spots, with Nyquist joining Andreas Athanasiou and Thomas Vanek, and Abdelkader playing with Dylan Larkin and Anthony Mantha.

Nyquist is second on the Wings with nine shots, behind Larkin’s 11. While players are shown video clips of where they could have shot instead of passed, it can be hard to implement in a game.

St. James continues, and the Detroit News’s Ted Kulfan discussed the Wings’ banged-up blueline

Continue reading Articles from Wings practice: Wings looking to shoot as depleted defense bears down for prolific Leafs; on Mantha’s confidence

Videos from practice: Wings talk about shooting the puck

The Free Press’s Helene St. James posted a 5:22 video in which she spoke with both Red Wings’ players (Gustav Nyquist and Andreas Athanasiou) and their coach regarding their need to shoot pucks more regularly…

And MLive’s Ansar Khan posted a clip of Blashill discussing the team’s attempt to instill a “shooting mentality” in their shooters:

 

Saturday’s Red Wings-Bruins game will start at 3 PM EDT to accommodate MLB playoffs

FYI:

Blashill scouts the Leafs

Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill spoke with the Toronto Sun’s Terry Koshan regarding Thursday’s opponent, the Toronto Maple Leafs:

Update: MLive’s Ansar Khan posted a pair of videos from Blashill and Niklas Kronwall post-practice:

 

Sportsnet’s Boylen praises Cholowski among ‘9 NHL rookie standouts’

Sportsnet’s Rory Boylen praises Red Wings defenseman Dennis Cholowski in an article discussing 9 NHL rookie standouts:

Dennis Cholowski, DET: With an average of 22:10 per game, Cholowski leads all rookies in average ice time. The 20th-overall pick from 2016 racked up a point per game in the pre-season and an injury to Mike Green opened up a spot for some youngster to take advantage — and Cholowski hasn’t missed.

He never made any Canadian WJC squads in junior even after moving from the NCAA to the WHL last season and becoming a major contributor. A great skater with a nose for offence, the 6-foot Cholowski is the kind of defenceman who thrives in today’s NHL and he leads all Detroit defencemen in power-play ice time. When Mike Green eventually returns some of that will be shaved off, but if Cholowski keeps up this level of play, he’ll be hard to turn away from.

Boylen continues, and I’ve been impressed with Libor Sulak, Filip Hronek, Christoffer Ehn, Joe Hicketts and Michael Rasmussen as well, but I’m biased!

 

Post-practice media availabilities: Cholowski out 1-2 games with upper-body injury; Kronwall to return

The Detroit Red Wings practiced at the BELFOR Training Center ahead of tomorrow’s game vs. Toronto, and they did so without defenseman Dennis Cholowski, who is “day-to-day” with an “undisclosed injury.”

After a practice in which Justin Abdelkader graduated to the top line, and Niklas Kronwall skated with Nick Jensen, the Red Wings spoke with the media, per the Free Press’s Helene St. James…

Continue reading Post-practice media availabilities: Cholowski out 1-2 games with upper-body injury; Kronwall to return

Toledo Walleye make trade to bolster their blueline

From the Toledo Walleye:

WALLEYE ADD A DEFENSEMAN IN TRADE WITH WICHITA
(Toledo, OH) – The Walleye have acquired defenseman Sam Thibault from the Wichita Thunder in exchange for forward Hayden Hodgson.

Thibault joins Toledo after appearing in 43 games last year with the Thunder, collecting nine assists, 29 penalty minutes and a plus 10. The 22-year-old also got into a pair of games with the Bakersfield Condors of the AHL without a point. He also skated in four playoff contests last season for the Thunder with a pair of assists.

Prior to last season, Thibault spent the three previous years in the QMJHL with Baie-Comeau Drakkar. In the 2016-17 season, the Ste. Martine, PQ native posted 21 points (6G, 15A) with 81 penalty minutes while skating as a plus ten. That season he was team captain. The 6’1”, 201 pound defenseman had 134 penalty minutes in the 2015-16 season. In total, Thibault skated in 207 games with 10 goals, 40 assists, 50 points and 284 penalty minutes in his QMJHL career.