Of Red Wings-related note after Detroit’s 6-2 win over the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday night:
- The Detroit News’s Ted Kulfan took note of the comments made by Robby Fabbri, Pius Suter and coach Jeff Blashill:
“It’s a great for a guy like [Lucas Raymond] to come in and be as confident as he is,” said linemate Robby Fabbri, who scored two goals. “It’s important that he’s making those plays and playing his game and you can see that tonight. It makes our job easier when he’s playing his game.”
Fabbri (two goals, including an empty netter), Troy Stecher, Luke Witkowski and Jon Martin added the other goals, but it was Raymond who the fans came to see — along with defenseman Moritz Seider — and fans likely went home happy.
“Like I said (during in training camp in Traverse City), he looks good,” said Pius Suter, who had three assists. “He shoots the puck and has a nice shot.”
With the news Thursday that Jakub Vrana will miss at least four months due to shoulder surgery, the Wings will need goal-scoring ability from someone.
Raymond is beginning to show it could be from him. In the second period, just 23 seconds after Robby Fabbri got the Wings on the scoreboard tying the game, Raymond gathered a loose puck near the dot, skated into the slot, and whistled a shot past Sabres goaltender Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen.
“He did a good job, he’s a smart player,” said coach Jeff Blashill. “He has a good two way game and those types of players are guys who are transferable (from offense to defense.”
2. The Free Press’s Helene St. James also filed a post-game notebook…
“It’s one game, but you saw — power play, penalty kill, defensive zone, making plays in the o-zone — [Suter] kind of does it all,” Fabbri said. “Any team would love to have a guy like that. He’s a 200-foot player, and that’s going to be big for us.”
Suter centered Raymond and Fabbri. Blashill will want to give other wingers a look, but it sure looks like Fabbri and Suter will be a pairing going forward, and these exhibition games are great for building chemistry.
“Every minute we play together helps us for the regular season,” Suter said. “We kind of know where everybody goes. Fabbs, Raymond, just to know how they react in certain situations — with every shift, that will grow and will help.”
3. As did DetroitRedWings.com’s Ethan Sears…
“The biggest thing I’d say with Fabbs is he has been outstanding from his compete level,” Blashill said. “Absolutely outstanding. On day 1 of camp, he worked all summer long here, trained here all summer. I think he’s got his body in the best spot it’s probably been in since he’s been a pro.”
It’s hard to read into too much in the preseason – line combinations being near the top of the list, as Raymond in particular could start the regular season in Grand Rapids. But it’s hard not to come away with positive things to say about that group.
Though Raymond’s spot on the line is liable to change, Blashill said he likes the combination of Fabbri and Suter.
“I think Suts is a guy who can make some plays,” Blashill said. “Fabbs is a guy who can sore and we’ll find somebody to play, who can play on that right side.”
4. Among Detroit Hockey Now’s Kevin Allen’s “Four Takeaways”:
The Red Wings were 0-4 on the power play. They were 0-for-1 against the Blackhawks Wednesday. That’s 0-for-5 after two games. Yes, it’s preseason. Of course, these lineups aren’t regular-season lineups. Yes, Alex Tanguay has just begun to work the team on a new approach to the power play.
Still, there were regular power play performers out there against Buffalo. And still no one scored. It just seems like it’s important that the Red Wings find some power play confidence early. No better time to do that than preseason when opponents don’t always have their best penalty killers.
The Detroit Red Wings were 30th on the power play last season and progress is needed, even in the preseason.
5. The Red Wings also posted a post-game clip of comments from Fabbri, Suter and coach Blashill:
6. The Free Press also posted longer post-game clips of Suter and Blashill’s remarks: