The Detroit Red Wings’ 2-1 victory over the Boston Bruins was as improbable as it was real–a win in which the Red Wing were out-shot 42-16, out-attempted 67-37, and out-chanced by a similarly lop-sided margin…
But it was a win in which Alex Nedeljkovic was not the only star. Filip Zadina scored a rare goal, Marc Staal scored a rarer goal in a fine performance, and the Red Wings first nursed and then slowly but surely took control of a game in which the Boston Bruins dictated the offense, but not necessarily the flow thereof (or the lack of flow).
The Wings will take their 3rd straight victory with them as they head home to Detroit to battle the Seattle Kraken on Thursday at Little Caesars Arena (7:30 PM EST start on Bally Sports Detroit/ROOT Northwest/97.1 FM), and that game’s not going to be easy: Seattle sits at 8-13-and-1, but they’ve won 4 of their past 5 games, so they’re coming on (and lying in wait for the Wings at LCA).
“I’d like to, on behalf of our whole organization and the guys in our room, send my heartfelt condolences to the community of Oxford, Michigan, and metro Detroit and the state of Michigan,” captain Dylan Larkin said. “It was an unspeakable tragedy what happened today.”
News of the event broke a little after 2 p.m., and players found out as they woke from their pre-game naps. Larkin — who is from Waterford, about a dozen miles from Oxford — described the atmosphere in the locker room as the afternoon wore on.
“It hit us hard, it hit guys in the room hard,” he said. “We’re thinking about the victims and the entire community. We feel awful about the tragedy that happened. Our thoughts are with Oxford, Michigan.”
Blashill, who has three children and whose father worked as a police officer in Detroit, was near tears.
“I just want to send out my prayers to the families that were affected today in Oxford,” he said. “It’s a terrible, terrible thing. It just shouldn’t happen. Nothing I say certainly can do anything to help those that suffered the tragedy, that lost their lives. I think it is insane that this is somewhat normal. It just shouldn’t happen. My heart goes out to everybody involved, everybody at the school, the community. It’s got to stop.”
Hockey can shape a life in many ways. A father can, too. Grand Rapids Griffins forward Tyler Spezia and his late father, Brian, know that bond. Years later, Spezia has carried that bond with him in his journey through pro hockey.
“I didn’t really know what the Grand Rapids Griffins in the American Hockey League were growing up as a kid, but he did,” Spezia explained. “He would have a great understanding of what’s going on [with my career], and so that part of it has been really cool.”
Now 28 years old, Spezia’s life changed dramatically in December 2009 as a 16-year-old growing up just outside of Detroit.
“Around Christmas time, my dad came home, and he was complaining,” Spezia began. “The first doctor he saw, they said he had pneumonia. And then next, he wasn’t feeling any better. A couple of days went by, he [still] wasn’t feeling any better. The next doctor said that he had bronchitis. Same thing, he wasn’t feeling better. So we went to another doctor, a third doctor. And this was the hammer.
“‘You’ve got Stage IV lung and liver cancer, and you don’t have much time,’” Spezia recalls the doctor telling his father. “So, I believe it was December 23, he checked into the hospital. And then on January 18, 2010, he passed.”
But before those difficult days, Spezia and his father had bonded over hockey. The Detroit Red Wings ruled the local sports scene, and the team had won four Stanley Cup championships by the time Spezia had turned 15.
The Detroit Red Wings attempted to both re-set their 3-7-and-1 road record after an 0-3-and-1 slide away from Little Caesars Arena…
And the Wings headed into the TD Garden, where Detroit never wins (1 win in 14 tries since 2014, per Bob Duff), and beat the shorthanded Boston Bruins, who were without both Brad Marchand (suspension) and their coach, Bruce Cassidy (COVID protocol).
This was a weird one, but the Red Wings got franchise win 3,000, their 3rd win in a row, and their 2nd win in 15 tries in Boston thanks to a fantastic performance from Alex Nedeljkovic (41 saves on 42 shots) and goals from Filip Zadina and Marc Staal, who may have had his best game as a Red Wing.
SOMEhow, the Wings were out-shot, out-attempted, out-chanced and seemingly out-witted in what was admittedly a low-energy game, but the Wings prevailed anyway.
The Red Wings recalled forward Kyle Criscuolo from minor-league affiliate Grand Rapids in case a player with a minor injury, Blashill said, couldn’t play. Blashill didn’t divulge which player it was.
In 12 games with the Griffins, Criscuolo had 12 points (five goals, seven assists).
“You want to make sure you have the numbers if you can,” Blashill said. “Grand Rapids isn’t playing, and you’re not necessarily taking away an opportunity from playing a hockey game, and it gives us some insurance.”
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The Grand Rapids Griffins on Tuesday released left wing Max Humitz from his professional tryout.
The second-year pro skated in four games for the Griffins from Nov. 17-28, logging a plus-two rating. This was Humitz’s second stint with Grand Rapids this season, as he appeared in two outings from Nov. 5-6 and bagged an assist during his AHL season debut on Nov. 5 at Iowa. Humitz has registered six points (3-3—6) and two penalty minutes in 14 AHL contests, all coming with Grand Rapids.
The 26-year-old will return to the ECHL’s Kalamazoo Wings, where he has amassed six points (1-5—6) and a plus-four rating through six games.