Tweets of note: ‘This Day in History,’ Steve Yzerman edition, and on Friday’s game vs. Florida is *only* on ESPN+

Two Tweets of note this morning:

  1. Of historical note, from Hockey 365’s Mike Commito:

On this day in 1997, Steve Yzerman surpassed Alex Delvecchio as the longest-serving captain in @DetroitRedWings history #Hockey365 #LGRW pic.twitter.com/CQK9DWlaqW— Mike Commito (@mikecommito) October 26, 2021

2. And the Florida Panthers’ PR department reminds us that Friday night’s game vs. the Panthers is only on ESPN Plus and Hulu:

#FlaPanthers Friday night’s game in Detroit can be found exclusively on @ESPNPlus and @hulu.

More info: https://t.co/RdC5omMMTQ@ESPNPR pic.twitter.com/7D8sFPehAy— Florida Panthers PR (@FlaPanthersPR) October 26, 2021

I can only speak as a Comcast customer–I know many of you get cable from WOW, DirecTV, Dish, etc.–but I found out that Comcast *does* allow you to stream ESPN+ on your television if you ask the remote for “ESPN Plus” and pair your TV to your account through your cell phone.

I know that’s not going to help everybody, but I’d encourage any of you with a Smart TV to check and see whether you can stream ESPN Plus through your TV.

Roughly translated: Two quick takes on Lucas Raymond, from Niklas Kronwall and Swedish Olympic team GM Johan Garpenlov

Rakapuckar’s Henrik Lehman posted a column about Lucas Raymond yesterday, offering his take on Raymond’s hat trick performance. Lehman discusses how Raymond may be better-suited to playing a more direct game on a smaller rink, and he also spoke with Red Wings player development specialist Niklas Kronwall regarding Raymond’s achievement in scoring a hat trick on Sunday:

“It’s been cool to see,” Kronwall said, and he continued: “I think of it this way, Raymond is a smart player, a competitive person and he has very cool ‘skills.’ He’s so fast in his brain, fast in the hands, can make quick decisions…The small rink can suit him better. Then come the inserts that don’t happen in the same way in the SHL. It is a different game in Sweden. His skills are unique.”

The translation of Lehman’s article is intriguing;

HockeyNews.se’s Henrik Sjoberg also asked Swedish national team GM Johan Garpenlov about the performances of Raymond, William Eklund and Jonathan Dahlen, who’ve all impressed early, and you can take this for what you will:

Garpenlov is not allowed to reveal which Swedes are on his list of 50 players and five goaltenders–but the competition is fierce at all positions. October 15th was the deadline for teams to submit their player lists [to the IIHF].

“I have to go on what I’ve presented and not what I may do. And if you look at a guy like Raymond, if he were to be on the list, he’d have to compete and play on the top lines and on the power play. If you look around the league, it’s quite a tough competition in a few spots there. I’m not saying that it’s impossible and that it couldn’t happen, but it’s probably pretty tough to settle in there,” says Garpenlov.

With the help of advisors Niklas Kronwall and Henrik Zetterberg, Garpenlov has good inroads in Detroit when it comes to Raymond’s progress, both on and off the ice.

“We all understand how skilled and talented he is, and then we’ll see where he goes. No one would be happier than me if you get to see a young guy make the best impact, regardless of whether he’s on the 50-man list or not, but we have to be a little sane so far. We’re only five or seven games into the season.”

My take? Raymond probably didn’t make the Swedes’ 50-man Olympic reserve list, but that shouldn’t come as a surprise given how deep the Swedes are at the NHL level.

Tweet of note via the NTDP: Red Savage named NCHC Rookie of the Week

Via a Tweet from the U.S. National Team Development Program, a.k.a. the NTDP, Red Wings prospect Red Savage was named the rookie of the week in the NCAA’s NCHC conference yesterday afternoon:

SAVOOOOOO! 👏🤩 https://t.co/gmGXwNIXWc— USA Hockey’s NTDP (@USAHockeyNTDP) October 26, 2021

Here’s the press release from the Miami of Ohio Redhawks:

The National Collegiate Hockey Conference announced today that Miami freshman forward Red Savage has been named NCHC Rookie of the Week.
 
Savage, a native of Scottsdale, Ariz., picked up the first point of his career Friday with an assist in MU’s home opener, following that up with two more assists Saturday night at Bowling Green. The Detroit draft pick combined with older brother Ryan Savage to assist on Alec Capstick’s second-period goal Friday, and then added a helper on his sibling’s second-period goal Saturday. The younger Savage also assisted on Chase Gresock’s goal 35 seconds into the game Saturday evening. Savage had a positive plus-minus both nights and won 13 of 24 faceoffs for Miami.

It’s the first time Savage has won NCHC Rookie of the Week and the first time a Miami player has earned the honor since Chase Pletzke won the award in January 2020.

Savage and the RedHawks are off this weekend, but return to action Friday, November 5 at Omaha to open conference play.

Khan, HSJ in the morning: On ‘dirty goals’ and Bertuzzi, party of one

Of Red Wings-related note from our usual morning columnists in MLive’s Ansar Khan and the Free Press’s Helene St. James:

  1. Khan discusses the Wings “scoring dirty goals” against the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday as part of an “if you missed it” NHL notebook:

“We needed to be harder at the net,” [coach Jeff] Blashill said following the 6-3 victory in Chicago. “I didn’t think overall our complete level was that bad against Calgary (last Thursday), but we were not hard enough at the net for sure. Certainly, (Saturday in Montreal) we didn’t create many chances at all. We needed to make sure we got to the net.

“We stopped at the net [Sunday]. We found ways to score dirty goals. We got to find ways to score dirty in order to be a team that scores enough. It was a good sign for us to make sure we go hard at the net.”

Even rookie Lucas Raymond realizes the importance to get your nose dirty. That’s what he did for the second of his three goals on this night, rushing the net and banging in the rebound of Dylan Larkin’s shot.

“If you want to score goals, you have to get into those areas,” Raymond said. “You can’t just shoot and score fancy goals. You have to get in there and that’s usually where most of the goals are scored as well. I’m trying to get in there more and more.”

Continued;

2. And the Free Press’s Helene St. James discusses Tyler Bertuzzi’s status as the NHL’s only unvaccinated-against-COVID player:

“We believe there is only one active player in the NHL who has not commenced the vaccination process,” deputy commissioner Bill Daly told the Free Press on Monday. In a 32-team league with 23-man rosters, that would make Bertuzzi the only one of 736 players. 

The NHL and Players Association agreed not to have a vaccine mandate, but teams can suspend without pay players who miss team activities because they are unvaccinated. People within the Wings organization say there is no indication Bertuzzi will change his mind. He has referred to his decision as “a life choice.”

The Wings play nine times in Canada, meaning Bertuzzi stands to miss nearly 11% of games. He stayed in Detroit and skated on his own during the Wings’ first foray to Montreal and then met the Wings in Chicago. On the next trip [this weekend], he will miss two games and one practice, and be responsible for meeting the team in Boston. Their longest trip to Canada comes in mid-March, when they will be gone a week while playing at Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver.

There’s no doubting how much it means to the Wings to have him available.

“I think the world of Tyler as a person and as a player,” coach Jeff Blashill said. “He does so many things that are important to win. He’s a hard player. He wins pucks. He’s smart. He’s good defensively. He goes to the net hard and ultimately that was what that was an example of. We’re a better team for sure when Tyler is in the lineup and it was good to have him back.”

I really do wonder whether Bertuzzi would be on Team Canada’s radar for the Olympics if he simply assented to being vaccinated.

He’s not just giving up $450,000 in pay for the sake of not taking a shot; at this point, given his production and intangibles, he’s giving up a shot at playing in the Beijing Olympics (where everyone who attends must be vaccinated against COVID), too, and that’s just disappointing.

Choices have consequences.

Allen: What’s eating Filip Hronek?

Detroit Hockey Now’s Kevin Allen wonders aloud why Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill chose to bench Filip Hronek for this past weekend’s pair of games:

Defenseman Filip Hronek played 25.09 against the Tampa Bay Lightning on opening night. He played 23:23 against the Vancouver Canucks two nights later. In the Red Wings’ third and fourth games this season, he played 23:13 and 20:26, respectively, against the Columbus Blue Jackets and Calgary Flames.

In the Red Wings’ fifth game in Montreal, he played zero minutes. He was a healthy scratch. Coach’s decision. Same story in their sixth game in Chicago Sunday.

“Any message that I share with Fil will be kept between me and the player,”  Detroit coach Jeff Blashill said. “I don’t feel any reason to have public comment or any of that stuff.”

Hronek was leading the team in minutes played when he was benched.  

“Ultimately we have a lot of good players, and too many in terms of a depth situation, to play every night,” Blashill said. “So different guys are going to end up out of the lineup. That’s just a reality of life. ”

Allen continues, and my best guess is that Hronek is being given the, “Put up or shut up” message that Anthony Mantha received last season…

The Hockey News’s Ellis on Raymond’s upward trajectory

Lucas Raymond had an up-and-down season with Frolunda HC of the SHL last season, struggling with a chronic elbow injury that eventually required surgery.

As such, the Hockey News’s Steven Ellis suggests that Raymond’s explosion upon the NHL scoring scene is a bit of a surprise, and he asked a Swedish hockey scout why Raymond’s development shot upward:

If Raymond wasn’t scoring against men at an inferior level, why is he doing it in the NHL? Hockey development is a crazy thing. The amount a player improves from season to season at a young age, especially as they adjust to the pro game against older, stronger competition, is immense. Raymond proved he could be dominant against his own age group, so the experience against men was a good step forward.

While playing in Detroit’s Traverse City prospect tournament, Raymond impressed with a goal-per-game in three outings. Then, while playing in the top six during the pre-season, Raymond showed he could compete with the best and was often one of the biggest offensive catalysts for a team with few to choose from. So, instead of sending him back home or down to the AHL, Yzerman and Co. felt it was best to keep the young star playing with the big club.

Since then, Raymond has improved his game pace on a near-nightly basis. He’s adjusting quickly and effectively, and the Red Wings are better for it. The Red Wings shipped out usual top-line stalwart Anthony Mantha to Detroit last year, meaning the search for a new top-line forward to go along with Tyler Bertuzzi and Dylan Larkin was needed. Jakub Vrana was supposed to be that guy, but shoulder surgery will keep him out for four months. So Raymond was the first real option to fill the spot, and he hasn’t disappointed.

“This isn’t a surprise,” a Swedish scout said about Raymond’s early season play. “The talent has always been there. He’s putting it together already on a team that doesn’t have much going for it now. Once they’re contenders, he’ll be such an important piece. He’s a human highlight-reel that just didn’t get the opportunities he needed to be more dominant in Sweden.”

Continued; as Ellis notes, Raymond isn’t that big (he’s listed at 5’11,” which is generous) and he isn’t that fast, but his hockey sense and ability to anticipate and react to what’s happening on the ice before the puck hits his stick blade are affording him the ability to make decisions at a lightning-quick pace, making up for any physical concerns.

Moreover, Raymond deserves credit for taking the opportunity afforded him in terms of ice time and running with it. Raymond didn’t get a lot of time with Frolunda last season–no young player gets a lot of ice time in the SHL without producing, which isn’t a surprise–but he’s maximized his opportunities here at the NHL level, and that’s damn impressive.

Two Tweets of note and a Kulfan notebook

The Detroit Red Wings’ Twitter account posted a pair of Tweets of note regarding Sunday’s win in Chicago…

The Wings named their “Players of the Week”–the top line…

And the Detroit News’s Ted Kulfan penned a Monday notebook discussing Lucas Raymond’s performance yesterday in both perspective of yesterday’s game itself and in a historical sense:

Continue reading Two Tweets of note and a Kulfan notebook

Red Wings waive Kyle Criscuolo

Per TSN, the Red Wings have waived Kyle Criscuolo, most likely for assignment to Grand Rapids:

Elsewhere, forward Kyle Criscuolo has been waived by the Detroit Red Wings.

The 29-year-old Criscuolo spent last season in the Red Wings organization with the Grand Rapids Griffins of the American Hockey League. A native of Southampton, NJ, Criscuolo appeared in nine games for the Buffalo Sabres in 2017-2018.

Video: ‘This is Hockeytown’ with Henrik Zetterberg

Long-time Red Wings forward and captain Henrik Zetterberg sat down for a 5-minute interview with the Red Wings’ YouTube channel last week, discussing his own trials and tribulations as a young player, as well as winning the 2008 Stanley Cup: