Khan, Kulfan file notebook articles about Filip Zadina’s status

Both MLive’s Ansar Khan and the Detroit News’s Ted Kulfan focused on Filip Zadina’s status as a healthy scratch in Tuesday’s win over the San Jose Sharks.

Khan discusses both Zadina’s reaction to the move and coach Jeff Blashill’s care for his young forward’s state of mind:

“I was disappointed for sure. I was (ticked),” Zadina said after the morning skate in Anaheim. “Now I feel better than I felt a week ago. I’m excited to be back and get things going again.”

Zadina has gone nine games without a goal, has only one goal and three points in his past 14 games, and just four goals and six assists in 32 games overall.

“Obviously, I was frustrated because I had a lot of chances and didn’t score,” Zadina said. “Obviously, the COVID break and stuff like that kind of pushed me down. I had good practice and a good workout, and I just feel way better.

“Just keep shooting and hit the spots where the goalie isn’t. Just keep believing and I hope it’s going in at some point.”

Blashill said the lack of production from the team’s top pick in 2018 (No. 6 overall) isn’t from a lack of effort.

“Z cares a lot, has tried really hard, competes hard,” Blashill said. “I don’t think he’s been rewarded on the number of chances he’s had. I think that’ll come. I don’t think he played as good the last two games as he did prior to the break. He’s just got to get his game back going.”

Kulfan continues that conversation:

“Filip is more than just a shooter,” Blashill said .”He’s valued himself that way and certainly the hype was around his shooting (coming out the draft), but he’s more than just a shooter.

“The one thing we’ve talked about with him is becoming more of a give-and-go player. When I watched him in junior, he was a guy who could make plays. He wasn’t a one-trick pony and just shooting pucks.

“Z cares a lot. He’s tried real hard, he competes hard. I don’t think he’s been rewarded on the number of chances he’s had. That’ll come. I don’t think he’s played as well the last two games prior to the break and he has to get his game back on.

“He knows what he has to do and sometimes it takes some time. So, go back in the lineup and hopefully he can be successful.”

Belated: Red Wings-Ducks game postponed to Sunday

I missed this while taking a pre-game nap:

NHL POSTPONES TONIGHT’S DUCKS-RED WINGS GAME

NEW YORK (Jan. 6, 2022) – The National Hockey League announced today that due to COVID-related issues affecting the Anaheim Ducks, tonight’s game versus the Detroit Red Wings has been postponed.

The game has been rescheduled for Sunday, Jan. 9.

The Orange County Register’s Elliott Teaford explains:

The onrushing wave of COVID-19 cases around North America swept over the Ducks on Thursday, with their game against the Detroit Red Wings at Honda Center postponed by the NHL until Sunday after four players tested positive, and with Saturday’s game against the New York Rangers also in jeopardy.

Center Sam Carrick, goaltender John Gibson, defenseman Hampus Lindholm and right wing Vinni Lettieri joined left wing Nicolas Deslauriers and centers Ryan Getzlaf and Derek Grant in the NHL’s COVID-19 protocols on Thursday. Rookie center Trevor Zegras exited the protocols Thursday.

Zegras lobbied Ducks coach Dallas Eakins earlier in the day to play against the Red Wings, but with practice time limited to about 15 minutes since his positive test on Dec. 28 and concerns over a possible layoff-related injury, he was ruled out. Eakins said Zegras was “not very happy with me right now.”

WXYZ’s Galli discusses Filip Zadina’s status as a scratch on Tuesday

WXYZ’s Brad Galli filed a report regarding Filip Zadina’s comments about his status as a healthy scratch in Tuesday’s game vs. San Jose. Zadina will return to the lineup tonight vs. Anaheim:

“I was disappointed for sure and I was pissed,” he said. “But I feel better than I felt a week ago when we played those games. I’m excited to be back and get things going again.”

Zadina went without a goal during December. He was brought into the league as a scoring winner, drafted in the first round by a Red Wings organization in need of elite scoring.

He said being off with a COVID break affected him, and he’s focused on being a better player.

“I see him as more than just a shooter,” Jeff Blashill said on Thursday.

The 2018 first-rounder has four goals and six assists in 32 games. He dropped from the team’s top line in camp to its second line, and now down to the third line.

Continued, with video:

Video: Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill, Filip Zadina speak ahead of tonight’s game vs. Anaheim

After the Anaheim Ducks and Red Wings’ morning skates ahead of tonight’s game between the two teams (10 PM EST start on Bally Sports Detroit/Bally Sports California/Bally Sports San Diego/97.1 FM), the Red Wings posted a video of coach Jeff Blashill speaking with the media for nearly 15 minutes:

Filip Zadina spoke with the media as well, for 3:12:

Red Wings-Ducks morning skate Tweets II: Zadina’s back in

The Detroit Red Wings face off against the Anaheim Ducks this evening (10 PM EST start on Bally Sports Detroit/Bally Sports California/Bally Sports San Diego/97.1 FM), and Trevor Zegras and John Gibson will not play against the Wings, nor will Ryan Getzlaf, Derek Grant or Nicholas Deslauriers. As a result, the 16-15-and-3 Wings will have to try to take advantage of the 18-11-and-7 Ducks, who are still a formidable opponent.

Red Wings on the ice at Honda Center, play Ducks tonight. pic.twitter.com/XK8zezJsNY— Helene St. James (@HeleneStJames) January 6, 2022

Meanwhile, confirming the Ducks’ news:

Per Coach Eakins:
John Gibson had a positive COVID test. Anthony Stolarz will start tonight.
Trevor Zegras skated with the team this morning but will not play.— Anaheim Ducks (@AnaheimDucks) January 6, 2022

Anyway, after the Wings’ morning skate…

Filip Zadina returns to Red Wings lineup tonight vs. Ducks after being healthy scratch Tuesday.— Helene St. James (@HeleneStJames) January 6, 2022

Jeff Blashill said Filip Zadina will return to the lineup tonight in Anaheim. #LGRW— Daniella Bruce (@daniellabruce_) January 6, 2022

Pretty cool perspective from Jeff Blashill on the Trevor Zegras / Sonny Milano goal:

He said there is too much of an emphasis on winning at a young age in hockey, while skill is high for youth players. “If we stifle ‘em, we won’t see many of ‘em.” pic.twitter.com/OMUwu76tea— Brad Galli (@BradGalli) January 6, 2022

Filip Zadina on being a healthy scratch in the last Red Wings game: “I gotta figure out what I need to do to be a better player overall.”

“Obviously I was frustrated,” he said. “I feel better.” pic.twitter.com/MvHkLFzNBh— Brad Galli (@BradGalli) January 6, 2022

From what I could tell in Red Wings morning skate, looked like Michael Rasmussen staying on the wing with Suter and Fabbri. Sam Gagner was centering line 4 between Zadina and Smith. Was some question as to whether Rasmussen would go back to C with Rowney injury, but he stays at W— Max Bultman (@m_bultman) January 6, 2022

Press release: Griffins release Humitz from pro try-out

Per the Grand Rapids Griffins:

GRAND RAPID, Mich. – The Grand Rapids Griffins on Thursday released left wing Max Humitz from his professional tryout.

Humitz appeared in one outing with Grand Rapids from Dec. 31-Jan. 5, during his fifth stint with the franchise this season. He registered an AHL season-high two points (1-1—2) on Jan. 5 against Milwaukee. Throughout his two-year career, the left winger has appeared in 17 AHL games, compiling eight points (4-4—8), two penalty minutes and a plus-seven rating. A native of Livonia, Mich., Humitz has skated in nine contests with the Griffins this campaign, registering three points (1-2—3) and a plus-five rating. Humitz, 26, has recorded 12 points (8-4—12) and a plus-two rating in 13 games with Kalamazoo (ECHL) this year.

Prospect Round-up Europe: Johansson posts assist in SHL

Of Red Wings prospect-related note in Europe:

In the SHL, Frolunda HC lost a 1-0 decision to Lulea Hockey, and they did so without Simon Edvinsson, who has COVID-19.

Elmer Soderblom finished even with 2 shots in 15:21 played, and Theodor Niederbach had 1 shot in only 3:02 played:

And, in Farjestads BK’s 3-2 win over Orebro Hockey:

Albert Johansson had an assist, finishing even with 2 shots in 17:48 played;

And Gustav Berglund did not play.

Red Wings-Ducks morning skate Tweets and articles: Zegras out, Gibson tests positive for COVID for Anaheim

I chose to not post a Red Wings-Ducks game preview ahead of tonight’s game between the teams (10 PM EST start on Bally Sports Detroit Plus/Bally Sports California/Bally Sports San Diego/97.1 FM) because the 18-11-and-7 Anaheim Ducks have a significant number of moving parts heading into tonight’s game.

Anaheim won its last game, a 4-1 decision over the Philadelphia Flyers, thanks to a Troy Terry hat trick, but they were without Nicholas Deslauriers, Derek Grant, Ryan Getzlaf and beloved-by-the-columnists rookie Trevor Zegras due to COVID protocols, and the team didn’t practice on Wednesday (nor did the Red Wings), so we won’t know what the Ducks’ lineup looks like until the morning skate begins.

The 16-15-and-3 Red Wings’ 6-2 win over San Jose on Tuesday snapped a stretch in which the Wings had lost 6 of their previous 8 games, but the Wings are 4-10-and-1 on the road, and Anaheim’s win over Philly snapped a 4-game losing streak, so both teams would like to get on a roll here.

As you probably know by now, the Boston Bruins have eclipsed the Red Wings in the Atlantic Division and Wild Card standings, but the Ducks sit only 2 points behind Vegas in the Pacific Division standings, so, again, the stakes are pretty high tonight.

Red Wings play-by-play announcer Ken Kal was the first person to say, “Hello” this “morning”:

Continue reading Red Wings-Ducks morning skate Tweets and articles: Zegras out, Gibson tests positive for COVID for Anaheim

Allen: Wings must match increased urgency, intensity of opponents

Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill bluntly challenged his team to play with increased urgency and intensity as the 2021-2022 season nears its halfway point, and Detroit Hockey Now’s Kevin Allen took note of Blashill’s remarks, as well as those of Red Wings captain Dylan Larkin:

Last Sunday, after a loss to the Bruins, Red Wings captain Dylan Larkin made an observation that drew everyone’s attention.

“I really felt when it’s gotten physical we’ve been mediocre,”  Larkin said. “We need to have better pushback when it gets physical.”

Larkin asked for more “pushback” and on Tuesday his teammates responded, Givani Smith came out against the Sharks and played physical from the beginning, Michael Rasmussen had one of his best games, making himself difficult to play against.

That’s really what this is all about. It’s not about fighting or roughing up your opponent. It’s about wearing down your opponent, making it miserable for them to play against you. Finishing checks. Being all over them when they have the puck. It’s driving hard to net. Forechecking relentlessly.

“Throughout the lineup we have to make sure we are making the opponent pay a hard price,” Blashill said.

That will be important tonight when the Red Wings start a three-game road trip with a game against the much-improved Anaheim Ducks. The Red Wings have played poorly on the road this season. They own 4-10-1 record in away games.  A good road trip might be what they need as they prepare for the second half of the season. The Red Wings are only one point behind Boston for a playoff spot. However, the Bruins have five games in hand.

The problem is the Red Wings aren’t the only team that will be looking to play with playoff urgency. Blashill said players on every team know they have “turn it up.”

Continued

Tweet of note: Daniella Bruce to fill in for Paul Woods on 97.1 the Ticket tonight

Congrats to DetroitRedWings.com’s Daniella Bruce:

BIG NEWS!! I will be filling in for the great Paul Woods on the @DetroitRedWings radio broadcast for tonight’s game in Anaheim! A huge thank to @KenKalDRW for teaching me so much & always believing in me 🙌🏻. Puck drop is at 10pm on @971theticketxyt. #LGRW— Daniella Bruce (@daniellabruce_) January 6, 2022

Looking forward to working with @daniellabruce_ on tonight’s broadcast. She has very good insight, a great communicator and has earned this opportunity. Speedy recovery to Paul Woods who should be back for the San Jose game. #gowings. @971theticketxyt @DetroitRedWings— Ken Kal (@KenKalDRW) January 6, 2022