An early Wings-Kings preview from the AP

The Associated Press posted a bare-bones Red Wings-Kings preview over a day before the teams will face off on Saturday night:

BOTTOM LINE: Detroit hits the road against Los Angeles looking to end its three-game road skid.

The Kings are 10-8-2 on their home ice. Los Angeles ranks second in the Western Conference with 34.4 shots per game and is averaging 2.7 goals.

The Red Wings are 4-10-1 in road games. Detroit averages 8.9 penalty minutes per game, the 10th-most in the Eastern Conference. Givani Smith leads the team serving 46 total minutes.

The matchup Saturday is the first meeting of the season for the two teams.

TOP PERFORMERS: Adrian Kempe leads the Kings with 14 goals and has 20 points. Viktor Arvidsson has four goals and two assists over the last 10 games for Los Angeles.

Dylan Larkin has 32 total points while scoring 16 goals and totaling 16 assists for the Red Wings. Pius Suter has three goals and four assists over the last 10 games for Detroit.

LAST 10 GAMES: Kings: 6-3-1, averaging 2.6 goals, 4.2 assists, 4.2 penalties and 8.7 penalty minutes while giving up 2.6 goals per game with a .916 save percentage.

Red Wings: 4-6-0, averaging 2.9 goals, 4.5 assists, 3.8 penalties and 11 penalty minutes while allowing 3.4 goals per game with an .892 save percentage.

HSJ in the morning: Even more about Filip Zadina’s re-set

The Free Press’s Helene St. James offers her take on the topic of the day, one Filip Zadina’s status as a healthy scratch during Tuesday night’s Red Wings-Sharks game. In a subscriber-only article, St. James examines what Zadina needs to do to re-set his developmental curve:

The Wings have yet to see great hockey from the guy the former regime was thrilled to select when Zadina was available at No. 6 in the 2018 draft. Known for his shot, Zadina was projected to potentially speed up the rebuild. But Zadina, 22 and in his third season, has struggled to be effective. He has four goals and six assists in 32 games this season and 19 goals and 28 assists in 118 career games. This season and last, he has played in the top six with the likes of Pius Suter, Dylan Larkin and Robby Fabbri. He has also seen time on the third line, which does not draw the same level of defenders as the first two lines.

Zadina said he just has to keep believing in himself, especially when he’s in one of his favorite spots: Setting up for a one-timer in the right circle.

“I just have to either fake the shot and pass it back or just try to find a way to get it through the defensemen and get it on net,” Zadina said. “I just have to figure out what I do have to be better.”

When he found out he was scratched Tuesday, Zadina said he was, “disappointed for sure, I was pissed.” While his teammates enjoyed a 6-2 victory over the San Jose Sharks, Zadina, “was working out and watching the guys playing.” 

Zadina may just need time to figure out how to adopt a quicker and more accurate release. He noted it himself, twice, that, “I’m not the first or last who faces this situation. It’s hockey life. I’m not the first one or the last one who has been in this situation.”

Continued (paywall); as coach Jeff Blashill says in the article, Zadina needs to worry less about scoring goals and more about being a part of making plays and generally contributing to the Red Wings’ offense.

He’s a fine sniper, but he’s too selective with his shot–he tries to set up in that right wing faceoff circle spot so often that he’s become predictable–and the sooner he embraces becoming a better player over the entire ice surface, he’ll become more effective.

TSN’s Craig Button appears on ‘The Red & White Authority’

The Red Wings’ official podcast is back from its Christmas break, and TSN’s Craig Button discusses the Red Wings’ prospects with Art Regner:

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.