Beat writers clarify Mantha’s status, and it’s weird: Healthy scratch?

#RedWings Blashill said Mantha was a healthy scratch.— Ansar Khan (@AnsarKhanMLive) February 7, 2021

Wouldn’t comment further.— Ansar Khan (@AnsarKhanMLive) February 7, 2021

Mantha was a healthy scratch today— Max Bultman (@m_bultman) February 7, 2021

Mantha a healthy scratch #RedWings— Ted Kulfan (@tkulfan) February 7, 2021

Jeff Blashill says Anthony Mantha was not an injury issue. Was sent a message by being made a healthy scratch.— Helene St. James (@HeleneStJames) February 7, 2021

I’m baffled. Mantha was fine against Tampa Bay, and the Wings could have used him.

Update: Here’s the full quote from MLive’s Khan:

“I just made a decision to go with the group I went with and any conversations I have with Anthony are private, between Anthony and I, and I’m not really going to comment further on it,” Blashill said.

Red Wings-Panthers series 2, game 1 quick take: Well that was fun (for once!)

The Detroit Red Wings attempted to snap their 6-game losing streak and 0-6-and-2 overall losing streak opposite a team which they have trouble beating in the Florida Panthers this afternoon.

Sunday’s game kicked off the second 2-game series between the teams, and the Red Wings…won…in stirring fashion?

According to Ken Daniels, the Red Wings earned their first win in 20 tries in the State of Florida via a 4-1 victory over the Panthers, a win in which Givani Smith got a Gordie Howe Hat Trick, Troy Stecher had 2 assists, Thomas Greiss earned his first win as a Wing with 36 stops, and Detroit kicked the Panthers off their winless-to-start-the-season streak with a complete game–minus Anthony Mantha, Tyler Bertuzzi, and, for most of the game, Luke Glendening.

Continue reading Red Wings-Panthers series 2, game 1 quick take: Well that was fun (for once!)

Prospect round-up: Sektov scores a game-tying marker; Providence vs. Merrimack at 2 PM

Of prospect-related note today:

In Europe, in the ICE Hockey League, Jesper Eliasson served as the back-up in the Red Bulls Salzburg’s 4-3 win over the Graz99ers;

Malte Setkov scored a late-game game-tying goal, finishing even with 4 shots in 25:35 played as AIK Stockholm lost 3-2 in OT to Vasteras IK. Gustav Berglund finished at -1 with 1 shot in 15:15 played for Vasteras;

And, at 2 PM EST today, in NCAA Hockey, Jack Adams and the Providence College Friars will battle Patrick Holway and the Merrimack College Warriors.

Update: Patrick Holway finished at -1 with 3 shots in the Merrimack College Warriors’ 3-2 win over Providence. Jack Adams finished at +1 for Providence.

Red Wings-Panthers second series pre-game talk

Updated @ 1:20 PM: Chris Dreidger will start opposite Thomas Greiss: The Detroit Red Wings and Florida Panthers kick off their second two-game series of the season this afternoon (3 PM EST on FSD/FS Florida/97.1 FM). The Wings enter the series with an 0-1-and-1 record versus the unbeaten Panthers.

Last night, I did my best to set up today’s morning skate-less matinee game, emphasizing that the Panthers’ lineup was subject to change; this morning, FloridaPanthers.com’s Jameson Olive offers a game preview

Already their third meeting this season, the Panthers won back-to-back games in Detroit on Jan. 30 and 31, taking both contests by a score of 3-2. Overall, Florida has won each of its last eight games against the Red Wings, while also earning at least one point in each of its last 10 games.

Sitting in last place in the Central Division at 2-8-2, Detroit has dropped each of their last eight games, including a 3-1 loss across the state at Tampa Bay on Friday. During their losing streak, the Red Wings have been outscored 33-13 while scoring more than two goals in just one game.

“We controlled what we could control and we showed up,” Detroit captain Dylan Larkin told reporters after the loss to the first-place Lightning. “That’s a heck of a hockey team over there.”

Let’s skip ahead to the goaltending match-up, which will probably involve CHris Driedger vs. the winless (0-6-and-2) Thomas Greiss…

Continue reading Red Wings-Panthers second series pre-game talk

Paper moves: Brome, Smith recalled from taxi squad, Biega assigned to taxi squad

Good news for the Mathias Brome fans:

HSJ in the morning: Blashill, Ryan discuss possibility of Wings producing repeatably better results

The Free Press’s Helene St. James posted an article which discusses the Red Wings’ belief that their reinforced roster can play “repeatably” better hockey over the next couple of weeks. As St. James notes, Wings coach Jeff Blashill and forward Bobby Ryan gave very similar answers regarding the team’s ability to find a winning formula now that its COVID-sidelined players have returned:

“It’s kind of cliche, but the answer kind of never changes,” Ryan said. “When you look at video and dissect the game, you have to look at the things that you did well and then find those bullet points and build on them. The first game (against the Lightning), we gave them the neutral zone and they had a field day with it. So when you look at the difference between the two, it’s a major contrast. We clogged the neutral zone up and made it hard for the to get through.

“We have to understand, we are not going to win track meets and things like that with offenses in this league. We are going to have to be low-scoring, one-goal games. Mentally those can get wearing when you are on the losing side of those things, but you just have to continue to go to work, and continue to do those little things and then eventually you start to see the fruit of the labor. The games get a little easier to play like that and then you build and you hope it turns. Especially in a year like this, you have to do it fairly quickly because there’s no runway to get behind teams.”

Continued

The Athletic’s Wheeler ranks the Wings as having the 4th-best prospect pool

The Athletic’s Scott Wheeler has been going through the NHL’s 31 teams’ prospect pipelines over the past month-and-a-half, ranking each and every team’s prospect pool. Wheeler ranks the Detroit Red Wings as having the 4th-best prospect pool in the NHL this morning:

No team has made more picks in the past four NHL Drafts than the Detroit Red Wings. In 28 draft rounds from 2017 to 2020, they have made 44 selections — in effect drafting more than six draft classes in a four-year span.

Being ranked No. 4 is the outcome of that. Many teams have done better, and been more consistent, relative to the picks they’ve had during this span, but the Red Wings’ commitment to acquiring picks through their rebuild has allowed them to take a lot of swings and connect often enough to have one of the better prospect pools in the league — even after graduating a player like Filip Zadina or trading a prospect like Alec Regula.

They should stay in this tier, give or take, for the near future too. Because even though several of their top prospects are set to graduate in the next year or two, the Red Wings are well-positioned to replace them at the 2021 draft, with six picks in the first three rounds at the moment and likely another top-five draft slot on the way.

The Red Wings’ pool has impressive depth at forward and on defence, with players of all different shapes and talent levels. They’re weakest in net, a position they have dedicated a ton of selections to with mixed results.

Continued at extended length (paywall)

Prospect Round-up, North American edition: Petruzzelli and Gylander headline a busy USHL/NCAA Saturday

Of prospect-related note in North America this Saturday:

In the USHL, Chase Bradley finished at -1 with 2 shots and a penalty taken in the Sioux City Musketeers’ 3-1 loss to Des Moines;

Kienan Draper finished even with 1 shot in the Omaha Lancers’ 3-2 loss to the Lincoln Stars, who played without Cross Hanas;

In NCAA Hockey, Sam Stange finished even with 3 shots in the University of Wisconsin Badgers’ 8-1 win over the University of Minnesota;

Keith Petruzzelli stopped 15 of 16 shots in the Quinnipiac Bobcats’ 2-1 win over St. Lawrence;

Carter Gylander stopped 26 of 27 shots in the Colgate Raiders’ 1-1 tie with Clarkson;

Jack Adams finished even in the Providence College Friars’ 5-1 win over Merrimack. Patrick Holway finished even with 4 shots for Merrimack;

Seth Barton finished even in the UMass-Lowell Riverhawks’ 7-6 OT loss to New Hampshire;

Antti Tuomisto had an assist, finishing at +1 with 2 shots in the University of Denver Pioneers’ 5-4 loss to the University of Nebraska-Omaha.

Red Wings-Panthers second series set-up: Wings head into Sunrise facing Panthers team unbeaten in 8 straight

The Detroit Red Wings begin their second 2-game series of the year against the Florida Panthers on Sunday (3 PM EST start on FSD/FS Florida/97.1 FM), a team that handed Detroit consecutive losses a week ago at Little Caesars Arena. The next two games will take place at the BB&T Center in Sunrise, Florida tomorrow and Tuesday.

Detroit is mired in a 6-game road losing streak and an 8-game winless streak (0-6-and-2), coming off a 3-1 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning, and while the Wings did practice on Saturday, details are scant relating what happened away from home, other than the fact that Jonathan Bernier and Tyler Bertuzzi remain sidelined with upper-body injuries.

Figuring out details about the Panthers is harder than usual this evening: the 6-0-and-2 Panthers are technically unbeaten, though they did “lose” a 6-5 OT decision to Nashville on Thursday before rebounding with a 2-1 win on Friday to split their latest series.

As a result of the team playing back-to-back games on consecutive nights, the Panthers did not practice on Saturday, and neither team will hold a morning skate on Sunday due to the early start time.

Field Level Media offers a very good game preview:

Continue reading Red Wings-Panthers second series set-up: Wings head into Sunrise facing Panthers team unbeaten in 8 straight

Prospect Round-up, European edition: Berggren’s assist, hints of Seider return around Valentine’s Day headline busy European Saturday

Of prospect-related note from Europe on Saturday:

In Belarus, Kirill Tyutyayev finished even with 2 shots and a minor penalty taken in Yunost Minsk’s 3-2 win over Neman Grodno;

In the Finnish Liiga, Kasper Kotkansalo finished at -1 with 3 shots in 18:36 played as Assat Pori won 5-2 over the Lahti Pelicans;

Victor Brattstrom served as the back-up in KooKoo’s 7-2 win over JYP;

In the SHL, Rogle BK won 3-2 in a shootout vs. Lulea Hockey minus Moritz Seider. HD.se, behind a paywall, hinted that Seider might return after the Beijer Hockey Games in mid-February, which clicks with all the other hints that Rogle BK’s website and other publications have suggested that Seider will be back around Valentine’s Day;

Joe Veleno finished at -2 with 2 shots in 15:53 played as the Malmo Redhawks lost 3-0 to Brynas;

Albert Johansson finished even in 17:23 played as Farjestads BK lost 3-2 to Linkoping;

Albin Grewe played only 3:01 in Djurgardens IF’s 3-2 loss to Vaxjo;

Jonatan Berggren had an assist, finishing at +1 with 2 shots in 14:49 played as Skelleftea AIK won 4-1 over Oskarshamn. As usual, IceHockeyGifs on Twitter has it covered:

And Lucas Raymond finished even with 5 shots on goal in 17:41 played, and Elmer Soderblom finished even with 2 shots in 12:41 as the Frolunda Indians lost 3-2 to Leksand. Rakapuckar had Raymond demoted to the 4th line, so he flexed his muscles a bit.

Update: Also, in the Swedish Allsvenskan, Theodor Niederbach finished even with 1 shot in 21:17 played (per the game summary) and William Wallinder finished with 2 shots in 14:43 (per the game summary) in MODO Hockey’s 2-1 OT win over Vita Hasten.