Red Wings-Canadiens mega morning skate Tweets and articles: Game previews, Habs pre-game pressers, Allen starts for MTL; Wings go with 12F, 6D

The Detroit Red Wings face an unenviable task in battling the winless Montreal Canadiens (0-and-5) tonight at 7 PM EDT (on Bally Sports Detroit/City TV/TVA Sports/ESPN+97.1 FM) and then the Chicago Blackhawks (0-4-and-1) tomorrow night.

In theory, the 2-1-and-1 Red Wings can make quite the statement by pushing the Habs to the first 0-and-6 start by a Stanley Cup Finalist ever, and yes, if the Wings were to sweep this weekend’s games, they’d serve notice to the rest of the NHL; more realistically, earning a split would afford Detroit genuine optimism regarding their start while vanquishing at least one of their historical opponents, and a winless weekend…Would not be good.

Anyway, the Canadiens took to the ice around 10:30, per the Montreal Gazette’s Stu Cowan…

Complete rosters for tonight’s game between #Habs and Red Wings at the Bell Centre #HabsIO:— Stu Cowan (@StuCowan1) October 23, 2021

Both rinks being used this morning at Bell Sports Complex in Brossard #Habs #HabsIO— Stu Cowan (@StuCowan1) October 23, 2021

#Habs head coach Dominique Ducharme speaking with his players at morning skate in Brossard #HabsIO— Stu Cowan (@StuCowan1) October 23, 2021

Not surprisingly, Jake Allen will get the start for Montreal, per TVA Sports’ Renaud Lavoie:

Continue reading Red Wings-Canadiens mega morning skate Tweets and articles: Game previews, Habs pre-game pressers, Allen starts for MTL; Wings go with 12F, 6D

Prospect Round-up, Europe: Edvinsson plays 23:30 in SHL; LDN 1+1 in J20

Of prospect-related note in Europe on Saturday:

In the SHL, William Wallinder finished even with 1 shot in 13:19 played in Rogle BK’s 3-1 win over Lulea;

Albert Johansson finished even with 1 shot in 19:45 played as Farjstads BK won 4-1 over Timra;

In terms of the Frolunda trio: Frolunda HC lost 4-3 in overtime to the Malmo Redhawks, and:

Simon Edvinsson finished even with 4 shots in a massive 23:30 played:

Follow #7 Edvinsson on this sequence as he makes multiple smart plays to create and maintain o-zone pressure for Frölunda, leading to the 2-0 goal. #LGRW— IcehockeyGifs (@IcehockeyG) October 23, 2021

Theodor Niederbach finished even with a shot in 15:19 played;

And Elmer Soderblom finished at -1 with 1 shot in 14:49 played;

In the Swedish J20 league, Liam Dower Nilsson scored a goal and added an assist (and took 3 penalties, including a game misconduct) in Frolunda HC’s 5-3 win over Farjestads BK;

Finally, in the Finnish Liiga, Eemil Viro finished even with 3 shots in 15:11 played as TPS Turku won 1-0 over HPK.

Alliance of European Hockey Clubs names Seider its ‘Young Player of the Year,’ nominates Datsyuk (and others) for ‘Career Excellence Award’

The Alliance of European Hockey Clubs is announcing some awards this morning and announcing nominees for others as part of its European Hockey Forum today, and one Red Wings player won an award…

While another was nominated for an award:

Bultman engages in a Q and A with Mark Howe

The Athletic’s Max Bultman engaged in a lengthy Q and A with Mark Howe this morning, discussing many topics with the 66-year-old hockey legend, who’s just retired from his job as the Red Wings’ director of pro scouting:

What made this the right time for you to retire?

Well, it’s hard to explain. I remember when I used to ask my dad when I was a player, every once in a while I’d call him and say, ‘Dad, how do you know when it’s time to retire?’ And all he said was, ‘Ah, you’ll know.’ And I always used to say, ‘Well dad, that’s a bad answer. Doesn’t help me at all,’ and we’d laugh, but I think it was maybe about two years into it, a year and a half, something like that, and I was coming home from a game down at the Joe. We beat somebody convincingly, and I did my job, and the team won and it was a routine victory, but it hit me that night: I just didn’t feel the same anymore, for whatever reason. So I remember I called Dad up in Traverse City, I said, ‘Well, I get what you’re talking about now,’ and I made the decision that night it was time to retire.

I think last year, I think with all that was going on with the pandemic and with so much going on, and (there had) been a health issue with my longtime girlfriend here at home, so I think you put it all together. But the bottom line was, and I told Steve Yzerman, I just said, ‘Steve, it’s time. I know it’s time.’ I’ve worked really hard at scouting. I put as much effort into it as I did my playing days, and I just can’t do the 150, 155 games and all the travel and all that, the big commitment that it takes to do the scouting job properly — the way I would go at it every year.

My body and brain and everything else were saying it’s time to go, and it’s time to let it go and move on to the next step in my life. So that’s basically what it came down to.

Continued (paywall)

Praise for the Red Wings’ and Pistons’ ‘team toughness’

The Free Press’s Shawn Windsor wrote a “Spirit of the Thing” column which extols the virtues of the Red Wings and Pistons as tougher, don’t-take-any-shit teams this morning:

The Wings and Pistons aren’t close to contention. But then, you knew that.  

What you may not have known, at least until the last couple of weeks, is how much the city’s winter teams are beginning to embody Detroit. Yes, we’re not even a week into the NBA schedule and barely two weeks into the NHL’s — but the physicality and toughness both teams have displayed isn’t an accident.  

It’s by design, specifically those of Steve Yzerman and Troy Weaver. Even in the small sample size of five combined games, it’s easy to see. 

Whether it’s Dylan Larkin dropping his gloves after taking a swing at Tampa Bay’s Mathieu Joseph in the season opener or Givani Smith curling three left hooks into Calgary’s Milan Lucic on Thursday night, the Detroit Red Wings aren’t taking anything.  

From anyone.  

Continued; the Red Wings and Pistons are certainly “prickly,” but I think that the Wings’ team toughness is a work in progress…

Prospect round-up: Cossa wins again; Draper posts 2A in BCHL; Phillips posts 2A, Gylander stops 35 in NCAA

Of prospect-related note on Friday:

In the QMJHL, Jan Bednar served as the back-up in the Acadie-Bathurst Titan’s 3-0 loss to Rouyn-Noranda;

In the OHL, Pasquale Zito finished even with 2 shots and a 2-for-7 faceoff record in the Windsor Spitfires’ 3-2 shootout loss to Kitchener;

In the WHL, Sebastian Cossa stopped 27 of 29 shots in the Edmonton Oil Kings’ 9-2 win over Brandon (for what it’s worth, after 8 games, Cossa has a 1.37 GAA and a .948 save percentage);

Alex Cotton scored 2 goals, finishing at -2 with 3 shots, in the Lethbridge Hurricanes’ 6-3 loss to Red Deer;

Cross Hanas finished at -2 with 1 shot in the Portland Winterhawks’ 5-2 loss to Everett;

In the BCHL, Kienan Draper had 2 assists, finishing even in the Chilliwack Chiefs’ 7-3 win over Merritt;

In NCAA Hockey, Ethan Phillips had 2 assists, finishing even with 1 shot, and Robert Mastrosimone finished even with 2 shots in the Boston University Terriers’ 3-2 loss to Merrimack;

Cooper Moore finished at -2 with 1 shot in the University of North Dakota Fighting Hawks’ 5-2 loss to Quinnipiac;

Carter Gylander stopped 35 of 38 shots in the Colgate Raiders’ 8-3 win over the Arizona State University Sun Devils. Ryan O’Reilly had an assist, finishing at -2 with 2 shots for Arizona State;

Antti Tuomisto had an assist, finishing even with 3 shots in the University of Denver Pioneers’ 6-5 loss to Providence.

Carter Mazur also had an assist, finishing at +1 with 1 shot, and Shai Buium finished even with 1 shot for Denver;

Red Savage had an assist, finishing at +1 with a 7-and-5 faceoff record, as the Miami of Ohio Redhawks tied Bowling Green 2-2;

Jack Adams had an assist, finishing at +1 in the University of Notre Dame Fighting Irish’s 6-0 win over Rochester;

And Sam Stange finished even with 2 shots in the University of Wisconsin Badgers’ 5-1 loss to St. Cloud State.

Recap: Griffins drop 1-0 decision to Manitoba, despite Pickard’s 37-save performance

The Grand Rapids Griffins kicked off their two-game stint opposite the Manitoba Moose with less than their best effort, affording the Moose a home-opening 1-0 victory on Friday night.

Calvin Pickard stopped 37 of 38 Moose shots; Riley Barber had 5 shots, Jared McIsaac, Taro Hirose and Joe Veleno had 3 shots apiece, and Chase Pearson took 2, but none of the Griffins’ players could dent Mikhail Berdin, so Cole Maier’s mid-game goal stood up as the gamer.

The Grand Rapids Griffins’ website posted a game recap:

WINNIPEG, ManitobaCalvin Pickard’s season-high37 saves proved to be not enough as the Grand Rapids Griffins fell short 1-0 to the Manitoba Moose at Canada Life Centre on Friday night.

The Moose came out firing as Pickard was called upon to make some key saves early in the contest. With 6:22 remaining in the first, Grand Rapids went on a four-minute power play but was only able to generate two attempts on goal. Shots favored Manitoba 12-6 but neither team created a quality scoring chance and the clubs headed into the first intermission with the score knotted up at zero.

The Moose went right back on offense to start the second and Pickard was tested once more. Just 1:14 into the frame, Cole Perfetti fired a shot from the right point that was saved by Pickard’s right shoulder and the rebound attempt from Austin Poganski was smothered by the netminder in the crease. Pickard’s 37 saves are his most since Jan. 5, 2020 when he made 39 stops in a 4-5 losing effort at San Antonio.

At the 14:31 mark, Manitoba’s Cole Maier broke the stalemate to give the Moose the game-winning tally. A turnover by the Griffins in their own zone found Maier just inside the blueline and he rifled a 50-foot wrister just inside the right post.

Continue reading Recap: Griffins drop 1-0 decision to Manitoba, despite Pickard’s 37-save performance

Red Wings-Canadiens set-up: Detroit prepares for back-to-back games vs. winless, desperate Habs, Hawks

The 2-1-and-1 Detroit Red Wings face a unique situation in facing the 0-and-5 Montreal Canadiens on Saturday night (7 PM EDT on Bally Sports Detroit/City TV/TVA Sports/ESPN+/97.1 FM), kicking off a stretch of back-to-back games against winless teams (the Red Wings also battle the 0-4-and-1 Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday at 7 PM EDT).

Montreal is 0-and-5 for the first time since 1995, per the Detroit News’s Steve Kornacki, and Sportsnet’s Eric Engels reported that no Stanley Cup Finalist has ever gone 0-and-6 to start their season.

The Red Wings, of course, will be without Tyler Bertuzzi due to his vaccination status, and are coming off a 3-0 loss to the Calgary Flames on Thursday; Montreal most recently lost a 4-1 decision to Jesperi Kotkaniemi and the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday, and Sportsnet’s Justin Bourne reminds us that the Canadiens are without Carey Price and Shea Weber, among others.

Put bluntly, the Montreal press corps and Canadiens partisans are going crazy in both English and French due to the Canadiens’ struggles, and things aren’t much cheerier in Chicago, so the young Red Wings face extraordinary challenges in attempting to kick two nemeses while they’re down–and desperate.

Detroit chose to cancel practice on Friday; Montreal did practice on Friday, but the Canadiens did practice, and they spoke with the media afterward. The Montreal Gazette’s Stu Cowan will lead our game preview off, however, with a “state of the franchise”

Continue reading Red Wings-Canadiens set-up: Detroit prepares for back-to-back games vs. winless, desperate Habs, Hawks

Duff wonders aloud where the Wings’ response was for Matthew Tkachuk

As Detroit Hockey Now’s Bob Duff notes–and those of you who follow me on Twitter have noted–when Matthew Tkachuk slashed Lucas Raymond on the leg yesterday night, there was no response from the Red Wings, and that pissed off partisans all over the world:

During the first period [on Thursday], Flames agitator Matthew Tkachuk was at it again. He just seems to know how to get under the skin of the Red Wings.

Tkachuk responded to some mutual bumping by delivering a slash to the back of the legs of Red Wings rookie forward Lucas Raymond. Raymond went to the ice in a heap before hobbling to the bench. Tkachuk paid no penalty for his illegal act – from the game officials in terms of a penalty, or from any Red Wings players in the form of retribution.

To a man, Wings players are talking about how this team is sticking up for each other. They boast of the chemistry and the bonding within their dressing room.

“We have a tight-knit group in our locker room, all good buddies and we look after each other on and off the ice,” Bertuzzi said. “That’s just what happens when you’re so close in the locker room, building chemistry and doing it the right way.”

This certainly was in evidence through the first three games but wasn’t showing on Thursday. There needed to be some sort of response to Tkachuk, letting him and everyone else know that messing with the Red Wings’ kids isn’t alright.

Duff continues; I don’t believe that hockey is a space any more where you need a dedicated enforcer to immediately challenge Tkachuk to a fight, but whether it’s Givani Smith, Michael Rasmussen, Mar Staal or someone else, the Wings did need someone to give Tkachuk a rough ride for at least a couple of shifts thereafter, and that didn’t happen on Thursday.

As it turns out, Bertuzzi will miss 3 of the Wings’ next 6 games

I’ve been looking at the October calendar and noting that Tyler Bertuzzi will miss 2 of the Red Wings’ next 5 October games due to his unvaccinated status. Detroit Hockey Now’s Kevin Allen turned the calendar to November, and, as it turns out, Bertuzzi will miss the Wings’ first game in November as well.

That adds up to missing 3 of the Wings’ next 6 games for Bertuzzi. It’s not hard to suggest that Bertuzzi has every right to decline vaccination, but, thanks to Canada’s travel ban for unvaccinated players, there’s also no doubt that Bertuzzi’s “personal decision” affects his ability to perform his job:

Next weekend, the Red Wings play in Toronto on Saturday and then in Montreal on Tuesday as part of a four-game road trip.  GM Steve Yzerman is more likely to call up a player from Grand Rapids when Bertuzzi misses two games.

Presuming Bertuzzi will join the team in Boston on Wednesday, he will miss two practices in Montreal. When he takes the ice Thursday in Boston, he will not have played for six days.

Bertuzzi knows it’s important for the rebuilding Red Wings to have a strong start.

“Not just this start but look at the first 10-15-20 games,” Bertuzzi said. “Just play good hockey and try to have a winning record and just build from there. The chemistry is there and it’s going to continue to be there. If we can just keep playing the way we’re doing, playing a little bit smarter just keep doing it the right way, we’re gonna get some more wins.

It’s not as if the Red Wings aren’t used to playing without Bertuzzi. He only played nine games last season because of injury. But it is different when you know a teammate is sitting in his living room watching on TV when he could be playing

Continued; Bertuzzi’s forfeiting salary as well, a total of $450,000, for the sake of not “getting the jab,” and you can say a lot of things about his decision, but the word “selfish” rightly belongs in there, as Darren McCarty suggested.

Actions have consequences, and the Red Wings will have to learn to play without one of their most important, effective players over the next two weeks as a result. That’s the bottom line.