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10/29 Quick Hits

Here are some quick hits from around the league and Detroit:

  • The NHL trade deadline has been pushed back a day. Previously, the deadline was on March 3rd. Later that day, there were 12 games planned meaning that many teams may be short players for their games later that evening. As a result, the deadline is now on March 4th where there is only two games.
  • Wings head coach Mike Babcock says that every night is a grind in the NHL. He said that you used to have the top and bottom teams in the league, while today each team is much closer to the center. His statement rings true as the Wings have won five of their seven wins by one goal and the other two wins only had a second goal extra due to an empty-netter.
  • While the spotlight has been appropriately fixed to the Wings top two lines, the third line isn't doing all that shabby. While Valtteri Filppula and Jiri Hudler only had two goals combined in the first seven games, each one has scored a timely goal in the last two games. Filppula tied the game against LA with just 1:54 left to send it into overtime. The Wings went on to win it in overtime. Jiri Hudler scored in the third to give the Wings the lead, but Patrick Kane of the Blackhawks scored to tie it up to head into OT. The Wings also won that shootout. These timely goals will hopefully help boost the confidence of those two and we'll start seeing more results from them.
  • Last Friday, the Wings faced off against the Atlanta Thrashers on their Breast Cancer Awareness Night. Between the puck draw, silent auction and Hockey Fights Cancer merchandise sales, the Wings were able to raise $27,000! The proceeds raised will benefit local Detroit families fighting breast cancer.
  • Sports Illustrated reporter Darren Eliot argues that the rules formed after the lockout to limit obstruction has, in fact, helped teams encourage their defensemen to become more offensive. He uses the Red Wings as an example to prove his case:

You add it all up and the NHL must feel a sense of satisfaction. The game is being played at a blistering pace and only getting better. Yet, mandates go only so far. The best endorsement comes from the Stanley Cup champion Detroit Red Wings. We all think of their remarkable skill and marvel at their ability to control the puck. But watch the Wings closely. Their defensemen -- from Nicklas Lidstrom through Brett Lebda -- engage in the rush and their forwards are masterful at establishing inside position on defenders with their bodies.

The result? The Red Wings get the puck to the point and shoot quickly -- with people at the net. It's as simple as that and it is beautiful in its execution -- the essence of a five-man attack. Judging by the number of teams that emphasized retooling their backend this summer, plenty of people have been taking note.

  • The Detroit Examiner published an interesting article on how the Wings decide what to pack for their 10 day road trip that travels through different climates (the Windy City, sunny California, and rainy Vancouver).