The Red Wings held their annual Red and White game on the final day of Training Camp. This was really the first look at 5 on 5 hockey we’ve had in training camp this year, since more of the focus has been at getting special teams and situations up and running smoothly.
|Red & White Game|
|Red Team||White Team|
|Left Wing||Center||Right Wing||Left Wing||Center||Right Wing|
|Andreas Athanasiou||Dylan Larkin||Anthony Mantha||Riley Sheahan||Darren Helm||Gustav Nyquist|
|Steve Ott||Luke Glendening||Drew Miller||Eric Tangradi||Tomas Nosek||Mitch Callahan|
|Tyler Bertuzzi||Matt Lorito||Marty Frk||MIke Borkowski||Ben Street||Evgeny Svechnikov|
|Dylan Sadowy||Kyle Criscuolo||Zach Nastasiuk||Givani Smith||Louis-Marc Aubry||Colin Campbell|
|Dominic Turgeon||Matthew Ford|
|Left Defense||Right Defense||Left Defense||Right Defense|
|Jonathan Ericsson||Mike Green||Danny DeKeyser||Brendan Smith|
|Nathan Paetsch||Nick Jensen||Xavier Ouellet||Ryan Sproul|
|Joe Hicketts||Dan Renouf||Brian Lashoff||Robbie Russo|
|Jimmy Howard||Jared Coreau|
|Jake Paterson||Edward Pasquale|
|Power Play||Power Play|
|Penalty Kill||Penalty Kill|
|Ericsson||Larkin (Green in box)||DeKeyser||Smith|
The game was two 25 minute stopped clock periods, with the last 5 minutes of the 2nd period being played 3 on 3. Jimmy Howard played the first period in net for the red team, and Jake Paterson played the 2nd period. For the white team, Jared Coreau played the first period and Edward Pasquale played the 2nd.
The white team beat the red team 6-5, while the red team outshot white 37-33. You can check out the box score and game sheet for the timeline of what happened when, and the rest of the stats. Here’s what the scoring looked like, and it’s worth noting that Matt Lorito’s goal at the end of the game was a 4 on 3 goal with their goalie pulled.
Here’s what you can’t find in the box score:
- With so many of the Wings big name players either injured or still away due to the World Cup of Hockey, there were a lot more prospects playing in this game and it had a more competitive, rough feel than usual. It felt like more competition between the players and less of an exhibition game feel.
- Since this was the real first look at 5 on 5 hockey in training camp, it was very interesting to see how players were used and how some of the systems have changed. One of the things I was specifically watching, was how the defense was used. Blashill’s system involves activating the defense more, getting them up into the rush, freeing them up to go deeper into the offensive zone if they have a good opportunity, and relying on a forward to cycle back and cover the open point. I’ve talked a lot about this system in the past, because it’s what we saw in Grand Rapids with Blashill as the head coach; we expected to see it last year, but never really did. We saw it in training camp, and especially in the red & white game. Typically there was one defenseman who would join the rush while his partner would stay behind and cover the blue line and be the "safe" guy.
- Communication between the players was much more noticeable, but the goalies were heavily relied on for directing traffic and giving directions to his teammates. I can tell you that a goalie sees the ice and the game differently than skaters, partly just because they’re at the end of the rink and have a view of the entire ice surface, so it’s easier to see the big picture.
- Marty Frk skates like a hockey player and was making moves like a hockey player! I mean that in the best way, because I am so proud of how much he’s improved even just over the summer. His skating is miles better than it ever has been and he was skating, handling the puck and shooting, and I am so proud of him. I know he’s not a guy that’s expected to make the team, and from the long term roster standpoint isn’t a hot topic, but he’s come such a long way and assuming the Wings put him on waivers, he’s making a good case for another team to pick him up.
- Jared Coreau was fantastic in the period he played in, stopping all 20 shots he faced. He’s put in a ton of training and work into improving his game and it shows. He should be the starting goalie for the Griffins this season and is a viable option to eventually be the backup to Petr Mrazek in Detroit.
- Tomas Nosek suffered a knee injury that will keep him out of the first pre-season game on Tuesday and is "day-to-day" beyond that. This is sad, frustrating, and infuriating, not only because it hurts Nosek’s chances of making a preseason case to be on the team, but also because the injury was from something stupid. Steve Ott hit Nosek late enough after Nosek passed the puck, that I didn’t even see the hit happen because I was watching the players with the puck. This was a scrimmage game, and Ott decided to hit one of his own teammates in the knee, and Nosek left the game. After the incident, JJ wrote a much needed article about Ott that I agree with. This was stupid, mean, and unnecessary and now a young player is going to miss chances to try and earn a spot on the Wings roster because of it.
Blashill said that he’ll use a line of Andreas Athanasiou - Dylan Larkin - Anthony Mantha for 1 pre-season game, and I’m going to love the crap out of watching that line. Larkin and Athanasiou have incredible speed and skilled hands, and the new and improved Mantha is a great compliment to their skillsets. When I saw Mantha for the first time in camp, I was shocked at how much bigger he looked, and how much stronger he was against other players. Blashill said of Mantha
"He’s bigger for certain than he was. As soon as I saw him, I thought wow he’s definitely put the work in. I was curious to see what he looks like on the ice. Sometimes when you put more body mass on you’re a little bit more clumsy and he’s not at all. He’s as fluid as he was but he’s got more body mass and he’s just as quick and fast. He’s had a good first four days, I thought he was good today, I think he’s been good everyday in practice and now he gets a change in exhibition."
Preseason vs Pittsburgh
The Penguins released their roster for the first preseason game against the Wings on Tuesday night and hopefully we’ll find out the Wings roster soon. The game gets underway at 7:30 in Detroit