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Quick Hits: The College to Pros Edition

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In Red Wings Land

Ryan Kuffner ready to shoot puck in Red Wings debut Saturday | MLive

Kuffner, 22, took part in Thursday’s morning skate and went through his first full practice Friday, skating on a line with Frans Nielsen and Thomas Vanek.

“I think the biggest thing was just trying to get comfortable,” Kuffner said, before learning he was playing Saturday. “Even in the laps, before practice, just trying to get the hands going. I think that’s the biggest thing. At the end of the day it’s just hockey. You’re just getting thrown into the corners and up the ice.”

I don’t know much about this kid, but I’m looking forward to seeing him play for the Red Wings this afternoon against the Islanders. It’s always fun to watch new kids get a chance. According to Khan(!), he’s practicing on one of the power play units and is being put in a position to rip some one-timers.

Bold prediction: Kuffner scores his first career NHL goal today.

Around the League

The most appreciated ‘underappreciated’ NHL players | ESPN

It’s the siloing of postseason awards that happens everywhere except basketball: Pitchers have “their” award in baseball, and goalies have “their” trophy in hockey. Do you know why Nicklas Lidstrom, who was more valuable to the Red Wings during his career than Bergeron has been to the Bruins, was never a Hart finalist? Because the same writers made him a Norris Trophy finalist nine times. Do you know why Bergeron hasn’t been better than fifth for the Hart? Because he’s been a Selke finalist for the past seven years, including a season where he missed 18 games.

It’s a solid list from Wyshynski. I felt like quoting the above text just because it mentioned Lidstrom. There’s a whole chunk about Patrice Bergeron never earning a first place vote for the Hart Trophy, but the real shame is that Lidstrom never won the trophy, let alone be nominated for it.