Player Impressions, Lines, & Injury Updates From Day 2 of the Red Wings Training Camp
Day two of Red Wings Training Camp thankfully didn't start off with any more injuries. All three teams practiced and Team Delvecchio and Team Lindsay had an entertaining afternoon scrimmage. After watching practices, drills, and scrimmages for two days we get a more accurate read on both players and line combinations as the potential Wings lines start to fall into place. With Darren Helm out for 2-4 weeks with a grade 1 (mild) shoulder separation after his on ice collision with camp invite Jerome Verrier, and Danny Cleary unable to participate due to a leg "issue" which we assume means at least one of them fell off, there were some team and line shuffles today.
Team Lindsay pulled out a 4-3 shootout win (box score) over Team Delvecchio with goals from Louis-Marc Aubry (Saarijarvi), Nick Betz, and Brendan Smith. Team Delvecchio got goals from Tomas Jurco (Mike Green), Ryan Sproul (Franzen, Jurco), and Tomas Tatar (Jurco).
Do you notice a trend in the scoring? Maybe, oh I don't know... Tomas Jurco had a goal and 2 assists with actual good offensive linemates?! What a mother f'ing concept!
Here were the lines in the Delvecchio vs Lindsay scrimmage.
Justin Abdelkader - Henrik Zetterberg - Gustav Nyquist
Drew Miller - Joakim Andersson - Landon Ferraro
Marty Frk - Louis-Marc Aubry - Jeff Hoggan
Evan Polei - Connor McGlynn - Nick Betz
Niklas Kronwall - Jonathan Ericsson
Brendan Smith - Jakub Kindl
Joe Hicketts - Vili Saarijarvi (aka the Tiny Terrors)
Jarrett Meyer - Jalen Chatfield
Jimmy Howard 1st 1/2
Jake Paterson 2nd 1/2 & the shootout
Tomas Jurco - Brad Richards - Tomas Tatar
Johan Franzen - Riley Sheahan - Luke Glendening
Mark Zengerle - Tomas Nosek - Dominic Turgeon
Adam Marsh - Colin Campbell - Zach Nastasiuk
Danny DeKeyser - Mike Green
Brian Lashoff - Ryan Sproul
Scott Czarnowczan - Richard Nedomlel
Ty Stanton - Jared Nightingal
Petr Mrazek 1st 1/2
Matt Mancina 1st 11 minutes of the 2nd 1/2
Connor Ingram 2nd 12 minutes of the 2nd 1/2 & the shootout
3 on 3
Richards - Tatar
Miller - Andersson
Jakub Kindl (Brendan Smith made a guest appearance)
Aubry - Frk
Nyquist - Zetterberg
Ferraro - Abdelkader
Sheahan - Glendening
Jurco - Franzen
- Reuniting Tomas Jurco and Tomas Tatar is a thing of beauty and Jeff Blashill is a very smart man. With Dan Cleary out of camp, Jurco was moved from Team Howe to Team Delvecchio and although it was only a scrimmage, Jurco immediately produced results and had a positive impact for his team; funny how that works, eh?
- Jonathan Ericsson looks like his hand may have finally healed. He's holding his stick with both hands (something he didn't do nearly enough last year) and he looks bigger (maybe he could actually work out this summer), stronger,and more mobile. I'm not saying he's top pairing material, but in my brief viewing he looks better than he did last year, that's for sure.
- I'm really skeptical of the Marchenko - Quincey pairing. Marchenko is a very structured, methodical, technical defenseman and Quincey is a laissez faire defender who will go with whatever and I'm not sure those two together compliment each other very well.
- Jimmy Howard was great, he played really well. Hicketts had a bad giveaway right in front of the net and Tomas Nosek was right on the doorstep and Jimmy stone him. Howard was fantastic all game and has some swagger, which is great to see.
- Tomas Nosek continues to look like he's ready to take the next step up to the NHL. He once again showed his graceful deft hands, speed, smarts, and two-way play.
- Vili Saarijarvi is may be small, but he's fast, can skate like the wind, and he's smart, shifty, and elusive. Louis-marc Aubry's goal was a product of Saarijarvi getting the puck off a defensive zone faceoff, skating through and around the several opposing players, skating in on net, passing the puck across the crease to Aubry who wound up and slapped it into the net. All the way from his defensive zone faceoff position, around everyone and in on net, and he made it look so easy.
- Mike Green got to show off some of his offensive capabilities today and it was really nice to watch and is something the Wings have been greatly missing. The pairing of Green DeKeyser so far looks like everything I hoped and expected it to be. They compliment each other and work well together, and DeKeyser's defensive prowess allows Green to take offensive risks, while knowing DDk has his back. This pairing is extremely exciting.
- Johan Franzen has jump, Johan Franzen is laughing, joking, harassing teammates, and Johan Franzen is playing like a healthy, recharged, mule. He looked very good today playing with Riley Sheahan and Luke Glendening and it's hard not to hope that he makes a comeback this year after watching him.
- I want to talk about Brad Richards, but I really don't have anything to say about him. He's there, he looks like he's fitting in for the most part, but he hasn't stood out to me in any way yet. That could be partly because he's new to the organization and still getting to know teammates, drills, and systems, and it's certainly not a bad thing to not stick out.
- Anthony Mantha is having more fun than I've ever seen him have, and it's so good to see because the more fun he has, the more he relaxes, and the better he plays. One of the things that stood out about him today in practice, as Kyle noted, is that his skating is really good and he was quick. He's still gripping his stick a bit too hard and sometimes putting too much pressure on himself, but he's made so much progress in the last year and I think as he continues to ease up on himself and enjoy his learning process, the quicker he'll progress.
- Andreas Athanasiou's speed is ridiculous and everyone know it, but his speed through the neutral zone with the puck on his stick is ludicrous. Kyle's observation is that he never seen anyone skate faster through the neutral zone than AA, it's just stupid how he'll already be going fast, then somehow go even faster. I got to watch AA and Larkin together in the Prospect Tournament and watching those two fly down the ice together was pure magic.
- Nick Jensen is one of the smartest defensemen on the ice. He's a cerebral, efficient, effective D man and he makes his position look easy, which is a sign of how good he is because it's definitely not easy. Kyle commented that in terms of puck management he's one of the smartest guys on the ice, and I agree. We raved about Jensen in his Top 15 Prospects post and he continues to show that he's really good and ready to take the next step.
- Evgeny Svechnikov was jittery and nervous when he came to Development Camp in July, but all those nerves are gone now and he even among an NHL heavy roster, he's noticeable for all the right reasons. He has a lethal shot and Kyle's dubbed him a Bull Shark for the aggressive way he pursues the puck. It's his first camp and he's not going to make the Red Wings roster yet, but for an 18 year old to come into his first camp and make an impression as favorable as he has, is a great sign for his future.
- Tyler Bertuzzi's been impressing a lot of people since he was drafted by the Wings, and he's shown he has more offensive upside than most people would have guessed just a couple short years ago. He's also been improving the defensive side of his game and there were a couple times today where he had really good back checks that were further evidence of his all around improvement.
Drills today focused heavily on defensive zone breakouts and coming through the neutral zone with speed. Getting the puck moving in the right direction and with speed is a good plan. Blashill's system centers around using speed and puck moving to generate offense, and as long as you're generating more goals for than against, offensive risks are encouraged. It's quite a difference from Babcock's defense first, low event, style of play. It's a more exciting hockey to watch, and again I was struck today by how much fun the players were having on the ice, the entire mood and atmosphere was light, fun, and enjoyable. Whether it was Tatar and Franzen goofing and yelling at each other on the ice, Tatar taunting Mrazek after scoring in practice, Mrazek playfully threatening to give Glendening a hook between the legs for standing in his crease, or even Jimmy Howard playfully goofing with teammates in practice; the entire feel of this team is different, and more fun and exciting. The Season can't start soon enough.