Training Camp Quotes, Player Updates, and Game Lines

Training Camp wrapped up this afternoon with players, coaches, and staff quickly dispersing after the final practice. Video equipment, white boards, player equipment, and tables were so quickly packed up and hauled out of the building that a couple hours after the last player left the ice you'd never know the chaos and activity that's been present for almost 12 days now. It's a sad, slightly empty feeling to see everyone leave, but it's also a relief to have things calm back down and it accentuates the excitement of hockey season being upon us. One great thing must end to that another must begin, as is so often the way of life. Being able to watch layer so closely both on and off the ice and getting to speak frankly with them has yielded quite a few observations that have made me incredibly excited for this upcoming season. Before I get to those tidbits, here's what I learned today.


In case you've been on a different planet since last night, Rob Scuderi hit Datsyuk in the pre-season game against the Penguins on Monday night and Datsyuk's shoulder hit the turnbuckle at the end of the Penguins bench. Pavel Datsyuk reluctantly spoke with the media for just over a minute, and when asked how he was feeling this morning he said

You better ask how glass is feeling

It's good to hear that his sense of humor wasn't damaged.

Oh how much time he thinks he'll miss, Pav said

I'm looking to not miss much time I hope just like one week.

He hasn't had an MRI yet, just "a good sleep" but he said seeing how he feels in the morning is the first step, then an MRI back in Detroit is the second. At this point I don't think anyone has a lot of detail on what the damage is or how much time he'll miss but both he and Babcock indicated that they didn't think it was serious today, although they thought it was more serious last night.

Darren Helm was the unlucky recipient of a broken nose and received a (not) nice cut under his eye when Beau Bennett tried to lift Helm's stick from behind and missed the stick completely, getting only Helmer's face. Helm didn't practice today but he did watch video with the rest of the non game day players. Datsuk was kind enough to give us a pretty good evaluation on how Helm looked today.

He ready for Halloween

Ryan Sproul also did not practice today, but Babcock indicated that he's ok, and the bumps and bruises (and broken noses I guess) are part of pre-season hockey.


Mike Babock's brief comments on the rookie defensemen in their first pre-season game was almost identical to mine, which made me feel pretty smart for at least a few minutes.

We'll just keep watching them play. I thought Ouellet had a strong game, Sproul did some good things offensively, Marchy looked like he hadn't played since February because he hasn't, and Backman's just getting used to hockey over here so all in all a good night for those guys.


Mattias Backman gave us a few minutes of his time, and he's a lot of fun to talk with. He smiled a lot while we talked with him and though he was searching for the right words in English to convey his answers, his English is improving noticeably. He started his interview off with a smile and a wink, and he was friendly and accommodating as he talked about his first NHL experience, first training camp, the pace of the game, what it's like coming over from Europe, and how he can be effective despite being a skinnier defenseman.

"It was really fun to play [in my first NHL game] really tough to play though, so lot of good experience for me to see what's goal up there. It's the first game of the season and both team worked hard but I think we had a good team effort all the game. It's tough for me though coming from Europe to play in the smaller rink but I learn every day and it's really fun to play at the smaller rinks. The angles is different, lot different when I dump the puck is goes much faster round and that stuff. These days here have been really fantastic. The people around are very helpful and the staff here, everything is so good. I learn a lot of things so everything is good. I try to work hard on things in the defense zone that's the most important for me, to be on the right side and stuff. I know if I play good defense I should play good offense too. I'm not the biggest guy but I can try to play smart, use my stick more and be on the right side. I'm very tall and I have a very tall stick too so I have to use it. It's going to be the first time in Detroit so I looking forward to that."

We got to speak with Colin Campbell as well and if you don't know what he looks like, but want to make sure you can identify him, just picture a 6'1" 203 pound mix between Jeff Hoggan and Luke Glendening.

"One of the things Babs said at the beginning of the game was whose first exhibition game is this, a couple of us raised our hands, and he said just enjoy the experience. That's what we tried doing, just focusing on the little things and playing our game I think you just want to separate yourself from other players and I play a bit of a different game than a lot of the other players here. A lot of the other players are skilled offensive guys and like I said I try to focus on the little things, defensive game, finish checks, grind defensemen down low and I think I separate myself a little bit that way. I like to use my body, I'm not the biggest guy but I'm a real aggressive physical player and that's the part I enjoy most in the game. It's been pretty intense right fro the get go right at prospect tournament. The NHL you can tell, those guys are pros and they're in here every day working hard, even before practice and it's been an intense week. As far at the staff and on ice goes it's pretty similar [in Detroit versus Grand rapids], we run the same systems and everything like that so it actually helps a lot. The systems aren't too overwhelming or anything like that but it's definitely a step up and guys are more intense and better hockey players.

He also commented on the way the Wing use video to help teach the players

[it helps] a lot. They have tons of clips from last year and even last night's game they showed us clips and it's better to see visually than just hear it and it helps a lot with the understanding of where you need to be and when you need to be there.


Lines for tonight's game against the Chicago Blackhawks will be:

Johan Franzen Henrik Zetterberg Gustav Nyquist
Justin Abdelkader Stephen Weiss Kevin Porter
Teemu Pulkkinen Luke Glendening Mitch Callahan
Andrej Nestrasil Tomas Nosek Landon Ferraro
Danny DeKeyser Jakub Kindl
Kyle Quincey Brendan Smith
Brian Lashoff Aaron Rome
Jonas Gustavsson 1st & 2nd period
Petr Mrazek 3rd period

Let's Go Red Wings!!!