Monday, March 25, 2013

3/25 Wings at Coyotes Game Day Updates

     The Red Wings visit the Phoenix Coyotes, game time 10 PM EST aka, way too late for a hockey game.  

     Detroit prospect, and stud Swedish center Calle Jarnkrok will play 9 games with the Grand Rapids Griffins starting Thursday night. It was announced last week that upon the elimination of his team Brynas of the Swedish Elite League from the playoffs, he would come visit Detroit for a few days and get to know the organization, player, and coaches a little bit. This is an amazing, unexpected opportunity for Jarnkrok to get a taste of North American style hockey, and also for the coaches to watch him in action. As an extra added bonus, I'll be in Grand Rapids to watch him play while he's here and I can't wait. Jarnkrok won't be called up to the Wings, because in order to do so he would have to pass through waivers and he'd be snatched up so fast that time would actually move backwards. 

Bob Duff asked director of player development Jiri Fischer what he thinks of Jarnkrok...

"Calle is the most exciting player in Sweden aged 21 and under. He loves the puck. He's got a ton of personality on the ice and he wants to be a great player."

Another bonus regarding Jarnkrok is his name, which literally translates to "Iron Hook". 

     Damien Brunner will be back in the lineup tonight after being a healthy scratch for the first time in his short NHL career. Brunner is in a bit of a slump and hasn't scored in his last 12 games and has 5 assists in that time period. In the last two games, Babcock moved him down to the third/fourth line and put Miller up on Zetterberg's wing. Interpreting Brunner being a healthy scratch as punishment, or disciplinary in any way is, in my opinion, a big mistake. Having a game off was an opportunity for Brunner to rest a little, watch the game from a different vantage point and take a breather. At the beginning of the season, Brunner said
"Since I got here, I feel like I have no time to study the stats because I’m always sleeping and recovering and eating..."

     The regular NHL season is grueling, but the compressed season is even more intense. Brunner has a lot of learning and adjusting to do in the NHL, and I'm sure he's exhausted and worn out, both mentally and physically. Having a night off may be just what the doctor ordered.

     Brian Lashoff was the latest Red Wing to take a puck to the face last night, but was fortunate to only require two stitches on the bottom of his jaw and is no worse for the wear.

     Gustavsson will be starting tonight, giving Jimmy Howard a breather after playing 5 straight games. Monster hasn't played since the loss in Calgary and the Wings will need him to rebound from a bad game and play strong and confident against Phoenix.
     The Wings' power play has been picking up some steam lately. After going their first 10 away games without a power play goal (0/40), they have now scored one in each of the previous five games,  which is the best road pp streak since an 8 game run in 2011. They have scored on 7 of their last 24 chances on the road. Let's hope they keep it up.

     Todd Bertuzzi was on the ice again to skate a little bit before the team practiced this morning, but was frustrated because he said he's making not progress and  has a pinched nerve in his right leg (an extension of his back issues). Because of it, he still can't push off with that leg and has very little strength left in it.

     Colaiacovo has been take off IR but won't play yet. Babcock said he's going to have to show in practice that he's ready to play and is back in game shape and earn his spot in the lineup. 

     Mikael Samuelsson is said to be ready to return as early as Sunday. In order for the Wings to take him off IR, they will have to remove someone from the roster to be at the 23 man roster limit.

     One forward will be scratched so Brunner can return to the lineup. Babcock said he was going to look at the Phoenix lineup before making the decision of who would sit. Since he hasn't announced who it will be yet, I'm going to guess that it will be Eaves or Tootoo, based on nothing other than a gut feeling; however there's also a chance that it's Nyquist. Defense will be the same as Sunday in Anaheim.

A few fun tidbits:

N. Kronwall will skate in his 500th career game tonight at PHX
N. Kronwall is currently T-3rd among NHL D with 22 points (5-17-22) and is T-4th with 17 assists

N. Kronwall has 12 points (4-8-12) over the last 15 games

N. Kronwall has 239 career points and is currently tied with Paul Coffey (239) for 7th overall in team history among D
H. Zetterberg skated in his 700th career game last night at ANA and became just the 19th player in team history to appear in 700 games for DET

H. Zetterberg has 260 career goals and is currently 4 goals behind Nicklas Lidstrom (264) for 9th overall in team history

J. Abdelkader recorded his 1st career NHL hat trick on 3/22 at ANA

J. Abdelkader recorded a career-high 4 points (3-1-4) on 3/22 at ANA

J. Abdelkader has 6 points (5-1-6) and is +5 over the last 4 games

P. Datsyuk recorded his 500th career NHL assist on 3/22 at ANA

P. Datsyuk scored the 250th goal of his NHL career on 3/22 at ANA

P. Datsyuk has 9 points (2-7-9) over the last 7 games

P. Datsyuk currently leads the NHL with 40 takeaways

P. Datsyuk has 751 career points (250-501-751) and is currenlty 7 points behind Norm Ullman (758) for 6th overall in team history

J. Howard has 124 career wins and is currently 4 wins behind Tim Cheveldae (128) for 5th overall in team history

J. Howard has allowed 2 goals or less in each of his last 5 road starts

J. Howard is currently T-4th among NHL goaltenders with 14 wins

J. Kindl leads DET and is T-3rd among all NHL D with a +16 rating

J. Kindl has 3 points (0-3-3) and is +6 over the last 4 games

J. Franzen has 6 points (1-5-6) over the last 5 games

D. Brunner has no goals over his last 12 games played and is -7 over his last 7 games played

DET's PP has scored a goal in 7 consecutive games

DET's PP has goals in 5 straight road games after failing to score over the first 10 road games of the season

16 of 21 DET PP goals this season have come at home (16-73, 21.9% at home; 5-54, 9.3% on the road)

DET is 84-4-4 the last 92 times its scored 4+ goals in a game

DET has lost 186 man games due to injury through 32 games played in 2012-13. In 1994-95 (last 48-game season) DET lost a total of 102 total man games due to injury for the year.


N. Kronwall - 1 GP to 500

J. Tootoo - 2 goals to 50

V. Filppula - 3 points to 250

H. Zetterberg - 5 assists to 400

Here's the projected lineup:

Justin Abdelkader
Pavel Datsyuk
Johan Franzen
Valtteri Filppula
Henrik Zetterberg
Damien Brunner
Daniel Cleary
Joakim Andersson
Drew Miller
Gustav Nyquist
Cory Emmertom
Jordin Tootoo/Patrick Eaves

Niklas Kronwall
Jonathan Ericsson
Brendan Smith
Brian Lashoff
Jakub Kindl
Ian White

Jonas Gustavsson
Jimmy Howard

Healthy Scratch
Kent Huskins
Carlo Colaiacovo
Patrick Eaves/Jordin Tootoo/Gustav Nyquist?

Todd Bertuzzi (Back)
Darren Helm (Back)
Mikael Samuelsson (Finger)
Kyle Quincey (Face/Cheek)

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