Kukla's Korner

Abel to Yzerman

Anthony Mantha Knows What He Needs To Do To Improve His Game

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

"Probably been skating. That's the main key," Mantha said. "I haven't been battling as hard as I wanted, so that's the biggest thing right now."

Mantha has one goal and two assists, with team-worst minus-11 rating, in eight games. That's why the Detroit Red Wings' leading goal-scorer from a year ago has been removed from the power play, had his ice time trimmed and bumped down to the fourth line.

Consistency has been an issue for the 6-5, 225-pound forward throughout his brief career. He met with coach Jeff Blashill recently in a search for solutions.

"I don't know why it's a recurring theme but it's something we're going to keep working at," Blashill said Monday, prior to the game against the Carolina Hurricanes at Little Caesars Arena (7:30 p.m., Fox Sports Detroit). "I think he's a good kid who wants to be a real good player and our job is keep trying to do everything we can to help him get there."

read on

added 2:06pm, Below, Dana Wakiji of the Wings' website with game day notes.

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Detroit’s Practice At The LCA

Ansar Khan tweets,

lines at morning skate:
Frk/Witkowski (extras)
Hronek (extra)-Green (IR)
Howard in starter’s net

power play units:
Athanasiou-Nielsen-Rasmussen (net front), Vanek-Cholowski
Nyquist-Larkin-Abdelkader (net front)

added 12:32pm, Below, watch Athanasiou after today's skate.

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What To Do With Michael Rasmussen?

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

Here are five things to watch this week:

Rasmussen decision nears
The Red Wings essentially have two more games to assess rookie forward Michael Rasmussen before deciding whether to send him back to Tri-City (WHL) for the remainder of the junior club's season, or keep him. He can't be assigned to AHL Grand Rapids because he has junior eligibility.

Rasmussen, 19, has struggled, with no goals, one assist and only six shots on goal in seven games, averaging 12:17. If he appears in 10 games, it will burn a year off his entry-level contract. He could still be returned to his junior team after, but that would be less likely to happen.

The Red Wings must determine if it's better for Rasmussen's development and confidence to play another year in juniors, where he is sure to dominate. Coach Jeff Blashill said he might scratch Rasmussen in another game or two to delay the decision.  The toughest adjustment for the 6-6, 221-pound forward has been a lack of space and the speed of the game.

read on for more topics...

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So Far So Good For Dennis Cholowski

from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,

Less than 10 games into his NHL career, Dennis Cholowski has emerged as a promising rebuilding block for the Detroit Red Wings. He is playing big minutes, he likes having the puck, and isn’t fazed by mistakes. He logged a goal, an assist, played 20 minutes, 23 seconds and registered a team-high five shots on net to help the Wings enter a three-game home stand on a winning note.

“He’s off to a great start and it’s awesome,” Dylan Larkin said after Saturday’s 4-3 overtime final at Florida. “He looks beyond his age and he’s poised back there. Yeah, he makes a couple mistakes but everyone does. He never gets rattled. He’s a very quiet guy. He’s got a great shot.”

Cholowski’s smooth skating and brainy play were key factors in the Wings drafting him at 20th overall in 2016. In the past two seasons he has grow stronger and more assertive while playing junior hockey, and he’s been able to carry that over to the NHL level.

“Being able to make quick decisions is a big part of my game,” Cholowski said. “It’s a part I try to utilize as much as I can, just being able to visualize the ice and find guys everywhere and move the puck quick. 

read on

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Wings Battle, Get Rewarded

from Ted Kulfan of the Detroit News,

No making history of the bad kind for these Red Wings.

The seven-game losing streak to begin the regular season is over, thanks to a 4-3 overtime victory over Florida on Saturday night.

Gustav Nyquist scored at 3 minutes, 44 seconds of overtime on a breakaway after both teams traded golden scoring opportunities.

“I’m aware it’s overtime,” Nyquist said of whether he was aware the fate of the losing streak was on his stick. “But it felt good to score there, for sure. To get that first one out of the way, hopefully we can build off this one.”

Florida's Mike Hoffman tied it at 3 at 18:44 of the third period with a fluttering shot from the dot that handcuffed goaltender Jimmy Howard.

But instead of sagging, which the Wings have done a lot of these opening few weeks, they stayed poised and battled.

Just as they did after Florida took a 2-0 lead after one period.

“The Red Wings a week ago would have drooped on the bench and the energy on the bench would have been terrible,” forward Dylan Larkin said. “But it wasn’t like that. We battled, and the power play came up huge.”


Below, watch the extended game highlights pluse post-game interviews.

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Video- Highlights Of Detroit’s Win Over Florida

Five minutes of highlights.


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Quick Recap- Wings/Panthers

Without a doubt, Detroit's best game of the year and it pays off with a 4-3 OT win over the Florida Panthers.

Feel free to express you thoughts.

Goals and Detroit team stats can be viewed below.

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Seven Straight

If you're reading this, you are a die hard Wings Fan, and, thank you for showing up. Even when we think we're prepared for a rocky season, there is just no way any of us saw this coming.

Seven straight losses.

Losing just plain sucks!

It's a Live Blog! 

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Video- The Game Plan For Tonight

2 1/2 minutes of Jeff Blashill.



added 5:36pm, Below, Dana Wakiji of DetroitRedWings.com with the game notes.

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Discussing Blashill And Bylsma

Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press answered some fan mail, this question regarding the coaching staff.

The back-to-back lopsided losses at Boston and Montreal were ugly, but let’s be realistic: this has been a team that’s had to field as many as four rookie defensemen, one of whom (Libor Sulak, since sent to Grand Rapids) had never played on the smaller North American ice sheet until last month. The team does not have an elite defenseman nor superstar scorers. My sense is management and ownership isn’t about to fire Blashill so long as the team looks competitive — asses how they play in a game more so than the result. Take the Tampa Bay game — the Wings lost but played well against an extremely talented opponent.

When Dan Bylsma was signed this past summer to a three-year contract, the optics made it look like he’s the successor if Blashill is fired. But I don’t sense that’s coming unless things really fall apart. Bear in mind, too, the ownership and management recognize how hard it’s been to start the season with as many as five veteran defensemen injured. The loss of Mike Green — arguably the team’s best defenseman last season — has been especially mitigating. 

more topics like Rasmussen and Yzerman's future...

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About Abel to Yzerman

Welcome to Abel to Yzerman, a Red Wing blog since 1977.  No other site on the internet has better-researched, fact-laden and better prepared discussions than A2Y.  Re-phrase: we do little research, find facts and stats highly overrated and claim little to no preparation.  There are 19 readers of A2Y. No more, no less. All of them, except maybe one, are juvenile in nature.  Reminding them of that in the comment section will only encourage them to prove that. Your suggestions and critiques are welcome: wphoulihan@gmail.com


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