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Abel to Yzerman

After 25 Games

from Max Bultman of The Athletic,

How did they get here? And can they keep it up? The answers to those questions, plus thoughts on each player, are among my 25 thoughts at Detroit’s 25-game mark.

1. What more can be said about the Red Wings’ rookies, who have already gotten so much spotlight this season? Moritz Seider’s performance Saturday was capped by his second overtime goal of the season, but his impact on that extra frame would have been substantial even without it — headlined by two great defensive plays with his stick that might have each saved goals.

The offense has come for Seider faster than anyone could have predicted. His 17 points in 25 games rank fourth on the team, trailing only Detroit’s three top-line forwards, and have him on a 55-point pace for an 82-game season. That’s an absurd instant impact for the young blue liner. And yet, plays like the ones he made in overtime remain the bedrock of his importance to the Red Wings. The fact he made them both in a big moment with the game on the line — and then went and scored the winner — says everything about his sky-high ceiling, and how impactful he’s been already.

2. Likewise, I’m not sure what’s left to say about Detroit’s other super-rookie, Lucas Raymond. His offensive instincts are game-breaking. He’s clutch. He’s surprisingly complete for a teenage winger in the NHL. It’s a long season with lots more to happen, but if my Calder ballot were due today, I’d have a hard time not putting him in the top spot.

3. They haven’t been the only new arrivals making a difference for the Red Wings, though, and Alex Nedeljkovic (despite a down game by his standards Saturday) has been commendable in his early season play. I was skeptical early on how he would transition from playing behind a stalwart Carolina defense to this one in Detroit, and that skepticism only rose when he gave up seven goals in the season-opener.

read on ($$$)

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Paul's avatar

DETROIT—The Detroit Red Wings today recalled defenseman Luke Witkowski from the American Hockey League’s Grand Rapids Griffins.

Witkowski, 31, has skated in 17 games with the Griffins this season, picking up one point and 43 penalty minutes. The Holland, Mich., native is in his second stint with the Red Wings after previously spending two seasons with the Red Wings from 2017-19 and picking up six points (1-5-6) and 86 penalty minutes in 65 games. Witkowski rejoined the organization in the offseason after serving as captain of the AHL’s Syracuse Crunch in 2020-21, posting two points (0-2-2), a plus-eight rating and 32 penalty minutes in 14 games before his season was cut short due to injury. In 2019-20, Witkowski appeared in 12 games with the eventual Stanley Cup-champion Tampa Bay Lightning, logging three points (1-2-3) and 13 penalty minutes while adding six points (2-4-6), a plus-12 rating and 63 penalty minutes in 29 games with the Crunch. Over nine professional seasons, Witkowski has notched 13 points (2-11-13) and 162 penalty minutes in 131 NHL games between Detroit and Tampa Bay and 48 points (9-39-48), a plus-31 rating and 662 penalty minutes in 278 AHL games with Syracuse and Grand Rapids

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 12/07/21 at 10:38 AM ET

Paul's avatar

Witkowski is serving a 3 game suspension in the AHL for charging, so I guess it doesn’t carry over to the NHL.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 12/07/21 at 10:40 AM ET

MurrayChadwick's avatar

Witkowski is serving a 3 game suspension in the AHL for charging, so I guess it doesn’t carry over to the NHL.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 12/07/21 at 10:40 AM ET

Wow, that’s a crazy situation, so are the games he’d missed while called up count on his suspension? I could think not.

Posted by MurrayChadwick from Window Seat on the Captain's Ship on 12/07/21 at 01:22 PM ET

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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