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Your Opening Night Roster & A Look At Taro Hirose

from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,

Here are projections for the Oct. 5 opening night lineup.

Defense

Pair 2: Patrik Nemeth and Filip Hronek

Nemeth was signed for his sound defensive style. He could be a good partner either for Hronek or Green, and however it shakes out, it gives the Wings a right-shot and a left-shot on their top two pairings.

Pair 3: Trevor Daley/Jonathan Ericsson and Dennis Cholowski

Given their injury history, it seems doubtful both Daley and Ericsson make it through preseason. Cholowski, 21, logged 52 games last season before his defensive lapses (he was a team-worst minus-20) earned him a learning stint in the minors. He played 25 games with the Griffins, producing 12 assists and an even rating. Playing him on the third pairing (instead of last season’s baptism as a top-pairing guy, a result of injuries to veteran defensemen) should ease Cholowski’s growing pains.

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from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

Now the 5-10, 160-pound left wing must show he deserves to stay in the NHL. His impressive play during a late-season audition gives him an inside track, but there will be a lot of competition in training camp from the likes of former first-round picks Filip Zadina, Joe Veleno, Michael Rasmussen and Evgeny Svechnikov.

All, including Hirose, can be assigned to the Grand Rapids Griffins without going through waivers, so nobody is going to be handed an NHL job by default.

“Just play my game, keep it simple and not try to do too much,” Hirose said. “Just try to have a mistake-free game and like (coach Jeff Blashill) always says, try to have your positives outweigh your negatives. Towards the end of the year, I might have been a little careless with the puck at times, so just cleaning up my game at both ends of the ice and doing whatever I can to make the team.”

The Calgary native, who at 23 was one of the older prospects at development camp last month, will spend most of the off-season in metro Detroit, training and working on his game and, as he put it, “show them I can play at that level.”

Hirose, dubbed “Taco” by teammates, is trying to be shiftier on the ice.

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Comments

Primis's avatar

To be perfectly blunt, I think Hirose already showed he deserves to play in the NHL, and you can pencil him into the lineup.

You know who of the forwards ACTUALLY needs to show they deserve to play in the NHL?  Helm, Abdelkader, Fil, and Nielsen.

Posted by Primis on 07/08/19 at 08:31 AM ET

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Boy oh boy, that bottom six is a garbage dump. Glendening and Helm on the third line? Jesus…

Her’s hoping that Zadina and Svechnikov (or some other skilled player) can force their way onto the roster so that de la Rose is the 13th forward he should be and Ehn and Kuffner can go to Grand Rapids.

Posted by CharDeeMacDennis on 07/08/19 at 08:36 AM ET

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Boy oh boy, that bottom six is a garbage dump.

Yeah those lines are rough. And I’m hoping Hirose can build on what he did at the end of last year, but i think 2nd line for him is very optimistic. Seems like there’s a lot of redundancy with Ehn, DLR, Glendening, Helm, Abdelkader. Understand the need for a ‘heavy/grind’ line but woof. Teams are going to do everything they can to shut down the top line because they know the 2nd/3rd/4th are going to be severely offensively challenged.

Posted by MZ2215 on 07/08/19 at 10:25 AM ET

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What if….......Zadina comes to camp and proves he belongs? Who does he play with? Putting him on the 3rd or 4th line makes little sense. Would he work well with AA? According to what he said in the article he would need to be on a line with Hirose and maybe Nielsen. He probably do best with Larkin, but I don’t see that first line breaking up.

Posted by howeandhowe from Seattle on 07/08/19 at 11:13 AM ET

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Posted by howeandhowe from Seattle on 07/08/19 at 11:13 AM ET

based on the projected lines article (taken with a grain of salt) it seems like they’d have to drop Hirose to the 3rd line and put Zadina on the 2nd. Playing with Glendening/Helm or Ehn/Abdelkader on the 3rd/4th lines doesn’t seem conducive to his skillset….

Posted by MZ2215 on 07/08/19 at 11:32 AM ET

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——To be perfectly blunt, I think Hirose already showed he deserves to play in the NHL, and you can pencil him into the lineup.
——I hope so, but it’s too small of a sample size

Posted by VPalmer on 07/08/19 at 11:32 AM ET

MurrayChadwick's avatar

To be perfectly blunt, I think Hirose already showed he deserves to play in the NHL, and you can pencil him into the lineup.

You know who of the forwards ACTUALLY needs to show they deserve to play in the NHL?  Helm, Abdelkader, Fil, and Nielsen.

Posted by Primis on 07/08/19 at 08:31 AM ET

I don’t like these 4 players and their contracts, so I think an un-drafted college free agent that picked up a slew of assists over a month has already passed 4 veteran NHL players by.  woa buddy, Hey Hey HockeyFart…

Posted by MurrayChadwick from YzerGod's pixie dust fueled bandwagon on 07/08/19 at 11:53 AM ET

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they know the 2nd/3rd/4th are going to be severely offensively challenged.

I don’t know about the second line. It will have a 30-goal scorer on it, and whether i’s Zadina or Hirose on the other wing (or, for the sake of argument, Veleno or Svechnikov), there should definitely be some offensive pop.

Putting him on the 3rd or 4th line makes little sense.

What’s wrong with the third line? Having Filppula as his centre isn’t exactly a huge drop from having Nielsen as his centre. Obviously having Helm or Glendening as the other winger IS a huge drop from AA, but I’m holding out hope for a skilled prospect to force his way into the top 9.

However, I’d lto think that Zadina will play on the second line because he’s probably not wrong in that having higher skilled wingers will be better for him. Hirose then probably ends up on the third (hopefully with Svechnikov or Veleno or maybe even Matt Puempel on the other wing), which is fine because he doesn’t seem to necessarily need as much guidance as Zadina might.

Posted by CharDeeMacDennis on 07/08/19 at 11:55 AM ET

Primis's avatar

——To be perfectly blunt, I think Hirose already showed he deserves to play in the NHL, and you can pencil him into the lineup.
——I hope so, but it’s too small of a sample size

Posted by VPalmer on 07/08/19 at 11:32 AM ET

On other teams, I might agree.  But Hirose already has shown he’s mentally ahead of a lot of other forwards (vets included), and DET is not a good team, and has a lot of bad forwards.  The Bottom Six is littered with them.  Glendening is fine, and de la Rose and Ehn are ok too.  Beyond that though it’s not good and Hirose is a great 3rd line kind of guy that also ha a solid case for being in the Top 6 if/when injuries hit it.

He’s also a potential PK guy if they need it, and is just a guy you can throw onto the ice and not cringe about it.  You keep guys like that, when you’re in DET’s position right now.  He has real upside still, but even if he doesn’t hit it, what he is now already is still valuable.

Posted by Primis on 07/08/19 at 12:45 PM ET

MurrayChadwick's avatar

He’s also a potential PK guy if they need it.
Posted by Primis on 07/08/19 at 12:45 PM ET

At the NHL level? A one month rookie? Are you his agent? His cousin?  My word man, he played some PK here and there at the CCHA level, i.e. not 1st nor 2nd team, his offensive talent has him in the pro’s.  He doesn’t have the size or speed at the NHL level to do it, and even if he was an elite 2 way player, you don’t use rookies in both PP and PK its too much too process.

Posted by MurrayChadwick from YzerGod's pixie dust fueled bandwagon on 07/08/19 at 02:05 PM ET

Chet's avatar

“My handle is MurrayChadwick, or Garth, or whatever, and I love telling people they’re dumb over the internet.

Greetings!”

Posted by Chet from twitter: thegansen on 07/08/19 at 08:44 PM ET

MurrayChadwick's avatar

Posted by Chet from twitter: thegansen on 07/08/19 at 08:44 PM ET

I’m not Garth, I used to argue with Garth, and I never said anyone was dumb. Thanks for adding to the discussion, I guess next time I’ll just say Babcock/Holland/Blashill/Any Vet sucks, rinse and repeat, so everyone is happy, no dissent from the masses.

Posted by MurrayChadwick from YzerGod's pixie dust fueled bandwagon on 07/08/19 at 09:39 PM ET

Chet's avatar

You sure have a way with people.

Posted by Chet from twitter: thegansen on 07/08/19 at 10:41 PM ET

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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