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from Matt Larkin of The Daily Faceoff,
When the Wings wheezed to the end of their 25-year streak in 2016-17, I argued at the time that no team was further away from the Stanley Cup. The only thing worse than being a terrible NHL club is to be a mediocre one that won’t admit it’s mediocre, because it dooms you to keeping the team on life support and finishing in the mushy middle. Even once the Wings started missing the playoffs, they had enough veterans on immovable contracts to stick around and keep them from being too bad. They didn’t even secure a top-five draft slot until 2020, when they snagged Lucas Raymond. It marked Detroit’s first top-five pick in 30 years.
The Wings of the past decade serve as a cautionary tale. They couldn’t let go of the idea that they were contenders and, by choosing quick solutions, they hurt themselves in the long run. They’re about to miss the playoffs a seventh consecutive year, and they’re hardly a lock to avoid an eighth straight miss next season. They traded one streak for another.
So what am I getting at, picking on the Wings?
I want to highlight the team I believe to be the furthest in the NHL from a Stanley Cup today. Have a look at the active playoff streak leaderboard. The Pittsburgh Penguins are hanging by a thread, clinging to the hope of crawling into the postseason as an Eastern Conference Wildcard seed and extending their streak to 17 years. They kept the band together last summer, re-signing thirtysomething franchise legends Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang to keep the championship dream going with captain Sidney Crosby still playing elite hockey.
But look at the circumstances surrounding this team and you’ll find alarming similarities to the Wings as the end of their streak. These Pens enjoyed a decade and a half of incredible success, punctuated by three Stanley Cups, but they haven’t won a playoff series in six years, bowing out in Round 1 every season since their consecutive championships in 2016 and 2017. Because of their continued success, they haven’t owned a top-five draft pick in 17 years. They are perceived to have one of the very worst prospect crops in the NHL. Their “upgrades” at the 2023 Trade Deadline were Mikael Granlund and the since-injured Nick Bonino and Dmitry Kulikov.
Six minutes to watch.
via Ansar Khan tweets,
Hellberg in starter’s net for #RedWings prior to hosting Blues
lines at the skate:
The seven D, including Edvinsson, are rotating.
power play units:
1. Chiasson (net front), Larkin (bumper), Perron-Raymond (flanks), Seider (point).
2. Copp (net front), Zadina (bumper), Berggren-Kubalik (flanks), Walman (point).
DETROIT – The Detroit Red Wings today recalled goaltender Alex Nedeljkovic from the American Hockey League’s Grand Rapids Griffins under emergency conditions.
from Iain MacIntyre of Sportsnet,
The first thing Adam Foote noticed about Filip Hronek were his hands. Foote knew the defenceman could skate and was competitive, but it was the hands.
“Hronek comes out in practice the first day and I was chuckling,” Foote, the assistant coach in charge of Vancouver Canuck defencemen, said after Wednesday’s practice. “I knew his compete (level), but when I saw him with his hands always in front of him and how smooth he was with the puck ... I loved it because the other D are, like, looking at him.
“I think he's going to bring that element of making big plays. And he competes and he's fast and he's smart. I think he's a big piece for us.”
He better be after Canucks general manager Patrik Allvin sent a mid-first-round pick and early-second to the Detroit Red Wings three weeks ago for the 25-year-old, right-shot, top-four defenceman.
Injured the night before the trade, Hronek is expected to make his Canucks debut Thursday at home against the San Jose Sharks. And he could start on a super-pairing with star blue-liner Quinn Hughes, who has lacked a legitimate top-pairing partner since Chris Tanev was allowed to leave Vancouver in free agency three years ago.
Jack Michaels with the call.
Interview with McDavid near the end of the video.
* The NHL witnessed the fastest player to reach 60 goals in a season in 27 years when Connor McDavid reached the mark via an overtime winner.
* Sidney Crosby hit the 30-goal mark for the 11th time in his career to tie franchise legend Mario Lemieux atop a Penguins all-time list and achieve an NHL first in the process.
* A number of storylines are on the board during a 12-game Thursday, including the Bruins, who are in a position to clinch the Atlantic, and the Wild, who can overtake first in the Central.
from Mark Lazerus of The Athletic,
The Blackhawks will become the third NHL team to decline to wear Pride jerseys during Pride Night, citing security concerns for their three players of Russian heritage, team sources confirmed to The Athletic.
Two Blackhawks sources stressed that the decision was made by team management and security officials, not by the players, but it’s another body blow to the Hockey is For Everyone movement that the NHL proudly touts, but all too frequently fails to back up.
A Russian law passed in December criminalized so-called LGBTQ+ “propaganda.” Since then, the Minnesota Wild and the New York Rangers opted out of wearing Pride-themed jerseys during warmups — typically, the jerseys have rainbow coloring and are auctioned off for charity.
Now the Blackhawks will join them, contradicting earlier statements from alternate captain Connor Murphy and team CEO Danny Wirtz.
from Daniel Kaplan of The Athletic,
NHL star Evander Kane said in judicial papers filed last week that he wagered sometimes as often as 50 times a day, which is in large part why he filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy with liabilities topping $26 million.
Kane’s post-trial brief, in the lawsuit brought by his biggest creditor, Centennial Bank, laid out the player’s family background and tried to explain how that played a part in his spiraling debt in spite of overall career earnings that have reached $76 million.
“Kane was raised on the east side of Vancouver, which at the time was a lower-class area of the city,” the post-trial brief reads. “His mother Sheri was a stay-at-home mother when Kane and his sisters were growing up because they could not afford daycare.”
“Kane was drafted by his first team when he was seventeen years old, and he began playing professional hockey straight out of high school at the age of eighteen,” his lawyers wrote in the post-trial brief, which the judge requested after the trial, which took place on Jan. 23 and 25. “He has never taken any college or college-level courses, nor any courses or training about accounting, money management, or business development (and the NHL does not provide any financial education to its players). Although Kane became a highly compensated athlete in his fourteen-year career, he was raised in a working-class family that never owned a home, struggled financially, and lived month-to-month.”
from Kevin Allen of Detroit Hockey Now,
Simon Edvinsson will earn another day of NHL money to give the Detroit Red Wings more time to assess the health of their regular defensemen.
Edvinsson is in Detroit as an emergency call-up because the Red Wings didn’t have six healthy defensemen. If all of Detroit’s defensemen are ready to play the Thursday rematch against the St. Louis Blues, Edvinsson must be returned to the Grand Rapids Griffins.
“Still on the emergency,” Detroit coach Derek Lalonde said. “We’re banged up, it’s that time of year. We’re down to every available body. I think tomorrow if the other six are potentially healthy, the six on the roster, I think then we’d have to make a decision of what we’re going to do with him. Right now, he could possibly be in. ”
Or, the Red Wings could choose to extend his stay by changing Edvinsson’s status to a regular recall from their minor league affiliate.Edvinsson was injured in a loss to the Florida Panthers Monday. He didn’t play Tuesday in St. Louis, but did participate in an optional practice Wednesday in Detroit.
“He was working on it but you could tell he had some discomfort still working on some edges,” Lalonde said. “I’m sure he could play but I don’t know if we – even last night, both him and Lindy were probably. They both were not 100%. But we were forced to play one of them. I don’t think we wanted to do that to Simon, playing him at not 100%.”
Below watch Derek Lalonde after today's optional practice.
7 1/2 minutes to watch.
TORONTO (March 22, 2023) While hockey fans are enjoying an exciting finish to the regular season, the National Hockey League Players’ Association today has unveiled its 2022-23 NHLPA Player Poll results on NHLPA.com. A total of 626 players took part in the NHLPA Player Poll this season.
To view the full results, click here.
from Ted Kulfan of the Detroit News,
The victory was only the third in the last 13 games for the Wings (3-9-1), who moved back above .500 (31-30-9).
"It's been a tough stretch lately as you all know," Hellberg said. "So winning a back-to-back game, we played yesterday and they didn't, it shows a lot of character from our team and that we can come up with a win."
The Wings outshot the Blues 30-22, killed all three St. Louis power plays while scoring a power-play goal of their own, and generally had command of the game the entire night.
"We got what we deserved," coach Derek Lalonde said. "I really appreciated the effort from the guys on a back to back, with travel, then to get down early in the game, we could have won this in regulation.
"I loved that we hung in there and in overtime and found a way in the shootout."
Extended game highlights are below.
* AlexOvechkin surpassed WayneGretzky to claim an NHL record – shortly after being honored for overtaking GordieHowe on the all-time goals list earlier this season – but the Blue Jackets staged a three-goal comeback to win a thriller in D.C.
* The Hurricanes hit 100 points as they pursue JimMontgomery and the League-leading Bruins, who claimed their 54th win of the season and inched closer to another division title.
* Three of four clubs that entered Tuesday in a Wild Card spot won to strengthen their push for a playoff spot, while contenders Calgary and Nashville won to keep pace in the West.
* The stars will be shining bright tonight as SidneyCrosby, NathanMacKinnon, ConnorMcDavid and ClaytonKeller all hit the ice during a doubleheader on TNT, Sportsnet and TVA Sports.
Over the years, we’ve seen many athletes that shared a passion for different sports, and one of them is Butch Goring. However, unlike most athletes, Butch Goring decided to chase both dreams of becoming an NHL star and a racehorse owner.
Halfway through the first period, the Wings held the Blues to 3 shots, unfortunately they have 2 goals.
Detroit tied it at 2-2 later in the period. On to the middle stanza where there was no scoring.
No scoring in the third either so both teams will try their luck in overtime.
Of course no scoring in OT so the teams headed to the shootout, where Lucas Raymond scored in the fourth round to win it for the Wings.
Below find a plethora of videos including the Detroit goals.
Hey there folks, and welcome back. I know the feeling of dread is in the house right now. Unfortunately, it’s nothing new at this point in the season, again. You know the drill. Stay if you want, lurk if you want, or bail if you want. My thanks to everyone……..
It’s the Wings vs the Blues. The puck drops around 8:00 PM and will be broadcast on Bally Sports Detroit and the Red Wings Radio Network (97.1 The Ticket in Detroit). Also available on NHLPP/ESPN+ and BSMW.
It’s a Live Blog……
Multiple reports state three-year extension.
from Jack Todd at the Montreal Gazette,
The superstar who never was sat on the bench Saturday night, staring blankly at the ice in Tampa. The word “stapled” came into play.
Jonathan Drouin didn’t make it into the game in the first period. Or the second. Or the third.
When it was over, he was a phantom who didn’t even make the box score. For the match against his former team, Drouin had the best seat in the house — and based on the 46 games he has played to date, he was paid US$119,565.22 to watch.
Not for the first time in his six-year Canadiens career, Drouin was an innocent spectator. The fiasco that began with Drouin missing a team meeting the night after a sloppy 9-5 loss to the Florida Panthers ended with him watching an entire game from the bench.
With that, Drouin surely took a blowtorch to any remaining threads binding him to the organization. If GM Kent Hughes was still thinking that he might make a one-year, $1 million offer based on Drouin’s strong performance over the past 30 games, that thought has surely gone the way of Scott Gomez.
from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,
Vrana sounded as good as he has looked since joining the Blues at the March 3 trade deadline. He had five goals and one assist after seven games, thriving after getting the fresh start that he and the Detroit Red Wings agreed was needed after two turbulent years.
"In the situation I was in, I just wanted to get back on the ice and back playing in the NHL," Vrana said. "I just wanted to help a team with what I can do on the ice. As everybody could see, since I came back from program, I couldn’t really crack the lineup in Detroit, I didn’t really get much opportunity. I think for both ways, we moved on and I got opportunity here in St. Louis and I couldn’t be more happy. I get opportunity to play a lot of minutes and I have opportunity to produce. It has been going really well."...
"When I was away, I gained a lot of new information and help and support," Vrana said. "Unfortunately while I was away, I lost my spot on the team and when I came back, I couldn’t get that spot back. There are some things I cannot control, and I try to work hard and play my best."
Vrana was called up in mid-February, and played three games before March 3. That's the day Yzerman struck a deal with the Blues in which the Wings retained 50% of Vrana's salary in return for a 2025 seventh-round pick.
"On the day when the trade deadline was, I woke up and Steve called me," Vrana said. "He basically told me he traded me to St. Louis Blues. He wished me luck on and off the ice and said that this is just the way they wanted to make the decision. I accepted it — that’s how the business works."
NEW YORK, NY (March 21, 2023) – The National Hockey League (NHL) and its longstanding partner Fanatics, today announced a new 10-year agreement which, beginning with the 2024-25 season, will see Fanatics become the League’s authentic outfitter of on-ice uniforms and supplier of authentic jerseys at retail. The deal marks the next stage of the NHL’s partnership with Fanatics, which over the past two decades has evolved to include NHL e-commerce and retail operations, fan apparel and headwear, replica jerseys, licensed memorabilia, performance and training products, on-ice Stanley Cup® Champions apparel and headwear, and now official on-ice uniforms and authentic jerseys sold at retail.
from Eric Francis of Sportsnet,
“It was a brutal game,” said Rasmus Andersson following an 8-2 humiliation at Crypto.com Arena, where the Flames found themselves down 4-0 to a red-hot Kings club in the first period.
“There’s nothing more to say, really.”
One day after being buoyed by seeing playoff rivals Winnipeg and Nashville skunked, the Flames followed suit with yet another massive setback to their playoff plans.
In front of a highly-entertained crowd that included John Legend, Vince Vaughn and Stampeder-turned-Broncos signing Alex Singleton, the Flames were outshot 14-3 in an opening frame that was easily the team’s most uninspired performance dating back to their home loss to Minnesota.
Yet, Darryl Sutter refused to blame the team’s energy or readiness.
“They jumped all over us, all over our mistakes we made in the first period,” said Sutter, whose club was outshot 10-0 the final 12 minutes of the period.
“It’s not always about energy, tonight was just about getting outplayed.
Watch the game highlights below.
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