Abel to Yzerman
by Paul on 01/25/22 at 09:33 PM ET
from Bob Duff of Detroit Hockey Now,
Michael Rasmussen is the latest bandage being affixed to the ailing power play of the Detroit Red Wings. The Wings will try the 6-foot-6 Michael Rasmussen as a net-front presence in Wednesday’s game at Little Caesars Arena against the Chicago Blackhawks.
“It can definitely be an advantage,” Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill said. “When you have a huge man in front of the net it’s different than if it’s a little guy.”
Detroit’s power play is currently residing in 29th place among the 32 NHL teams. It’s clicking at a dismal 14.8% rate with 18 goals in 127 opportunities.
Blashill is constantly demanding of his team that they create more chaos at the net front. They’re hopeful Rasmussen could be the key to unlocking that strategy.
“Certainly when you’re a big, big man like that, you’re hard to move and they do take away the eyes,” Blashill said. “I also would say that Ras in his repertoire of skill sets has the ability to be pretty good around the net.
from Ansar Khan of Mlive,
Sam Gagner’s advice to younger players is to watch how Tyler Bertuzzi does it.
“You certainly gain a deeper appreciation for his game when you’re on his team and you see what he’s able to do night in and night out,” Gagner said. “We were talking about it the other night -- he’s just one of those guys that the puck seems to follow him around. You think he loses it, and he gets it back and he strips a guy, makes a play through somebody. He’s just a great hockey player, that’s what it comes down to.
“He’s a guy that I would tell younger players to watch him play. He’s all over the puck, he hounds it. When he gets it, he keeps it.”
from Bob Wojnowski of the Detroit News,
Eight weeks in a cervical collar shrinks your world and narrows your thoughts. Larkin healed without surgery and is back to dazzling in his seventh season, leading the Wings in points (37) and tied with Tyler Bertuzzi in goals (19). He was named an All-Star for the second time. When the Wings (18-18-6) face the Blackhawks on Wednesday night at Little Caesars Arena, they’ll be five games ahead of their pace a year ago, eight points out of a wildcard spot but way ahead of where they were.
It’s the turnaround expected in Steve Yzerman’s rebuild, with the addition of three promising pieces — Moritz Seider, Lucas Raymond, goalie Alex Nedeljkovic — who rank among the best rookies in the league. For them, it’s been a revelation. For Larkin, it’s been a relief, a needed realization he doesn’t have to skate or lead alone.
“Deep down, I know what I am, I know who I am, I know what kind of hockey player I am,” Larkin said Tuesday after practice. “My entire life, I’ve always kind of quietly carried that confidence with me. But it was difficult personally. It was a huge honor (to be named captain) and I thought a lot about how it could affect how I act. The whole time I just tried to be myself, but it was hard at the beginning.”
More: Red Wings back Filip Zadina as he tries to shake prolonged scoring slump
Bertuzzi is healthy after back surgery, and with the addition of terrific young talent, the Wings are competitive. But the truth is, it took Larkin, 25, a bit longer to become whole again.
much more (paid)
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