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The New Look Detroit Red Wings Going For A Third Win A Row Tonight

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

Tonight, forwards Jakub Vrana and Richard Panik will make their Red Wings debut following Monday’s trade with Washington that sent Anthony Mantha to the Capitals.

Vrana has 60 goals and 124 points in 190 games the past three seasons with the Capitals.

“He’s a talented player, his points have been really good for a young guy in the league,” coach Jeff Blashill said. “He’s played with some talented players on a team that’s scored a lot of goals. It’s a little bit different here in the sense that you have to be a bigger driver of offense with our group than you do in Washington. Guys like (Alex) Ovechkin and (Evgeny) Kuznetsov control the puck so much you don’t have to drive as much of the offense.”

Vrana will play a significant role five-on-five and on the power play. Panik is a bottom-six forward whose role will be determined as they go.

“He’s a big, strong guy who has ability,” Blashill said. “We talked all year long about having great depth of scoring and being able to use four lines and I think he gives us another guy. That depth is extremely important.”

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Paul's avatar

from Ted Kulfan of the Detroit News,

Blashill first saw Panik when he was coaching Grand Rapids against Panik’s Syracuse team in the 2013 Calder Cup championship.

“Richard was their best forward,” Blashill said during Thursday’s Zoom media chat after the morning skate. “That’s a team that had (Ondrej) Palat and (Tyler) Johnson and some real good players. Those three played together (on a line), but I thought Panik was their best forward.

“He’s a big, strong guy who has ability. We’ve talked all year long about trying to have good depth of scoring and depth of offense and being able to play four lines. He gives us another guy, and I don’t know where in those lines he fits exactly, we’ll see. But the point is, at times he’s been a good NHL player, and if he can be a good NHL player for us, that’s another guy that can bring depth for us.”

And that kind of NHL quality player is important for the current Wings roster.

“We’ll win as a team,” Blashill said. “We’re not going to win as individuals, or one or two guys. So the more good players you have on your roster, the better.

“That depth is extremely important.”

Area of improvement

One area where the Wings are noticeably getting better, and have been particularly effective lately, is the penalty kill.

Of the last 17 opposing power plays, the Wings have killed 16 of them. Included in that number is a perfect 12-for-12 against Tampa Bay and Carolina, who possess two of the best power plays in the NHL.

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Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 04/15/21 at 04:09 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