Abel to Yzerman

Abel to Yzerman

The Positives From Sundqvist And Walman

04/14/2022 at 7:26am EDT

from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,

In just a few weeks, Oskar Sundqvist has shown how he can help the Detroit Red Wings be more competitive.

His full impact will be on better display next season, when he's gone through training camp with the Wings, but since arriving March 21, Sundqvist has added energy and a net-front presence. He is adept at using his 6-foot-3, 208-pound frame to screen opposing goalies and doesn't shy away from getting hit.

"He’s a guy who brings two things to a power play — one, a big body, who can both screen the goalie and win loose pucks, and those are important aspects of a power play," coach Jeff Blashill said. " And then two, for us, specifically, he’s a right shot, and we just don’t have a lot of those. So it opens up more different things you can do when you have a right shot and a left shot that are either at the net or on the bumper, or vice versa. He brings those things and he’s done a pretty good job of it."...

"I thought our PP had good chemistry until Fabs got hurt and then Bert didn’t make the trip to Canada, and we’ve kind of lost some of that chemistry," Blashill said. "If that unit had been healthy, we would have kept them together and a guy like Sunny potentially would have been on the other unit. Now we’re just trying to come up with the best fit and try to come up with some chemistry."

Sundqvist is signed through next season. Walman is a pending restricted free agent, but he's made a strong case for an extension, including seeing spot time on the power play. He's a good skater and deft shooter and has been out at times on the second unit, usually with Filip Hronek, Filip Zadina, Michael Rasmussen and Jakub Vrana.

"He definitely has the shot to be on the power play," Blashill said. "There’s more that goes into it, but he has the shot. When he’s on it, he’s got to show us that he absolutely should be, and there’s a difference between guys that can be and guys that make it better.

"Wally might be best on the left flank, where he’s not up top. Up top has more of a facilitation as a player than just a shooter, whereas if you’re on a flank you can be more of just a shooter and it might lend to his skill set better. But we also have Vrana and Zadina there."

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