Abel to Yzerman

Abel to Yzerman

Topics On An Off Day

04/01/2019 at 4:10pm EDT

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

“Everyone’s really happy for him,” Anthony Mantha said.

Hirose’s first NHL goal came 19 days after the Red Wings signed him as a free agent out of Michigan State. During that time, the 5-10, 160-pound winger has made a significant impact with six points in seven games in a seamless transition.

“I’ve watched guys go from college to the NHL, you just never know what’s going to translate with guys like that who are free agents and for whatever reason weren’t drafted,” coach Jeff Blashill said. “We’re talking in the back and (director of player development) Shawn Horcoff said to me, ‘It looks exactly like he did at Michigan State. That’s how he played.’

“He looks to me like he’s an NHL player. He can give you scoring. (Athanasiou) for sure knows he’s a real good player, he’s trying to get him the puck because he knows he’s going to get it back. I think that’s a real, real positive for us. Great job by Jiri Fischer.”

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from Ted Kulfan of the Detroit News,

Through a variety of factors, be it the core of Dylan Larkin, Anthony Mantha, Tyler Bertuzzi and Andreas Athanasiou establishing itself at a new level, or great goaltending from Jimmy Howard and Jonathan Bernier, or young players such as Taro Hirose getting their first opportunities and taking advantage of them, or a slew of call-ups from Grand Rapids getting rewarded with promotions after a deluge of Wings’ injuries and succeeding, the Wings’ regained their culture.

They haven’t ended the season on a sour note. If anything, it’s turned around, and the mood heading into the summer will be a positive one.

Sunday’s victory was the Wings’ season-high fifth straight, and seventh in their last eight games.

Critics can correctly point out the Wings have no pressure. The playoffs are long gone, and they’re having fun and playing loose and carefree, while contenders are gearing up for the playoffs.

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