Abel to Yzerman

Abel to Yzerman

Wings Preparing For The Leafs

10/10/2018 at 3:21pm EDT

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

The Detroit Red Wings, seeking their first victory, will face one of the highest-scoring teams in the NHL with a depleted defense.

Rookie Dennis Cholowski is out for Thursday's game against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Little Caesars Arena (7:30 p.m., Fox Sports Detroit) due to an upper-body injury. Coach Jeff Blashill said Cholowski might also miss Saturday's game in Boston, which has been switched from 7 p.m. to 3 p.m. due to the A.L. Championship series game between the Red Sox and Astros that night....

The Leafs (3-1-0) are averaging five goals per game and coming off a 7-6 overtime win in Chicago and 7-4 victory at Dallas.

This will be biggest challenge in the young careers of defensemen Joe Hicketts, Libor Sulak and Filip Hronek. They got a preseason preview on Sept. 28, when the Leafs prevailed 6-2 at Scotiabank Arena.

"We know how fast they can come at you and I think we're better prepared having (faced them)," Blashill said. "That doesn't mean we'll meet that challenge. If they're coming at us flying 100 miles an hour the whole night, it'll be a long night. We better put the puck in behind him, grind them in their zone and make them defend as much as possible."

read on

from Ted Kulfan of the Detroit News,

The one benefit, said Kronwall, of having so many injuries is the fact the young defensemen (Cholowski, Joe Hicketts, Filip Hronek, Libor Sulak) have had an opportunity to show what they can do at the NHL level.

“It really is crazy,” said Kronwall of all the injuries. “But in saying that we’ve been able to see the younger guys even more and they’ve done a tremendous job. It’s encouraging to see, not just in the short term but in the long-term, what you have in the organization.

“It's been extremely encouraging to see.”

Maybe the most frustrated Wings player on the completed two-game southern California trip was Andreas Athanasiou.

Snakebit on various scoring chances – including missing on two breakaways, fumbling one puck into the corner – Athanasiou is confident his luck will change.

“The chances are there and eventually they’ll go in,” Athanasiou said. “I’ve had a lot of breakaways before, and sometimes those things happen. It’s not going to be my last breakaway. It’s not a good feeling when you don’t get a shot off on a breakaway, but I know the next one I’ll be ready for and hopefully it’ll go in.”


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