Monday, September 28, 2009

Wings Beat Penguins and Trim Roster

It was nice to finally hear Mickey and Ken Daniels call last night's game against the Penguins, even if they spent most of their time acting like a morning radio talk show (making bad jokes and laughing at themselves). Still, a win is a win against Pittsburgh and there were some great things to take away from this 4-1 win.
The Examiner posted this late last night...

Brian Rafalski paced the Red Wings attack on Sunday with four assists, and Pavel Datsyuk and Jason Williams had a goal and an assist each. Johan Franzen and Ville Leino also scored for Detroit while Pascal Dupuis scored the Pittsburgh goal. Jimmy Howard had a strong game in goal for Detroit playing all 60 minutes and facing 26 shots.

I have to admit, Howard looked pretty good last night. The one goal that Pittsburgh did score was a fluke shot that would have been wide if not for bouncing off of Derek Meech's skate. He also stopped Jordan Staal on a breakaway and then on a penalty shot, and stopped another breakaway later on. Jason Williams is looking good on the point on the second powerplay line (there, I said it), and Leino is getting better and better.

The final group of cuts came, and there really aren't any surprises:

The following players were assigned to the Red Wings primary affiliate Grand Rapids in the American Hockey League (AHL): forwards Mattias Ritola, Johan Ryno, Francis Pare, Evan McGrath, Jeremy Williams, Kris Newbury and Jan Mursak; defensemen Jakub Kindl, Logan Pyett, Andy Delmore, Doug Janik and goaltender Thomas McCollum. Joining Helm on the short-term injured list is Cory Emmerton who will report to Grand Rapids as soon as he is healthy (one week). Andreas Lilja has been placed on the long-term injured reserve list, and Brad May has been sent to Grand Rapids on an AHL tryout.

The Griffins should be pretty stacked this year especially with Larsson and McCollum between the pipes. Ryno and Ritola have made big steps forward from last year, Williams and Newbury will certainly help and having veterans like Delmore and Janik as well on the blueline won't hurt.

Here is your roster that loaded a plane and left for Stockholm right after the game...


Johan Franzen (LW) - Pavel Datsyuk (C) -Tomas Holmstrom (RW)
Todd Bertuzzi (LW) -Henrik Zetterberg (C) -Dan Cleary (RW)
Ville Leino (LW) -Valtteri Filppula (C) - Jason Williams (RW)
Kris Draper (LW) -Justin Abdelkader (C) - Patrick Eaves (RW)
Reserve: Kirk Maltby

Nicklas Lidstrom - Brian Rafalski
Niklas Kronwall - Brad Stuart
Jonathan Ericsson - Brett Lebda
Derek Meech

Chris Osgood
Jimmy Howard

I'm expecting Lebda and Meech to scrap over that last spot until one of them can be moved and Lilja comes off of LTIR. Ericsson and Lilja should prove to be a formidable pair. You may notice that Maltby is the odd man out of the forward corps. And rightfully so, his contributions of late are marginal at best, Eaves on the other hand, is a potential 20 goal scorer (maybe not while logging fourth line minutes) and has showed excellent potential in the pre-season.

Day after tomorrow, I'll be leaving on a jet plane...god, I can't wait.


  1. Animal, I justed wanted to tell I hope your travels to Sweden and back are very safe and comfortable. Have fun & good luck.

  2. Last night's game was the only time I got to see Eaves play. His effort seemed to be there. If nothing else, he and Maltby can split time. Malts is usually a beast after getting sat. Eaves can spend more time watching the guys play and seeing what kind of effort he has to bring.

    Meech did not look good this preseason. He's way below Lebda on the depth chart. The fact that he can play forward and defense is probably the only reason he's with the club, as I'd rather have Andy Delmore on the blue line.

  3. I agree with both comments from JJ, Meech looks a bit out of place.