Tag Archives: wings

Zetterberg not concerned about Wings’ lack of offense this preseason

DETROIT >> Goals have been hard to come by this preseason for the Detroit Red Wings.

That was once again the case Wednesday night against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Joe Louis Arena.

Blake Comeau and Oskar Sundqvist each scored for the Penguins, while Marc-Andre Fleury turned away all 25 shots he faced in a 2-0 win over Detroit.

“Preseason, you can’t be frustrated in preseason it’s way too long of a season,” Henrik Zetterberg said.

The Wings have scored just 10 goals through six preseason games.

Zetterberg’s line – Johan Franzen and Gustav Nyquist – has yet to register a point in three preseason games.

“Well I don’t see a lot of points, don’t see a lot of goals, but I think we create more and more chemistry for each game,” Zetterberg said. “We should be ready when the season starts.”

Wings coach Mike Babcock was happy with their performance.

“I thought they were good, they had multiple, multiple opportunities,” Babcock said. “I’ve got no issue with them.
“We have to figure out our backend,” Babcock continued. “That’s a concern for me. It’s been all year. We’re going to keep giving guys an opportunity up front over the next two games and we’ll have all problems solved by Monday.”

Jimmy Howard made 21 saves.

Babcock was less pleased with the line he’s been pleased with all preseason – Riley Sheahan, Tomas Tatar and Tomas Jurco.

“They’ve been the dominant line for us,” Babcock said. “They didn’t take care of the puck good enough, especially when we matched them up against (Sidney) Crosby. If you don’t take care of the puck against real good players you never have the puck and you spend a lot of time chasing it and getting frustrated. So, it’s a little life lesson.”

The Wings’ penalty kill was again stellar, holding Pittsburgh off the score sheet on three chances to improve to 26-for-26 on the PK this preseason.

The power play however was 0-for-4.

“I like (Nick) Jensen on the back,” Babcock said. “I thought Howie had a real good game in the net. Our fourth line was a dash-2, that’s tough.”

Stephen Weiss, who centered the fourth line, was a minus-2 and has yet to record a point this preseason. Weiss played the second fewest minutes amongst the Wings’ forwards.

The Penguins opened the scoring before the midway point of the game.

A shot from the point by Rob Scuderi was redirected to the front of Howard’s pad by Nick Spaling where Comeau was able to dig out and slid into the open net.

Pittsburgh doubled its lead when Sundqvist blasted home a juicy rebound off the left pad of Howard from a shot by Spaling.

Wings running out for time to get done with Babcock; contract ‘watch’ unnecessary

DETROIT >> The contract negotiations between the Wings and coach Mike Babcock from this point will remain private.

And from the sounds of it both sides aren’t close to getting a deal done prior to Detroit’s season opener Oct. 9 at home against the Boston Bruins.

“I’m not sure that there should be a Mike Babcock watch,” Holland said. “These things take a week, a month, sometimes a few months. We want focus on the team. We want focus to be on the ice. We don’t need any distractions.”

Babcock’s contract expires June 30.

“I’m not going to handicap it,” Holland said when asked if he thought a deal could get done before the season. “Our focus needs to be on the players and winning.”

Talks between both sides, which last took place Tuesday, were supposed to ramp up this weekend.

“Mike Babcock has been a big part of the Detroit Red Wings,” Holland said. “Whatever discussions, if we have any going forward, will be private.

“If sometime this winter we find a solution, great,” Holland continued. “I respect the job he’s done and I think he likes it here.”

Babcock, 51, is heading into the final year of a contract that pays him roughly $2 million a season.

“I don’t think about it at all,” Babcock said earlier this week. “I don’t think it’s going to be my final year here. If it is, it is. I’ve tried to live my whole life in the present, so what happened yesterday doesn’t matter, what we’re doing today does matter and we’ll get on with it tomorrow. So I’m going to do the same. I’ll get up every day and try as hard as I can as I always have, and go home and love my family and come back the next day and do the same.”

Babcock has said he would not negotiate a new deal during the season.

“My relationship with my general manager is such that the grass isn’t greener on the other side,” Babcock said. “I imagine that will get it worked out.”

Babcock is heading into his 10th season in Detroit. He set a franchise record last season with his 415th win, passing Scotty Bowman and Jack Adams in the process.

He has also led Canada to two straight Olympic gold medals.

Babcock, who has led the Wings to a Stanley Cup and a two conference championships, could be the hottest sought-after coach this offseason if he doesn’t get a deal done to remain in Detroit.

“I’m going to do everything within my power to maximize the group, whether I’m in my last year or first year,” Babcock said. “It doesn’t affect my life whatsoever. It would make way more difference to me if I was just starting in the business and I was concerned about feeding my family. I’m not.”

Niklas Kronwall doesn’t believe this will become a distraction if a deal to extend Babcock doesn’t get done prior to the season.

“Our job is to go out and perform on the ice,” Kronwall said. “His job as a coach is to get us prepared and do the things he needs to do and we have all the info that we need. So far it’s been good. We haven’t seen a change from previous years and I don’t think there will a change to that whatsoever.”

Wings coach Mike Babcock: “I can’t believe all the penalties. … Don’t know if they’re trying to get their quota during exhibition.”

DETROIT >> The Detroit Red Wings’ special teams got a workout Monday night.

The power unit was 2-for-8, while the penalty kill was 8-for-8 as the Wings blanked the Toronto Maple Leafs, 3-0, at Joe Louis Arena.

“I couldn’t believe all the penalties,” said Wings coach Mike Babcock, whose team improved to 3-1-1 in the preseason. “We have to be more disciplined I guess. Don’t know if they’re trying to get their quota up during exhibition, don’t know what it is exactly. I don’t know if we needed that many, but obviously we got some work.”

Detroit has yet to allow a power play goal in five preseason games in 23 chances, going 8-for-8 on the penalty kill against the Leafs.

“There was no flow, zero flow,” Babcock said. “That’s the problem with it. You want to play all your guys and you can’t play them. We got good work from our guys.”

“Special teams bit us in the butt,” Toronto coach Randy Carlyle said.

Nick Jensen and Riley Sheahan each scored on the power play, while Petr Mrazek made 27 saves. Tomas Jurco added an empty-net goal.

“The penalty kill was amazing obviously, I don’t even know how many there were but there were a lot of minutes that we had to kill,” Ryan Sproul said. “We did a great job offense and defense and it was hard on us but we killed it off.”

Toronto goalie James Reimer stopped 14 shots.

“Your best penalty killer is your goaltender and I thought he was really good, solid, good plays with the puck, he gave us an opportunity,” Babcock said.

“We killed lots of penalties, so a 3-0 game, I think it was a good effort from everyone,” Mrazek said. “I felt great from the beginning of the game. We had penalty kill right away, 17 seconds, you get into the game and then continue that work.”

Mrazek is in a battle to perhaps push Jonas Gustavsson for the backup job with the Wings.

“We’ll see what happens in couple days and then go from there,” Mrazek said. “I’m trying to do my best. Work hard every practice and every game I get so I’m happy for that.”

It took a while for the Wings’ power play to get going, finally striking on their fifth chance of the night. Jensen’s blast from the point deflected off Daniel Winnik’s stick just 33 seconds into the man advantage.

The second tally came on the seventh power play of the net, when Sheahan drove home a rebound off Reimer down low early in the third period. Sproul and Xavier Ouellet each drew assists.

The Wings lost two players during the course of the game. Tomas Nosek was ejected early in the second period for hitting Toronto’s Stuart Percy from behind. In the first period, defenseman Aaron Rome left with a lower-body injury.

DeKeyser will be in camp on time after getting two-year deal with Wings

DETROIT >> Restricted free agent defensemen Danny DeKeyser will report to camp on time after receiving a two-year deal with an average salary-cap hit of $2.187 million a season.

Training camp opens in Traverse City on Friday.

DeKeyser will be a restricted free agent after the deal is done.

In 76 games, DeKeyser has four goals, 20 assists and is a plus-14.

The main sticking point in getting a deal done according to Wings general manager Ken Holland is finding “comparable” deals.

DeKeyser, who just completed his first full season in the NHL after the Wings beat out several teams to land the much-sought-after defenseman, made $925,000 a season on his two-year, entry-level deal.

The Wings offered DeKeyser, who had injuries lasting a least a month or longer in each of his first two seasons, a long-term deal back in June which his camp wasn’t receptive to.

DeKeyser, 24, is represented by Pat Morris, who’s the same agent that represents Kyle Quincey, who signed a two-deal this offseason worth $4.25 a season.
The Wings have just over $3 million in cap space left.

DeKeyser was one of the NHL’s most sought-after free agents last year before deciding to stay at Western Michigan University.

In three seasons at WMU, DeKeyser, who was undrafted, appeared in 118 games and had 12 goals, 37 assists and 107 penalty minutes.

Over that summer the Wings made pitches for a number of prized free agent defenseman including Ryan Suter.

Alfredsson’s agent says client will take time after recent setback before deciding on future

DETROIT >> Daniel Alfredsson’s future in the NHL appears pretty bleak.

With the Wings scheduled to hit the ice Friday in Traverse City to opening training camp, Alfredsson has not taken part in any informal on-ice workouts at Joe Louis Arena in more than a week.

“I’m not sure he’s going to be at camp,” Wings general manager Ken Holland said in a phone interview Monday. “His back isn’t to where he feels like he can play and practice every day.”

Alfredsson still has an issue with a nerve in his back that occurred late last season.

Alfredsson’s agent J.P. Barry spoke to tsn.ca.

“Daniel had a strong summer training and was feeling great while skating here but suffered a setback on his fifth day of high intensity on ice sessions,” Barry told the website. “It’s the same back issue he has been dealing with for a few years. He needs some time to let things settle and then determine whether his back is up to the rigors of another full season. He will be patient for now before making any decisions.”

Alfredsson was tied for the team lead with 49 points (18 goals, 31 assists) in 68 regular season games last season. He didn’t record a point in the playoffs.

“We’re going to give him all the time he needs to make his decision,” Holland said. “We’re going to be patient. He wants to do what’s right for himself but also what’s right for the Red Wings.”

The Wings would like to sign Alfredsson, 41, to a one-year deal if he’s healthy, even if it’s just to play between 60-65 games.

“I would love to play, there’s no question, but at the same time you have to listen to your body,” Alfredsson said a few weeks ago. “I’m hoping that I’ll know within the next week or two weeks.”

DeKeyser, Wings don’t appear close to reaching a deal as start of training camp looms

DETROIT >> Restricted free agent defenseman Danny DeKeyser continues to take part in informal on-ice workouts at Joe Louis Arena with teammates despite not appearing to be close to getting a new deal done.

There appears to be a huge gap between the sides according to Wings general manager Ken Holland.

“It takes two to make a deal,” Holland said during a phone interview as he prepares to watch the Wings’ prospects take part in a tournament in Traverse City. “We’ve had a number of productive conversations, but there’s none of late.”

The two sides have not spoken about a new deal in the last two weeks.

In 76 games, DeKeyser has four goals, 20 assists and is a plus-14.

The main sticking point according to Holland is finding “comparable” deals.

DeKeyser, who just completed his first full season in the NHL after the Wings beat out several teams to land the much-sought-after defenseman, made $925,000 a season on his two-year, entry-level deal.

“He doesn’t have a ton of experience,” Holland said. “We’ve explored lots of different options.”

The Wings offered DeKeyser, 24, a long-term deal back in June which his camp wasn’t receptive to.

Both sides would like more than a one-year deal.

“We’re still hopeful and optimistic that we can find a solution,” Holland continued. “Time off between talking could be good. It’s important to get a deal done that’s fair for the player and fair for the club.”

Training camp opens in Traverse City on Sept. 19.

DeKeyser, 24, is represented by Pat Morris, who’s the same agent that represents Kyle Quincey, who signed a two-deal this offseason worth $4.25 a season.

The deals aren’t comparable since Quincey was an unrestricted free agent. Morris also hasn’t tried to use Quincey’s deal as leverage in DeKeyser’s negotiations.

The Wings have just over $5 million in cap space left.

Alfredsson’s future with the Detroit Red Wings seems a bit murky

DETROIT >> Daniel Alfredsson’s future with the Detroit Red Wings seems a bit murky.

“I think if I was confident enough after last season that if I would start this season as I did last year I would have signed already,” Alfredsson said Wednesday at Joe Louis Arena. “I had some issues with my back throughout the year, but nothing serious until the end when I started getting some tingling in the nerves down the right leg. That’s what worries me more than anything.”

Alfredsson, who has an issue with a nerve in his back, is in town taking part in on-ice workouts with a number of other Wings preparing for training camp.
“I would love to play, there’s no question, but at the same time you have to listen to your body,” Alfredsson said. “I’m hoping that I’ll know within the next week or two weeks. We’ll see.”

Alfredsson said his decision will most likely come before training camp that begins with physicals on Sept. 18.

“We’re going to let Alfie have this week, let have next week and then I’ll see what he thinks,” Wings general manager Ken Holland said. “If Alfie tells me he feels great and he wants to play hockey then we have to sit down and talk. If he tells me on the 15th of September, ‘I feel good but you know what I’d like to go to training camp and see a bit more’ then I think we’re going to do it.

“He wants to play, that’s why he’s back here,” Holland continued. “He wants to be fair to the Detroit Red Wings. And he wants to put himself through an everyday test and that starts this week.”

Alfredsson, who resumed skating in Sweden before coming back to Detroit, and his family will remain in Detroit next season no matter what the final decision is on his career.

He had 18 goals and 31 assists in 68 regular season games, but didn’t record a point in the postseason.

The nerve issue didn’t start until the end of last season according Alfredsson, who also had a groin and back injury.

“I haven’t experienced a lot of pain with it,” Alfredsson said. “It’s been more with numbness and losing strength in the right leg, which is why you need to put the repetition in to make sure you hold up.”

Alfredsson, 41, added he had surgery roughly three years ago for similar symptoms and afterwards he felt great.

“We don’t want a part-time player, we want a full-time player, so a guy’s got to be healthy, he’s got to be able to skate,” Wings coach Mike Babcock said. “Alfie led our team in scoring last year, without that happening. That’s how good a man he is and that’s how talented he is. But if you start the year injured and you’re 25, you’ve got a chance to finish the year healthy. If you start the year injured and you’re Alfie’s age, the chance of you getting ready to go is a lot harder.”

The Wings have just over $5 million in cap space left and still need to sign restricted free agent defenseman Danny DeKeyser which means Alfredsson will have to take a pay cut after making $5.5 million ($2 million in bonuses) last season.

Detroit has 14 forwards, six defensemen and two goalies signed to one-way contracts.