Monthly Archives: January 2013

Doesn’t look as if Bertuzzi will be wearing a visor Friday

DETROIT — Todd Bertuzzi may not wear a visor, but it’s something he feels the league should mandate players do soon.

“I don’t know it’s something I’ve got to think about for a bit,” Bertuzzi said after practice at Joe Louis Arena. “That’s all I can give you.”

Bertuzzi practiced without a visor.

“I don’t think it’s a discussion any player really wants to have,” Bertuzzi added. “I think it’s a personal decision. I’m not trying to be (jerk), but it’s our office and we wear what we want to wear. Guys wear different shoulder pads, different helmets and different skates, that’s just how it is. It’s an option we’re given and some guys don’t want to use it.”

Bertuzzi caught a high stick right of Dallas’ Jamie Benn under his left eye in the second period on Tuesday.

A visor is something he’d tell his kid to wear.

“It’s a no brainer,” Bertuzzi said. “I think all the kids coming up, anyone coming into the league the past 4-5 years it should be mandatory to have it. I believe in it. Same thing with the no helmet. It was grandfathered in. The last guy to no wear it was (Craig) MacTavish and I think eventually when use older guys get out of the league they make it mandatory that (visors) be worn.”

Kris Draper and Steve Yzerman both wore visors to finish their careers.

After two scaring incidents with his eye, Draper finally forced himself to finish his career wearing a visor.

First, a stick glanced his eye that made Draper put on a visor. He later took it off and was hit with a puck on his right eye.

Yzerman also suffered a scratched cornea and broken bone just below his left eye in 2004.

“Wearing a visor might be a good thing,” Wings coach Mike Babcock said after Tuesday’s game. “I’d hate to see that happen to a guy because that could change your life forever. That’s part of the game, but a visor would fix that.”

Tootoo already energizing team with his fists

DETROIT – Jordin Tootoo sure knows how to energize a home crowd.

Just three seconds into Tuesday’s 4-1 win over Dallas, Tootoo fought the Stars’ Eric Nystrom. And if that wasn’t enough, he tangled with Dallas’ Brenden Dillon near the end of the first period.

“That’s part of my DNA, to bring emotion into the game and having guys feed off of that,” Tootoo said after the game. “I feel great. Let’s get after it again. I still had one more fight in me. I mean, it is what it is, but it is all part of the game. For me I don’t mind doing that part.”

The Wings targeted Tootoo on the first day of free agency and signed the former Nashville Predator to a three-year deal worth $5.7 million.

“We’re not really used to seeing that,” Wings goalie Jimmy Howard said. “But Toots goes out there and sets the tone for us, whether it’s a big hit or dropping the gloves. He got the crowd into it early for us.”

According to hockeyfights.com the Wings had the fewest fighting majors in each of the past eight seasons. And over the past 12 seasons, Detroit has ranked last 10 times and second-to-last the other two times.

“It’s part of my game and my foundation is bringing emotion to the game, brining energy and the guys feeding off of that,” Tootoo said. “Now let’s get after it Friday night.”

Tootoo’s scrap with Nystrom was the second time he’s fought right off the opening faceoff, going toe-to-toe with Columbus’ Jared Boll on Jan. 21.

His fight with Dillon, who’s six inches taller, was instigated by a hit Tootoo delivered on the Stars’ Philip Larsen last week. The rookie defenseman wanted to go with Tootoo and the end of his shift.

“I’m basically trying to protect myself from not getting hit and just keep whaling,” Tootoo said of fighting the much taller Dillon. “I have a good memory of what happened last game. It’s a rookie move when you ask a guy to go at the end of his shift. I thought we both were pretty fresh and away we went.”

Tootoo has 67 fighting majors in his career.

“I was expecting him to get on the forecheck, but he took it upon himself to have a couple bouts obviously and we don’t mind that either,” Wings coach Mike Babcock said. “We just assume he forechecks. He’s a guy that gives us a different dimension that we’ve had and when he’s out there guys know that he’s out there.”

Todd Bertuzzi is the last Wing to right twice in a game. Bertuzzi went with Nashville’s Shane O’Brien on April 2, 2011. Tootoo did not play in that game.

“It’s just good old-time hockey,” Tootoo said. “I mean, I thought we needed another little energy boost there and that’s pretty much what happened.”

Justin Abdelkader led Detroit with six fighting majors last season.

“He’s really good at getting underneath the other team’s skin,” Howard said of Tootoo. “It’s great to have him on your side, that’s for sure.”

Quotes of the day … Jordin Tootoo

DETROIT – Jordin Tootoo on his two fighting majors Tuesday night.

“That’s part of my DNA, to bring emotion into the game and having guys feed off of that,” Tootoo said. “I feel great. Let’s get after it again. I still had one more fight in me. I mean, it is what it is, but it is all part of the game. For me I don’t mind doing that part.

“It’s part of my game and my foundation is bringing emotion to the game, brining energy and the guys feeding off of that,” Tootoo continued. “Now let’s get after it Friday night.”

As for how he handled fighting Brenden Dillon, who’s six inches taller than him.

“I’m basically trying to protect myself from not getting hit and just keep whaling,” Tootoo said.

Dillon wanted to tangle last week after Tootoo delivered a hit on Philip Larsen, but it was at the end of Tootoo’s shift.

“I have a good memory of what happened last game,” Tootoo said. “It’s a rookie move when you ask a guy to go at the end of his shift. I thought we both were pretty fresh and away we went.”

Bertuzzi feels ‘pretty fortunate’ after taking high stick below left eye

DETROIT — Todd Bertuzzi feels very fortunate.

Late in the second period Bertuzzi caught a high stick right of Dallas’ Jamie Benn under his left eye and the rugged forward went straight to the locker room.

“I think I’m pretty fortunate,” Bertuzzi said after the game. “I still don’t know what the extent of it is. I’ll get it checked tomorrow but pretty lucky.

“The blade of the stick came straight into my eye, so obviously, being around and knowing people who’ve been injured, you kind of panic a little bit, you don’t know what’s going on,” Bertuzzi added. “It’s your livelihood. I was a little bit worried but our good doctors made sure I was fine before I went out.”

Bertuzzi said he’s never thought of wearing a visor.

“I know it’s probably stupid,” Bertuzzi said. “People will call me stupid for not wearing it. I played many years and it’s a tough adjustment to do. I know it’s a stupid comment to say.”

After two scaring incidents with his eye, Kris Draper finally forced himself to finish his career wearing a visor.

First, a stick glanced his eye that made Draper put on a visor. He later took it off and was hit with a puck on his right eye.

Long-time captain Steve Yzerman also suffered a scratched cornea and broken bone just below his left eye in 2004.

“Wearing a visor might be a good thing,” Babcock said. “I’d hate to see that happen to a guy because that could change your life forever. That’s part of the game, but a visor would fix that.”

Filppula scores twice; Tootoo fights twice; Wings top Stars 4-1

DETROIT – Bad knee and all, Valtteri Filppula delivered for the Wings Tuesday night at Joe Louis Arena just like they had been hoping for at the start of the season.

Filppula twice and Jimmy Howard made 25 saves as lead Detroit beat the Dallas Stars, 4-1.

“Fil’s a huge talent for us and we need him to be a high end scorer for us,” Wings coach Mike Babcock said. “He hasn’t been practicing. He’s got a few bumps and bruises, but he found a way to play here and he helped our team find a way to win.”

Detroit, which killed off all five Dallas power play chances, also got goals from Henrik Zetterberg and Damien Brunner, who notched his team-leading third of the season. Pavel Datsyuk had two assists.

“It’s important for us to have depth up front, scoring, not just rely on a couple of the guys,” Howard said. “With Fil, he did a good job finding the soft areas on the ice and Pav found him.”

Loui Eriksson got the Stars’ goal, while Kari Lehtonen made 21 saves and Richard Bachman both shots he faced after coming on in relief late in the third period.

Filppula has not practiced or participated in morning skates before games as he’s still dealing with pain from a repaired MCL strain he suffered while playing overseas during the lockout.

“It definitely feels good to score,” Filppula said. “Really nice plays by Pav and (Todd Bertuzzi) as well, so it was nice to get those goals.

“It felt good,” Filppula added about scoring his first goal. “I think it’s always important to get goals. I’m glad I got my first one. Definitely gave me confidence, I’m happy that way.”

Filppula, who came in with three assists on the year, posted career numbers last season, 23 goals and 46 points.

“Obviously it’s been a lot of games so between games it hasn’t been too much time to rest,” Filppula said of his knee injury. “I’ve had to take practice days off and that’s not always the best thing but so far, I’m happy that I’ve been able to play all the games. Hopefully the knee starts feeling better as well.”

Filppula recorded his first goal of the season after Datsyuk did his patented stripping-of-the-puck-from-behind-the-net, this time on Jordie Benn, and fed it to him alone in front of Lehtonen.

“It’s kind of whenever he has the puck, trying to get ready and you can always get it,” Filppula said of Datsyuk’s ability to take pucks away. “It’s a good example of that. Nice pass there and I tried to shoot it right away. Luckily it went in.”

Before the period ended Zetterberg got just the Wings’ third power play goal of the season sending a rocket top shelf past Lehtonen after getting a feed from Patrick Eaves.

The goal came just before a 5-on-3 man advantage was about to expire and with just 24 seconds left in the period.
Brunner notched his team-leading third goal of the season, redirecting in a shot from the point from Johan Franzen just over six minutes into the third period.

“He looks like a hockey player to me,” Babcock said of Brunner. “He shoots. He goes to the net. He’s getting better defensively. We feel we’ve found ourselves a pretty good player. We feel real fortunate when we saw him and we were able to convince him to come here. He seems like a good fit.”

Just 23 seconds later, Filppula scored his second goal of the season and in the game sliding home a pass from Datsyuk after he had split a pair of forwards in the Stars’ zone and feeding it to his linemate.

Filppula nearly recorded his hat trick shorthanded but was stopped on a breakaway and then rebound attempt by Lehtonen.

There was a scary moment late in the second period when Bertuzzi was clipped under his left eye.

“Wearing a visor might be a good thing,” Babcock said. “I’d hate to see that happen to a guy because that could change your life forever. That’s part of the game, but a visor would fix that.”

The most exciting part of the first period for Wings fans came when Jordin Tootoo got into two fights.

Tootoo first dropped his gloves with Eric Nystrom just three seconds into the period and then squared off with Brendan Dillon with four minutes left.

As a team Detroit had just 15 fighting majors last season, led by Justin Abdelkader with six. Tootoo already has three this season.

“Just good old-time hockey,” Tootoo said. “I mean, I thought we needed another little energy boost there and that’s pretty much what happened.”

Detroit did however fail to score in the first period for a sixth straight game to begin the season.

“I think we didn’t start as well as we wanted to,” Filppula said. “Even though last game we played in Chicago we played an OK game. That’s the most important thing, trying to keep getting better every game. I think today was a good game and hopefully we can build on it.”

Kindl in for Lashoff to aid power play; Colaiacovo skates for a bit

DETROIT – Wings coach Mike Babcock has decided to put defenseman Jakub Kindl back in the lineup and sitting Brian Lashoff.

“He’s got to move the puck,” Babcock said. “He’s a skilled guy on the back. He’s got to shoot the puck. The big thing is he’s got to grab a piece of the action. That’s up to him. That’s what these opportunities are for. You’ve got to reach out and grab hold of something and then make it your own. If you don’t, you’re not in the lineup.”

The move is help Detroit anemic power play, which is 2-for-26 this season.

Kindl was a healthy scratch Sunday.

“When you look around, our back end we have two guys out, definitely it’s an opportunity,” Kindl said. “I’ve just got to take it and just be ready for it. Whenever I get the chance I just have to show I can play.”

Valtteri Filppula (knee) will play.

“Obviously the pace is pretty tough right now, so we’re trying to rest a little more when we have a chance with practice days,” Filppula said. “But it’s been pretty good at games, so I’m happy about that.”

Defenseman Carlo Colaiacovo (separated left shoulder) skated for a bit on his own. He was injured in the Wings’ first game on a check against the boards.

“As soon as I start to get more movement out of it I’ll hit the ice.”

It’s the same shoulder he sprained at Spengler Cup on hit from Damien Brunner.

“I just got hit, from the impact from the hit, I couldn’t move it,” Colaiacovo said. “I knew right away that it was the same shoulder. It felt a lot worse. Very frustrating at the time, still is, but just got to come to the rink, put a smile on my face every day, work my rear off to get back in the lineup as soon as I can.”

Colaiacovo has yet to play more than 67 games in any season.

“It’s been a tough first week, even just trying to sleep,” Colaiacovo said. “That’s the only thing I can continue to do, off the ice continue to get better, healthy and get myself ready to get back as quick as I can.

“It’s a tough way to start,” Colaiacovo added. “I want to be out there as bad as anything right now. It’s a good motivation for me to keep myself going, work off the ice, get it stronger.”

Quote of the day … Brendan Smith

DETROIT — Rookie defenseman Brendan Smith will get to play his brother, Reilly, for a second time in a week and was asked what the basement looked like at his house with three brothers growing up there.

“It was a mess,” he said. “The TV was always a disaster, the walls, everything. We used to get into a little bit of trouble, but I know that deep down inside, they were so ecstatic that we’d play this much and we had such a good relationship between us three. But we’d get in a little trouble when somebody would come upstairs with no teeth or whatever it was. It was fun, but at the same time, there were some bumps and bruises.”

Brendan’s other brother, Rory, plays professional lacrosse.

“None of us wanted to be the goalie, but every once in a while, we’d have to put one of us in,” Brendan said. “I think my older brother (Rory) took that on and would play goalie while Reilly and I just battled it out in the basement all the time.”

Rory is also a tough guy that taught Brendan how to fight.

“He’s the one who showed me how to protect myself,” Brendan said. “There are a lot of things he’s done just to be there for me. He actually used to play hockey with me. He was a good player, but he was more of an enforcer.

Reilly got the best of Brendan in the first meeting as the Stars beat the Wings 2-1.

“I can’t let him get two steps up on me, so we’ve got to win tonight,” Brendan said.

Brendan said he didn’t know who his family roots for.

“I think it’s kind of mutual, but it’s the losing team I think they cheer for, hoping they’ll even up the game,” Brendan said. “But you never have a tie game, so I think it’s hard for them to cheer for one of us.”