Daily Archives: October 16, 2013

Red Wings set to tangle with Patrick Roy’s red-hot Avalanche

DETROIT – Patrick Roy has certainly made his mark early in his NHL coaching career.

From his dust up with Anaheim coach Bruce Boudreau in his debut that got him fined $10,000, to tying the NHL record for victories to start a coaching career, Roy has got the attention of everyone in the league.

“He came out of the gates pretty hot,” said Kyle Quincey, a former Avalanche defenseman. “I’ve heard he has a lot of emotion and the guys are playing well in front of him, so they have a good thing going there.”

Colorado beat Dallas, 3-2 Tuesday night, to win for the sixth straight time.

Coincidentally, Roy shares the coaching record with his former coach in Montreal, Mario Tremblay, who played a major role in sending the Hall of Fame netminder packing during his rookie campaign with the Canadiens.

Tremblay kept Roy in during a lopsided 11-1 by the Wings in 1995. Roy, who allowed nine of those goals, felt Tremblay wanted to humiliate him by keeping him on the ice and quickly demanded a trade that he got.

“No question (he brings intensity),” Wings coach Mike Babcock said.

Roy will look to break the coaching record Thursday against the Wings, who he has a long-history with as a goalie with the Avalanche.

The teams met in the playoffs five times from 1996-2002. In the final meeting, Detroit got six by Roy in Game 7 of the Western Conference finals. The rivalry got more heated when Roy fought Mike Vernon in 1997 and then Chris Osgood the very next season.

“I know nothing about him as a coach, I just know he was an elite, elite goaltender, very competitive guy,” Babcock said.

Roy began his coaching career in 2005 in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League with the Quebec Remparts, a team he also owned and was general manager of at the time, and had instant success leading the squad to the Memorial Cup that same season.

“Obviously he went back and learned to coach by being in major junior,” Babcock said. “Major junior is just NHL lite. It’s like lite beer it’s the same freaking thing. You learn. He’s already got the 20 years of pro and he knows the nuances and all that. And when you coach good players you get to be a better coach.”

The Avalanche have outscored their opponents 21-6 thus far. The two goals Dallas scored on Tuesday were the most they’ve given up in one game this season.

“They look like they go very fast,” Babcock said. “Two years ago, they skated us, flat-out skated us. Then they got a bunch of injuries last year and this year they’ve got more guys again and keep adding good players.”

Rookie Nathan MacKinnon is tied for the team lead with seven points, along with PA Parenteau and Matt Duchene.

“The kid there looks like he’s going to be a star very quickly (MacKinnon),” Babcock said. “They’ve got a good looking team.”

Colorado’s penalty kill has also been outstanding, allowing just one goal on 16 chances.

“They’re building their team similar to how we are, their centers are unbelievable,” Quincey said. “They’ve got Ryan O’Reilly … that’s how good their centers are, he has to move to the wing. He’s a great player. Paul Stastny, Duchie and the MacKinnon kid, they got a great core of guys and good people. I’m not too surprised. This should be a fun game.”

An Avalanche win will also tie the franchise’s best start to a season. The Quebec Nordiques started 7-0 in the 1985-86 season.

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Gustavsson wins back-to-back games for first time since 2012

DETROIT – Jonas Gustavsson admits his memory isn’t the greatest, but when he was reminded of what he accomplished Tuesday night his recollection got a little better.

Gustavsson made 36 saves to lead the Detroit Red Wings to a 2-1 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets at Joe Louis Arena.

It was Gustavsson’s second straight win and the Wings’ third consecutive.

The last time Gustavsson had wins in consecutive appearances was also when he played on back-to-back nights (Jan. 23 and 24, 2012 while with Toronto). That season, Gustavsson strung together four wins in a row twice.

“It feels good, but I’m going to be happy about this tonight and tomorrow is a new day,” Gustavsson said. “It’s sounds boring, but that’s how I am. You can’t get too high or too low. It’s early in the season, but it’s nice to get off to a good start.”

Daniel Alfredsson and Todd Bertuzzi scored for Detroit.

Cam Atkinson had the lone marker for Columbus, while Sergei Bobrovsky made 30 saves.

“I felt good,” Gustavsson said. “We had a game yesterday, so back-to-back, and that was the first couple of games that I played so that was different. It’s just a matter of preparing yourself and be ready to go out and have a good first period because that’s usually the key in these kind of games. Overall, the guys played really well (in front of me) so that made it pretty easy.”

Gustavsson came with a huge save on Jack Johnson let in the third period, going post-to-post to snare the defenseman’s blast with his glove to preserve the Wings’ 2-1 lead.

“I don’t know if I couldn’t get a good push or if I got caught with one of our or their guys, but I had to do something to get some part of my body over there,” Gustavsson said. “Lucky enough that was enough.”

Gustavsson has filled in back-to-back games for the injured Jimmy Howard.

“He’s stepped up and is playing very well,” Bertuzzi said. “He’s playing like a goalie who’s 6-foot-4, coming out and challenging. He made a huge save there in the end. He’s playing very competitive. He’s out of the paint and being very aggressive. He’s been doing a heck of a job. We’ve played two pretty good teams here and he’s stood on his head.”

Alfredsson opened the scoring just five minutes into the game.

After a failed 4-on-2 rush up ice in the waning moments of a Wings’ power play, the loose puck found its way on Alfredsson’s stick and he fired a slap shot past Bobrovsky.

The goal came just two seconds after Columbus had killed off Detroit’s man advantage.

Alfredsson now has a goal and four assists over this last three games.

Atkinson evened things up with a power play goal, freeing himself from Danny DeKeyser to the right of Gustavsson.

Bertuzzi put the Wings back in front less than four minutes later with their fourth power play tally in the last three games.

After getting knocked to the ice in front of Bobrovsky, the veteran got back up and was able to get a piece of a floater of a shot sent in from Henrik Zetterberg to slip it between the netminder’s pads.

The point was Zetterberg’s second of the game, giving him a team-leading nine points this season.

Last season, the Blue Jackets earned nine out of a possible 10 points against the Wings.

It’s the first of three meetings between the teams.

Helm heading to GR for conditioning stint; could play for Wings Oct. 26 against Rangers

DETROIT – Darren Helm finally has his timetable of when he’ll return to the Detroit Red Wings lineup.

Helm is heading to Grand Rapids for a conditioning stint Wednesday and will play in the Griffins’ home opener Friday against Milwaukee.

“He didn’t have any training camp, he’s played one game in 18 months, so I talked to him in Traverse City and he felt he needed a full training camp,” Wings general manager Ken Holland said during Tuesday’s game at Joe Louis Arena against the Columbus Blue Jackets. “He’s now in the process of getting himself healthy, fit. He now needs to play some games.”

Helm is also scheduled to play Saturday with Grand Rapids in Rockford.

“I’m ready to get going pretty soon,” Helm said after practice Tuesday. “Things are going well. I’m skating hard. Today was a battle. I just feel good, ready to go.”

After recovering from a back injury, Helm’s return to the lineup was derailed by a groin injury.

“Everything feels good,” Helm said. “It’s looking good. Things are rolling in the right direction. I’m happy with it.

“Not until I step on the ice do I want to put a (return) date on it,” Helm added. “Until my name is on a lineup sheet I’m not going to get that excited about it. When that day comes then we’ll talk about it.”

Helm will return to Detroit on Monday.

“The two games in the American League, those are his preseason games,” Holland said. “I ask him every couple of days how he’s doing, he feels great and he’s excited to go down. We’re excited. It looks like we’re headed in a positive direction.

“If all goes according to plan he’ll be in the lineup against the Rangers on Oct. 26,” Holland added.

Helm was placed on long-term injured reserve to begin the season which meant he would miss at least the first 10 games of the regular season.