Tag Archives: regular season games

Weiss unsure of role next season with Wings

DETROIT >> The Detroit Red Wings’ $5 million dollar man had another one of those less than $5 million dollar performance seasons.

And a lot of his performance issues are due to how things went his first season with the Wings since signing a hefty five-year deal worth $24.5 million.

Stephen Weiss, 32, tried to play through a sports hernia, which he started to feel the effects of during training camp, that first year. He wound up having sports hernia surgery and then had a second procedure later to repair an issue with scar tissue.

“What I had in mind last year was tough going through those injuries and it kind of hurt me this year,” Weiss said during the Wings’ locker room cleanup Friday at Joe Louis Arena. “Didn’t get in the lineup right away and I was still going through a bit of issues when I did get in the lineup. That took some time. I felt like I played really well when I got back and then for whatever reason fell down the lineup and just couldn’t recover.”

In the first season in Detroit, Weiss managed to play just 26 games totaling two goals, two assists and a minus-4.

“Looking back on it I should have taken time right away instead of playing through it,” Weiss said. “When I decided to play through it that wound up costing me.”

He played in 52 games regular season games this year and finished with nine goals and 16 assists.

Weiss appeared in the first two playoff games against Tampa Bay before finding himself benched the rest of the series.

“I’ve been around long enough, it was frustrating,” Weiss said. “You always want to do more. You feel like you can do more. I felt that way. I wanted to be in there, especially in the playoffs playing and have a bigger role, but it wasn’t to be.”

In all, he’s appeared in just 78 of a possible 164 regular season games since signing with the Wings.

After beginning this year as a healthy scratch, Weiss seemed to ignite the offense when he got in after a brief conditioning stint in Grand Rapids.

He had two goals in his first game back and had another goal in his next game.

In a seven-game stretch, Weiss had four goals and six assists. He had just five goals and 10 assists over the next 44 games as he slipped further and further down the lineup.

“At this point I’m just trying to get stronger and stay healthy over the summer and hopefully find a way to get a bigger role,” said Weiss, who missed the final 26 games of the 2012-13 season with Florida due to a wrist injury. “That would be nice. I feel like I can do a lot more. We’ll see.

“I think the way things ended last year when I came back when the season started I wasn’t in the lineup, I was a healthy scratch, sat around for a while,” Weiss continued. “They told me they were going to put me in and wanted to know if I wanted to go play a couple games in Grand Rapids. I wanted to. I went and did that, came back and got a good opportunity then. Playing with (Pavel Datsyuk) there for a little bit and playing pretty well. And then, for whatever reason, I just fell down the lineup. I wasn’t playing a ton and when you’re not playing a lot it’s tough to do what you’ve always done.”

Gustavsson inks one-year $1.85 million deal to remain with Wings

DETROIT >> Jonas Gustavsson signed his one-year deal Wednesday, getting a slight increase in pay from $1.5 million to $1.85 million to back up Jimmy Howard for a third season.

Gustavsson’s two seasons in Detroit seemed to be spent mainly on the trainer’s table.

Battling injures from groins to shoulders, Gustavsson appeared in just 34 regular-season games with the Wings over two seasons.

“Gus gives us a one-two security punch with Jimmy Howard,” Holland said last week. “He played fabulous for us. The only downside is he spent some time on IR with the groin.”

Gustavsson, 29, missed a total of 23 games on five separate occasions with three different types of injuries last season, but groin injuries have been his Achilles heel since signing a free agent deal with the Wings.

The one-year deal allows Petr Mrazek to mature another season in the American Hockey League before joining the Wings.

Gustavsson had aspirations of being a starting goalie in the NHL.

When Gustavsson played, he played well this season, going 16-5-4 with a 2.63 goals-against average and a .907 save percentage. He appeared in the final two games of the playoffs, filling in for Howard, who was sidelined with the flu.

Along with missing 18 games due to a groin injury this season, he appeared in just seven of the 48 games during the lockout-shortened first season in Detroit, making just four starts. He didn’t play over the final 27 games of the season, which included the playoffs.

Another season with Wings appears likely for Alfredsson

DETROIT >> When Detroit was eliminated from the playoffs, Daniel Alfredsson all but said if he returns for a 19th season he would do so with the Red Wings.

It appears he’s getting closer to making a decision to do just that.

“He’s thinking about returning,” Wings general manager Ken Holland said during a phone interview Monday. “We’ll talk more before July first.”

The only concern seems to be with his back, which caused him to miss a handful of games towards the end of the regular season along with two of the five games in the series with Boston.

“He’s not announcing he’s retiring so we’ll have another conversation,” said Holland, who added there a lot of trade talks heading up to the draft in Philadelphia this weekend. “There are a lot of unknowns. I’ll meet with the agents of our restricted free agents. All these things factor into what I’m thinking.”

Holland also plans to talk the agents of restricted free agents Tomas Tatar and Danny DeKeyser this week and hopefully Riley Sheahan.

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

“At the moment if I come back, that’s the likely scenario (coming back to Detroit),” Alfredsson said after the Wings’ loss in Game 5 to the Bruins. “As a family we’ve had a fabulous time in Detroit. Everybody likes it. That’s check one, I guess.”

His 49 points was tops on the team.

“I think there is promise with this team,” Alfredsson said. “It will probably be some time before I have a decision. When that is, I’m not sure. The sooner the better, I’d like to think.”

When pushed more on whether he would return or not the veteran said, “I really don’t know. There’s a lot of factors that play in, mentally, physically and family. I still love the game, there’s no question about that. At the same time, you’ve got to end it sometime. I’m sure I’ll be talking to my wife and we’ll come to a decision together.”

Alfredsson, 41, signed a one-year worth $3.5 million on the first day of free agency last year, leaving Ottawa where he had spent his entire 17-year career prior. He had been the league’s longest serving captain until the move.

Alfredsson originally said he left Ottawa to join the Wings because he felt Detroit had a better chance at winning the Stanley Cup that has eluded him throughout his career.

Then, during a press conference in Ottawa on Aug. 15, he said the move was aided by a broken promise by the Senators.

Kronwall excited about the Wings’ future

DETROIT >> Quick update from the Detroit Red Wings’ locker cleanout Tuesday at Joe Louis Arena.

The Wings reached the playoffs for a 23rd consecutive season, due in large part to a bunch of young players.

“The regular season was a big challenge for us with all the injuries we had, lots of guys coming in and out of the lineup,” Niklas Kronwall said. “We’ve got a chance to see some of the younger guys do really well. I think there’s a very exciting future. Guys that had to grow up maybe sooner than they had to, and without he young guys we couldn’t have made it to the playoffs.”

Gustav Nyquist led the team during the regular season with 28 goals and was tied for third with 48 points. He had no goals and no assists and was a minus-1 in the five games.

Tomas Tatar was second on the team during the regular season with 19 goals and ranked sixth with 39 points. He had no goals and no assists and was a minus-3 in the five games.

Riley Sheahan had nine goals and 15 assists in 42 games during the regular season. He had no goals and no assists and was a minus-1 in the five games.

Tomas Jurco had eight goals and seven assists in 36 regular season games. He had no goals and no assists and was a minus-1. He found himself out as a healthy scratch in the final two games of the series.

“(They) give us a lot (of optimism),” Kronwall said. “Not only did they come in and play great but they also got a taste of the playoffs, what a different game it is, how tight it is,” Kronwall said. “It’s not a lot of space. Somehow you have to find a way to fight through it. It was a good learning curve.

The Wings lost in five games to the Boston Bruins.

“These guys know what to expect a little bit more,” Kronwall added. “Hopefully all of us in here need a big summer of training and be ready to go when the season starts. The message was pretty clear, have a great summer of training and be ready to go. We need a good start. It was tough when you’re not in a good spot with 15-20 games to go, when you have to fight for every inch out there, it’s a little different than what we’ve had in the past.”

Four players will be heading to Belarus to take part in the World Championships – Justin Abdelkader, Nyquist, Tatar and Jakub Kindl.

Gustav Nyquist and Brett Hull

DETROIT >> Should Gustav Nyquist score tonight against Montreal it will extend his goal-scoring streak to seven consecutive games. Brett Hull was the last Wing to score in seven straight (Nov. 26 to Dec. 8, 2003).

“I was pretty young, so not much,” Nyquist said when asked what he remembered of Hull. “I didn’t know he had the streak but I’m not surprised, he was a great player. I had no clue about the streak.”

Daniel Cleary was the last Wing to score in six-consecutive regular season games (Nov. 5-17, 2010).

“He’s been good everywhere he’s been, he’s led his leagues in scoring, he’s always been a real good player, but you never know if it’s going to translate in the NHL,” Wings coach Mike Babcock said. “We’ve all seen tons of good players in junior or college and they come to the American League and it doesn’t happen. He’s got hockey IQ off the charts, very, very smart. He can create space, he’s competitive, he’s a real confident kid in his own abilities and he’s played well and he’s on a roll.”

Steve Yzerman holds the team record with goals in nine consecutive regular season games (Jan. 29 through Feb. 12, 1992).

Nyquist has 25 goals and 17 assists in 47 games this season.

“I can’t say that I expected to score this many goals,” Nyquist said. “Again, I think all the young guys have done a good job. Injuries have created a lot of opportunities for different players and we’ve grown more confidence from it.

“Some of the goals have been off pretty good deflections as well, so it’s nice to see the puck go in,” Nyquist added. “It’s been a crazy year with injuries, we’d like to have some key players back, but we’ve gotten an opportunity to play a lot more minutes and in different situations. That’s given us all some more confidence.”

Wings want a healthy Helm by training camp

DETROIT — One player Detroit missed basically all season was Darren Helm.

“We’ve got to get him healthy for next season,” Wings general manager Ken Holland said. “It’s probably going to take half the year to get him up and running.”

Helm played just one game this season due to reoccurring back pain.

He however won’t need surgery.

“He’s been to about four doctors and they say there is no structural damage,” Holland said. “The plan is to let him heal and have him ready for training camp. We need him healthy in September.

“In order to get him playing, doctors asked him to push through it,” Holland continued. “He tried that, felt good and then experienced pain. There’s no use for him to push through it anymore.”

Helm, 26, has been on the wrong end of a rash of injuries of late.

He missed the Wings’ week-long training camp and the first three games of the season with a back injury, which was the first of his playing career.

He hit by a puck on Nov. 2 during an informal skate in Troy, breaking an orbital bone.

On March 17, he missed the final 10 regular-season games with a sprained MCL. Then, in his first game back, the playoff opener against Nashville, he had tendons in his forearm sliced by a skate.

Helm’s season appears could be over

DETROIT — Quick update from Wings practice Tuesday at Joe Louis Arena.

Wings coach Mike Babcock is getting to the point where he’s not expecting to have forward Darren Helm back this season.

“Well he’s not going to play hockey this year we don’t think,” Babcock said after practice. “We have to get ourselves ready for the playoffs and be ready to go on without him.”

Helm has been sidelined pretty much the entire season with a slightly torn disc in his back.

“I’m trying to stay positive, I think my spirits are a little bit higher than they have been,” Helm said. “It feels better, but I still can’t really put any time on what’s going on.

“I’ve been skating for a while, working out for a while, working really hard,” Helm continued. “It’s just that I still feel pain, feel a lot of discomfort. When that stops … I don’t know if one day I’ll wake up and feel great or it’s going to be kind of gradual thing.”

Helm has played one game this year.

“I don’t really have anything else to add,” Helm said. “Just going by how I feel. I’ve been feeling decent. There’s nothing else I can really add to that.”

Helm skated on his own Tuesday and continues to be day-to-day based on how he feels.

“Each day we do a little more and go by how we feel,” Helm said. “I feel like there has been a change since the last couple weeks but don’t know what’s going on.

“I’ve been skating since they went to Anaheim (trip), I was skating by myself on the ice, just (warmup suit), when they got back I was skating in full equipment, then I didn’t go on last trip,” Helm added. “I stayed behind to skate.”

Helm has been on the wrong end of a rash of injuries of late.

He missed the Wings’ week-long training camp and the first three games of the season with a back injury, which was the first of his playing career.

He hit by a puck on Nov. 2 during an informal skate in Troy, breaking an orbital bone.

On March 17, he missed the final 10 regular-season games with a sprained MCL. Then, in his first game back, the playoff opener against Nashville, he had tendons in his forearm sliced by a skate.