Ryan Suter, Zach Parise

Detroit’s summer of free agency missed opportunities


The Red Wings headed into free agency with oodles of salary cap space and tons of cash to spend. They set their sights high thinking they could pull off the daily double landing both Zach Parise and Ryan Suter. Instead, it was the Minnesota Wild who pulled off the feat thanks to their desire to play at home and leading to columnists declaring that Detroit were no longer the chosen ones in the NHL.

With all that money and a need to add a scorer and a blue liner, the Red Wings then missed out on Matt Carle who landed in Tampa Bay with Steve Yzerman. Detroit even missed out on getting in the Shea Weber derby thanks to Philly’s offer sheet but were believed to be investigating a possible trade. Hoo boy.

Instead of addressing needs they went in a different direction adding agitator Jordin Tootoo and bringing back Mikael Samuelsson, two not-so headliners. Is that enough? Not hardly. Sure they’ve still got Pavel Datsyuk, Henrik Zetterberg, Jimmy Howard, and Niklas Kronwall and those are great players to have, but they fell short in the playoffs last year and that was when they had Nicklas Lidstrom and Brad Stuart. They’re both gone and Detroit’s free agent whiffs stand out even more.

GM Ken Holland says he’d rather go with his kids and unless Detroit works out a deal with Alexander Semin or Shane Doan, that’s just what they’ll have to do. Are guys like Gustav Nyqvist, Brendan Smith, Jakub Kindl, and Tomas Tatar ready to be prime time players? Holland and the Wings faithful will have to hope so.

Vatrano presence: Bruins edge Red Wings in overtime

Frank Vatrano David Krejci

The Boston Bruins keep flipping the script.

In Wednesday’s case, it swerved to a “Cinderella” story, as little-known forward Frank Vatrano scored two of Boston’s three goals – including the overtime clincher – as the B’s beat the Detroit Red Wings 3-2 (OT).

Here’s his first goal of the night:

While this is his overtime game-winner:

It wasn’t a perfect night for the 21-year-old, yet it may have been a convincing one.

The Bruins continue to begin a month on a sour note before ending up with impressive sprees.

October: 0-3-0 start, finished month with four straight wins and victories in six of seven contests.

November: 0-3-0 start, losses in four of five; currently on a four-game winning strek with victories in five of six.

Boston faces a challenge in closing this month out against the Rangers on Friday, and it’s possible that this trend may continue, as they begin December with a three-game road trip through Western Canada.

More than anything else, the safest bet with the Bruins is for ups and downs.

Crosby roars, Malkin scores in OT for Penguins win

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Controversy just seems to find the Pittsburgh Penguins. Credit Sidney Crosby & Co. for responding with a win on Wednesday.

Crosby generated two pretty goals, including this slam-dunk slapper:

… While Evgeni Malkin‘s overtime-winner stood as the Penguins managed a 4-3 overtime win against the St. Louis Blues tonight.

(You can see Malkin’s OT-clincher in the video above this post.)

Will this win and strong performance from Crosby silence murmurs about his relationship with Mario Lemieux? Probably not, yet it likely turns the volume down in some ways, including killing the “Is he struggling because of distractions” storyline.

You know, at least for a little while. Maybe.

Fight video: Claude Giroux vs. Nick Leddy

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Claude Giroux isn’t the nastiest, most physical captain the Philadelphia Flyers have employed. Even so, he can be feisty at times.

Wednesday showed that, as he clearly wasn’t happy with an earlier Nick Leddy hit, and eventually got the New York Islanders defenseman to drop his gloves.

You can see the fight and the check that inspired that scrap in the video above.

It’s the fourth fight Giroux has been a part of, with his most recent adversary being may his most bitter rival.

Not a heavyweight bout between Giroux and Leddy, mind you, but sometimes it’s amusing to soak in such a rare sight.

Update: The fight may have inspired the Islanders more than the Flyers, as they bested Philly 3-1 on Wednesday.

Carter Hutton gets flipped, stays in game

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Carter Hutton is getting something that might make fellow Nashville Predators goalie Pekka Rinne jealous: goal support.

Still, there was at least one moment where Rinne was likely happy to be on the bench, as Hutton was left flipping during this collision with Buffalo Sabres forward Marcus Foligno:

Remarkably, Hutton remained in the game.

If you’re the type who loves adding to your “hockey players are tough” files, put this under the goalies section.

Check out this incredible shot of that moment:

Update: The Predators held off the Buffalo Sabres to win 3-2.