Tomas Tatar

Tatar finding consistency in Grand Rapids

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Red Wings prospect Tomas Tatar is enjoying a successful start to the season with the AHL’s Grand Rapids Griffins. The 22-year-old winger has 11 goals and 12 assists in 27 games and, according to Wings assistant general manager Jim Nill, is playing at a high level on a regular basis.

“The one thing that’s been real noticeable is his consistency,” Nill told the Detroit News about the 60th overall pick in the 2009 draft. “From the first game, he’s been consistent and there haven’t been the ups and downs.”

Consistency is a typical challenge for younger players. Just this year, for example, we’ve seen Nazem Kadri and Joe Colbone made healthy scratches with the Marlies (Toronto) and Zack Kassian and Jordan Schroeder getting a night in the press box with the Wolves (Vancouver).

If the NHL has a season, Tatar could get a shot with the Wings in the wake of Jiri Hudler’s departure for Calgary. Granted, Gustav Nyquist might have something to say about that.

Welcome back, Babs: Red Wings chase Bernier

Mike Babcock
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Mike Babcock admitted that there might be a painful transformation as he tries to fix the Toronto Maple Leafs.

His old friends made that abundantly, painfully clear on Friday.

As of this writing, the Detroit Red Wings are up 4-0 on the Buds. Justin Abdelkader just completed a hat trick with James Reimer in net, so the subplot isn’t just about Jonathan Bernier having another tough start.

The big story might just be Detroit’s varied new line of Abdelkader, Dylan Larkin (who scored his first career goal) and Henrik Zetterberg. At the moment, they’ve combined for seven points.

This post will be updated if Detroit’s tribute video to Babcock surfaces.

Really, though, this beating has been about as ugly as this blanket so far.

Blue Jackets’ Wennberg done for night with upper-body injury

Alexander Wennberg, Jay Bouwmeester
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It wouldn’t be a regular season game without a Columbus Blue Jackets injury, right?

OK, the Blue Jackets hope that 2015-16 looks different from the medically challenged mess of last season, but at least one player is banged up tonight.

Alexander Wennberg suffered an upper-body injury and won’t return on Friday, as the team noted.

There’s no word yet regarding how serious the issue might be. It looks like he might have suffered an injury thanks to a Chris Kreider check:

Naturally, the Blue Jackets must hope that this doesn’t begin another trend.