NHL on NBCSN: Red Wings aim to shake ugly loss tonight vs Avs

NBCSN’s ongoing coverage of the 2013 campaign will continue tonight when the Detroit Red Wings host the Colorado Avalanche at Joe Louis Arena at 7:30 p.m. ET.

The Red Wings are only on a two-game losing streak, but it seems worse after their ugly 7-1 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks yesterday.

“Ugly is an understatement,” Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said in a Detroit News report. “Obviously, preparation and work ethic are two things you need to be successful in any walk of life, and we weren’t prepared and didn’t compete at a high enough level.”

On top of that, Detroit was playing without captain Henrik Zetterberg due to a groin injury and he might miss tonight’s game as well.

With or without him, the Red Wings need to put that loss behind them and beat the Colorado Avalanche. Otherwise Detroit might see its narrow lead on the eighth seed slip away.

The Red Wings are three points ahead of the ninth place San Jose Sharks, but Detroit has also played in two more games. Meanwhile, the Avalanche are dead last in the Western Conference, making them one of the few teams that aren’t still in the battle for a playoff spot.

The Avalanche have won just two of their last 10 games, but they proved that they weren’t going to just roll over with their 1-0 overtime victory against the Nashville Predators on Saturday.

“It’s been a tough stretch here, the last little while, but not many times have we had a complaint about effort, or work,” Avalanche coach Joe Sacco told the Denver Post after their win on Saturday. “This afternoon we got rewarded. I thought we played really hard.”

We’ll see if that effort is enough to add to Detroit’s woes, or if the Red Wings will shake off their embarrassing loss and beat Colorado.

Probable goaltenders: DET – Jimmy Howard (14-10-4, 2.47 GAA, .915 SV%) | COL – Semyon Varlamov (10-16-3, 2.93 GAA, .906 SV%)

Top scorers: DET – Pavel Datsyuk (11-24-35, 34 GP) | COL – P.A. Parenteau – (14-21-35, 34 GP)

Notable Injuries:
Detroit – Forwards: Mikael Samuelsson (upper body), Zetterberg (groin), Todd Bertuzzi (back) Defenseman: Kyle Quincey (face)
Colorado – Forwards: Milan Hejduk (shoulder), David Jones (knee), Paul Stastny (foot), Steve Downie (knee) Defenseman: Ryan Wilson (ankle)

Habs place Redmond on waivers — again

Getty
Leave a comment

A number of players found themselves on waivers Friday, including Montreal depth defenseman Zach Redmond.

(CapFriendly has an extensive list of players on waivers, which you can check out here.)

Redmond is in the final year of a two-year contract with the Habs, who already had a crowded blue line with eight defensemen signed for this season and Jakub Jerabek making the move from the KHL and looking to earn a roster spot out of camp.

Noah Juulsen was also a prospect defenseman to watch in camp, however, he recently suffered a fractured foot and is out six weeks.

Redmond, who was previously placed on waivers in January, split last season between Montreal and the Habs’ AHL affiliate in St. John’s, where he had 18 points in 26 games.

Now 29 years old, Redmond has 130 games worth of NHL experience with Winnipeg, Colorado and Montreal.

Report: Oilers and potential UFA Maroon talking extension

Getty
Leave a comment

The Edmonton Oilers and forward Patrick Maroon are reportedly discussing an extension, according to TSN’s Ryan Rishaug.

Maroon spent a good chunk of the season playing with Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, and it showed in his numbers.

The 29-year-old scored a career-high 27 goals (he had never scored more than 11 goals in a season) and 42 points in 81 contests.

Maroon is in the final year of a three-year contract that came with an annual average value of $2 million. You’d have to think that he’s in line for a raise.

“Obviously without those two I wouldn’t have the success I did, but sometimes you’ve got to give yourself some credit too,” Maroon said earlier this month, per NHL.com. “Those two are very tremendous players, and for me I’ve just got to keep doing what I’m doing to stay with them.

“Obviously [Oilers coach] Todd McLellan had a really big part in that. He gave me an opportunity to play with those two. For me, I’ve just got to continue what I did last year, come [to training camp] in really good shape again, and hopefully good things fall into place again.”

‘We’ve got to get that out of his game’: Trotz wants Ovechkin to cut down on slashing penalties

Getty
Leave a comment

As you may have noticed, the NHL is trying to crack down on players cheating on faceoffs and stick infractions.

The first week of the preseason has been nothing more than teams getting a good look at their power play units because players still aren’t used to the way officials are calling the game.

One of the players that has to adapt to the officiating is Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin, who took two slashing penalties against Montreal on Wednesday night.

“Too many slashing penalties,” Caps head coach Barry Trotz said, per the Washington Post. “Ovi took two. We’ve got to get that out of his game.”

Like all players, it’s something the Capitals captain will have to get used to before the regular season begins. But let’s be honest, there’s a good chance that these officials won’t be as strict on the stick or face-off infractions as the regular season goes on.

Ovechkin isn’t the only star player that’s having an issue adapting to some of these stricter on-ice policies. Earlier in this week, Bruins forward Brad Marchand ripped the new face-off rule.

“This faceoff rule’s an absolute joke,” Marchand said. “That’s how you ruin the game of hockey by putting that in there. They’re going to have to do something about that because we can’t play this year like that. That’s brutal.”

We’ll see if the league actually sticks to its guns here. If they do, how long will it take the players to adjust?

Housley focused on making Sabres ‘an aggressive team’

Getty
Leave a comment

The Buffalo Sabres haven’t been a playoff team in quite some time, but the organization is hoping that their major offseason changes will help them take a few steps in the right direction.

One of those major changes came behind the bench, as the team hired Predators assistant Phil Housley to be their head coach.

Housley did some terrific work with defensemen like Ryan Ellis, Roman Josi, Mattias Ekholm and P.K. Subban last season. A big part of Nashville’s attack came from defenders pushing the pace from the back.

“We want to be an aggressive team,” Housley said, per NHL.com. “I think everybody we’ve talked about playing aggressive offensively but we need to play aggressive defensively. I think defense gives you a chance to win every night and they’ll understand that we want to be fast and aggressive. The days are gone when a guy wants to make a breakout pass and the [defense] just watched the rush go up and play; they have to get up in the play not only to maybe join the rush and add to the attack, but to be in the offensive zone, being able to keep pucks in, or else you’re going to start playing defense.”

The Sabres could use an offensive boost from their defense (or anyone really). Last season, Jack Eichel collected 57 points in 61 games, which comes out to an impressive 0.934 points-per-game. But Unfortunately for the Sabres, no player topped 60 points in 2016-17.

Buffalo changed the look of their defense during the summer, as they acquired Nathan Beaulieu from Montreal and Marco Scandella from Minnesota. Both guys are capable of moving the puck, which should help Housley execute his plan.

Also, it’ll be interesting to see if Housley can take Rasmus Ristolainen‘s game to the next level. The 22-year-old has surpassed the 40-point mark in each of the last two seasons. He’s also served as the big-minute guy on the Sabres blue line.

“We’re here to learn from him and pick his brain, he was a [heck] of a player in his day,” defender Zach Bogosian said. “He gets the game. He’s played for a while, he’s coached for a while, he’s been around forever.

“Guys are looking forward to playing that style.”