Darren Helm, Justin Abdelkader

Non-Olympian Red Wings happy to get a break

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The Detroit Red Wings sent 10 players to the 2014 Sochi Olympics. That’s 10 guys who won’t be getting a break to rest and repair the wear and tear of a tough schedule if you want to take the glass-half-empty view of things.

As for the guys not headed to Russia, they’re happy to take a load off for a couple weeks as Ted Kulfan of The Detroit News writes.

“It’s very important, especially the way things are going with a few guys who are injured, or not 100 percent, guys can use this time to get back to full recovery,” said Darren Helm, who is headed to Hawaii, with his girlfriend. “It’s going to be good to get some sun, and nice positive, refreshing time off. The guys at the Olympics are going to stay in game mode, which is good, too.”

Unfortunately for the Red Wings, some of the guys who are most banged up are in Sochi. Pavel Datsyuk is still bothered by a lower-body injury, Henrik Zetterberg has had trouble staying healthy as have Daniel Alfredsson and Jonathan Ericsson.

At the very least some of the team gets some sun and fun. The Wings have 24 games left to play to secure a playoff spot once the Olympic break is over.

Measure of revenge? Red Wings bottle Lightning

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In some ways, it really felt like their first-round series.

For all the talent on both ends of the rink with the Detroit Red Wings and Tampa Bay Lightning, each squad can really smother opponents defensively when things go that way.

Through two periods, the two teams were very quiet. Things really picked up when Justin Abdelkader unleashed a big hit, a moment that injected enough life into the proceedings for the Red Wings to eventually build a 3-1 win.

Maybe they’re slipping under the radar a bit compared to previous iterations of the team, but it’s interesting that the Red Wings are now undefeated in three games.

They’ve been impressive at times, too, outscoring opponents by a combined score of 11-4.

Call it a refreshing time after Mike Babcock or merely carryover from a subtly solid run last season, but either way, the Red Wings may just be able to keep up their end of a brewing rivalry.

Hands of gold: Connor McDavid scores his first NHL goal


Taking three games to score your first NHL goal isn’t a big deal, unless you’re someone like Connor McDavid.

The mega-hyped wunderkind must feel relieved to finally find the net, as he tied tonight’s Edmonton Oilers – Dallas Stars skirmish with a 2-2 deflection goal, which you can watch above this post’s headline.

To no surprise, there were plenty of reactions, including Pierre LeBrun’s tweet (which inspired part of this headline).

Of course, there were the inevitable Wayne Gretzky comparisons:

Interesting thing you might not consider: Stars fans will have to stomach this one even more frequently than that time Patrik Stefan biffed that empty-netter (also against the Oilers):

McDavid may have also delivered his first questionable check, too: