Detroit Red Wings look like they will be competitive in 2021-22

In eight exhibition games, the Detroit Red Wings looked like they had the depth to be competitive.

There’s only so much to read in the 3-1 defeat in the final on Saturday in Buffalo and the Wings 4-4 record – nobody plays with a full NHL line-up – but the past two weeks have been a time for the players acclimatize and evaluate trainers.

“It’s good to go through them,” said coach Jeff Blashill. “It’s an experience for a number of guys. It shows how tough the league is – it’s not the teams we’re going to face in terms of squad make-up, there will be much better players in the line-up, but it shows our young boys the relentless nature of the league . This is a good experience and good for evaluation purposes. “

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The wings didn’t have a lot of sparks in the first third on Saturday. Sam Gagner scored a goal from Mitchell Stephens who equalized the game shortly after JJ Peterka’s goal in the second period. The downfall was a goal that was abandoned during a power play when Zemgus Girgensons mistreated goalkeeper Alex Nedeljkovic’s puck and made it 2-1. Vinnie Hinostroza scored an empty goal towards the end of the third period.

After the Wings got by with scrimmages instead of shows last season, a preseason, even hectic one, was a welcome return to something normal.

“It’s nice to just get back into the flow of things,” said Gagner. “Last year, as happy as we could play, it was a different year. Everyone is happy to be back on the regular schedule and looking forward to getting started. “

Suter’s influence

Pius Suter looks like he’s building on his rookie season as he scored 14 goals and 13 assists in 55 games with Chicago. The Blackhawks haven’t re-signed Suter and Steve Yzerman took the opportunity to add a veteran 25-year-old striker. Suter looked good with all of his linemates – on Saturday it was Bobby Ryan and Filip Zadina – and was constantly involved in offensive opportunities. It was just preseason, but Suter looked like it would fit nicely.

“I think he’s a really smart player,” said Gagner. “Just one of those people who are always in the right position, offensive, defensive. Makes a lot of good games out there, good reading. He will be an important part of things for us. “

Sabers right winger John-Jason Peterka falls during the puck battle with Red Wings defender Moritz Seider during the second period of the preseason game in Buffalo, NY, Saturday, October 9, 2021.

Seider’s assertiveness

Moritz Seider appeared in six games, played with sovereignty and assertiveness. He will make the Defense Corps stronger and help the team score more. “He was really impressive with his stance with the puck, his ability to read the piece, be physical, be assertive, everything,” said Gagner. Saturday was his least impressive game, but even as he gets used to the NHL, Seider looks like he’s going to be a net positive.

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“He’s got confidence and moxie, he’s got a competitive edge,” said Blashill. “These are all really good qualities. He has to learn as he walks. Learn how to make the best use of your fortune, when to move a puck, when to jump into the game, when to use your stance, when to take a risk and when not. That’s the thing about young defenders – no matter how talented you are, you have to learn. The good thing for him is that he’s talented enough to make some good games while studying and making some mistakes. “

Waiting for the exhale

The Wings have Sunday off, their first real break since the training camp began on September 23, and were divided into eight games in 11 days. Then they have three days of training before their season opener against Tampa Bay on Thursday. Blashill said none other than Jakub Vrana (shoulder, sidelined until January) was excluded from the opener, but several players, including Michael Rasmussen and Givani Smith, are seen as part of everyday life. The Lightning – which have won consecutive Stanley Cups – are as good a test as this one, but the Wings are confident they can be competitive.

“If we can do it, we have four lines and three D-Pairs that can be successful,” said Gagner. “We were excited. Preseason was good to get, it’s been a long one and we’re looking forward to kicking off the regular season.”

The definitive story of the Red Wings

What: “The Big 50: The Detroit Red Wings.”

Author: Helene St. James, who has been reporting on the Red Wings for the Detroit Free Press since 1996. Foreword by Chris Osgood, winner of three Stanley Cups as a Wings goalkeeper.

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Pages: 336 pages (paperback).

Price: $ 16.95.

Availability: Available in leading bookstores and online at booksellers including Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

About the book: “The Big 50” brings to life the men and moments that made the Red Wings such a dynamic and iconic franchise for nearly a century. The book contains never-before-told stories about the likes of Howe, Yzerman, Lidstrom and Lindsay, the near-greats loved by the fans and the great memories of Fight Night, the Fabulous Fifties, the Team for the Ages, the Grind Line, The Joe and a lot more.

Get it signed! For a personalized copy of The Big 50, contact St. James at [email protected]

Contact Helene St. James at [email protected] Follow her on Twitter @helenestjames. Read more about the Detroit Red Wings and sign up for our Red Wings newsletter. Her book, The Big 50: The Detroit Red Wings, is available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Triumph Books. Personalized copies are available through their email.

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