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Posted On Saturday, 11.05.2011 / 1:30 PM

By Brian Hedger -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Bertuzzi out for Red Wings

DETROIT – Forward Todd Bertuzzi will not play Saturday night for the Detroit Red Wings against the visiting Anaheim Ducks.

“(Bertuzzi’s) not feeling good,” Detroit coach Mike Babcock said. “He’s been sick for a few days and he’s just not feeling good.”

TheRed Wings (5-5-1) will also be without forward Patrick Eaves (lower back) for the second straight game after he injured himself against the Minnesota Wild earlier this week. Eaves has missed two practices, but skated with the Wings on Saturday morning before getting more treatment on his back.

Fabian Brunnstrom, who made the Red Wings roster on a tryout offer in training camp, has been recalled from Grand Rapids of the American Hockey League to enter the lineup in place of Bertuzzi. Brunnstrom played in just one game with Detroit before he was sent down and has one goal in one game with the Griffins.

Where he will be placed in the lineup is to be determined because Detroit didn’t skate their forward lines Saturday morning, but Bertuzzi had skated at left wing on the top line with Pavel Datsyuk and Danny Cleary during practice Friday.

Forward Jiri Hudler will also be in the lineup after needing 26 stitches to sew up cuts above and below his left eye after he was pushed headfirst into the boards last game by Calgary’s Scott Hannan. Hudler’s eye is still swollen and the headaches he dealt with kept him awake most of the first night. However, he wasn’t going to ask out of the lineup – especially during Detroit’s current six-game winless skid.

“Pain?” Hudler said on Friday. “Haven’t got time for pain.”
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Posted On Saturday, 11.05.2011 / 12:49 PM

By Brian Hedger -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Projected lineups for Ducks, Red Wings

Here are the projected lineups for the Anaheim Ducks and Detroit Red Wings for their game Saturday night at Joe Louis Arena.

ANAHEIM

Bobby RyanRyan GetzlafCorey Perry
Andrew CoglianoSaku KoivuTeemu Selanne
Matt BeleskeyMaxime MacenauerAndrew Gordon
Devante Smith-PellyBrandon McMillanPeter Holland

Cam FowlerFrancois Beauchemin
Lubomir VisnovskyToni Lydman
Luca SbisaKurtis Foster

Jonas Hiller is starting and Dan Ellis will be his back-up. Holland could make his NHL debut in place of Nick Bonino, who is questionable because of a hyperextended knee.

DETROIT

Jiri HudlerPavel DatsyukDanny Cleary
Valtteri FilppulaHenrik ZetterbergJohan Franzen
Fabian BrunnstromJustin AbdelkaderDarren Helm
Drew MillerCory EmmertonTomas Holmstrom

Nicklas LidstromIan White
Niklas KronwallBrad Stuart
Jonathan EricssonMike Commodore

Jimmy Howard will make the start in goal, and Ty Conlkin will be his back-up. Todd Bertuzzi will not play because of illness.
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Posted On Thursday, 11.03.2011 / 1:14 PM

By Brian Hedger -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Flames re-tool lineup looking to break through

DETROIT -- It looks like the Detroit Red Wings aren't the only team hoping that a reshuffled lineup pays off on Thursday night at Joe Louis Arena.

While Detroit is splitting up star forwards Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg and giving defenseman Mike Commodore his first regular-season action as a Red Wing, the Calgary Flames are also re-tooling their look.

Calgary, which is currently sitting 14th in the Western Conference standings just two spots behind Detroit, is mixing up the forward lines and defense pairs for this games against the Wings -- who are winless in five straight games.

"We'll have a different look in three lines tonight, to start with anyway," Flames coach Brent Sutter said after Thursday's morning skate. "We want to do certain things with certain guys to help them get going. That's all part of it as coaches to get guys through their early struggles. We're going to shuffle some lines up tonight and see if that can help."

Most notably, the Flames appeared to have Olli Jokinen at center on the top line with Curtis Glencross at left wing and Jarome Iginla staying put at his usual right wing spot. Iginla and Jokinen played on a line together a couple of years ago with success, but Sutter said things have changed since then.

"Olli's a different player than he was two years ago when Jarome and him played together," Sutter said. "Olli's role has changed. He's playing a different brand of hockey for us. He's being rewarded for changing his game and the way he's playing. He’s playing well and enjoying that role. Jarome will have to adjust somewhat to his new linemates and the way they play."

Iginla said he's up to the task.

"They're playing really well," he said of his potential new linemates. "They're quick players. They're fast. I'll work to get my feet going and keep up with them."

The Flames' second line will now likely feature Alex Tanguay (2 goals, 7 assists) and Lee Stempniak (1 goal, 3 assists) on the wings between center Brendan Morrison -- who hasn't scored a point in six games and has a minus-1 rating.

Defensively, expect Anton Bachuk to get back into the lineup on the second pairing with Scott Hannan and Mark Giordano to move to the third pair with Cory Sarich.

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Posted On Thursday, 11.03.2011 / 1:12 PM

By Brian Hedger -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Detroit's Eaves dealing with balky back

DETROIT -- Patrick Eaves doesn't recall exactly which play did it, but at some point during the Detroit Red Wings' previous game against the Minnesota Wild his back started hurting.

The pain only worsened after he finished the game and he missed Detroit's practice on Wednesday. He also missed Thursday's morning skate and has been ruled out for Thursday night's game against the Calgary Flames. He said this injury is something new and not related to any ailments he had in the past.

"Last game, just one shift I came back to the bench and something didn't feel right," said Eaves, who hasn't scored in six games for the struggling Wings. "I probably was just in an awkward position, so I've just got to let it calm down and let it run its course. It feels better than it did yesterday. I don't look at this as a major setback or anything. Just get better."

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Posted On Thursday, 11.03.2011 / 12:08 PM

By Brian Hedger -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Commodore set to make season debut for Red Wings

DETROIT -- Mike Commodore has patiently waited his turn, and now he'll get to pull on the winged wheel sweater of the Detroit Red Wings for the first time in a regular-season game.

Commodore, who sprained his knee in the preseason and lost a potential starting spot in the process, will play his first game for the Wings on Thursday night against the Calgary Flames. He'll enter the lineup on Detroit's third defense pairing with Jonathan Ericsson and replace Jakub Kindl.

After rehabbing his knee, Commodore has practiced hard and watched games as healthy scratch. Now he'll get a chance to show what he can bring to this team with a 6-foot-4, 227-pound frame and the penchant for hard-hitting defense on the blue line.

"For me, it starts tonight and I just want to have a good effort tonight," Commodore said. "I haven't played in a while. Being physical is part of my game, but I just have to make sure I don't get caught out of position trying to run around. I just want to keep it simple and be physical when I need to be, when the opportunity is there."

The Wings' defensive system is also new to Commodore this season, but he feels like he has a good grasp of what they do after logging a lot of practice time in training camp and returning to the ice after the knee injury.

"I've got a lot on my plate tonight, to be honest with you," Commodore said. "Without those practices I'd have been lost. I think with the time I've had … I wasn't panicking either with my situation of not playing and being scratched for a few games. Obviously I'd like to play, but at the same time the practices were good for me and I didn't mind that."

Detroit coach Mike Babcock is looking forward to seeing what Commodore can add to his team. He also understands Commodore's excitement at getting his first game with the Wings.

"He should be eager, he's been skating enough," Babcock said. "It's like with any pro sport. Everybody wants to play more, everybody wants to score more, everybody wants to win more. You've got to earn the right to do all those things, so here's an opportunity for him today and what he does with it we're going to watch. We're about winning games, so the best guys are playing."

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Posted On Thursday, 11.03.2011 / 12:04 PM

By Brian Hedger -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Projected lines for Flames, Red Wings

Here's how the lineups could look when the Detroit Red Wings try to halt their 0-4-1 slide tonight against the Calgary Flames at Joe Louis Arena:

RED WINGS
Jiri Hudler - Pavel Datsyuk - Danny Cleary
Johan Franzen - Henrik Zetterberg - Todd Bertuzzi
Justin Abdelkader - Darren Helm - Valtteri Filppula
Drew Miller - Cory Emmerton - Tomas Holmstrom

Nicklas Lidstrom - Ian White
Niklas Kronwall - Brad Stuart
Jonathan Ericsson - Mike Commodore

Jimmy Howard will start in goal tonight and be backed up by Ty Conklin


FLAMES

Curtis Glencross - Olli Jokinen - Jarome Iginla
Alex Tanguay - Brendan Morrison - Lee Stempniak
Rene Bourque - Roman Horak - David Moss
Tom Kostopoulos - Matt Stajan - Tim Jackman

Chris Butler - Jay Bouwmeester
Scott Hannan - Anton Babchuk
Mark Giordano - Cory Sarich

Miikka Kiprusoff will start in goal tonight and he will be backed up by Henrik Karlsson

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Posted On Wednesday, 11.02.2011 / 1:50 PM

By Brian Hedger -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

No Eaves for Wings; Nyquist sent down

DETROIT -- Red Wings forward Patrick Eaves didn't practice today while taking a "maintenance day" for an undisclosed ailment. Also, rookie forward Gustav Nyquist was sent back to the Grand Rapids Griffins of the American Hockey League after getting called up Monday and playing just one game.

Nyquist, who had 4 goals and 9 points for the Griffins before getting brought up, played 11:07 against the Wild and didn't record a point, a shot on goal or a hit in 13 shifts.
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Posted On Wednesday, 11.02.2011 / 1:48 PM

By Brian Hedger -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Kronwall feeling fine after hard hit by Koivu

DETROIT -- The morning after he appeared to be hurt on the final play of a 2-1 overtime loss Tuesday, Detroit Red Wings defenseman Niklas Kronwall was back at practice without limitations.

About a minute and 30 seconds into overtime against the Minnesota Wild, Kronwall charged into the corner in the Detroit zone on a penalty kill to play the puck against Mikko Koivu, who'd gotten to it first. Koivu instinctively stepped back and threw a shoulder at Kronwall to shield the puck and appeared to hit Kronwall in the face. The blueliner's head was knocked back and his helmet was jarred loose.

Kronwall, who just signed a seven-year contract extension with Detroit on Monday, was examined after the game, but the Wings didn't provide an immediate update on his condition. After Wednesday's practice, Kronwall met with reporters and said he's feeling fine.

"I just got a little dinged right off the hit for the first five or seven seconds," he said. "I felt fine after. As soon as I got off the ice, everything felt great."

He said he feels fortunate to not have been injured worse.

"Of course, because you never know with incidents like that," said Kronwall, who was also re-examined Wednesday morning before taking the ice for practice at Joe Louis Arena.

"It was a good play on his part," Kronwall said. "He caught me off guard and it ended up costing us the game. Obviously I have to be a little more aware out there. I think it was a square shoulder. I kind of leaned forward to go in and fight for the puck and he just took a step backward and there wasn't any more to it."

Teammates were concerned about Kronwall's health after the hit, but now that they know he's fine, they can go back to worrying about stopping a frustrating five-game winless streak.

"You don't want anybody hurting, especially when you're struggling a little bit as a team," Wings coach Mike Babcock said. "You want all hands on deck. He's an important player for us and it was unfortunate the way it happened. But that's part of hockey."
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Posted On Monday, 10.31.2011 / 4:55 PM

By Brian Hedger -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Trotz gives Hawks thumbs-up for offseason additions

CHICAGO -- Consider Nashville Predators coach Barry Trotz a fan of the moves the Central Division rival Chicago Blackhawks pulled off last summer.

While keeping their "core group" of young stars intact, the Blackhawks added a handful of quality veterans through free agency and trade -- almost all on one-year contracts -- and Trotz said the difference is noticeable in how the new-look Hawks play.

His team will get an up-close look at Chicago on Monday night when the Preds face off against the Hawks at the United Center.

"I love the changes they made," Trotz said after Nashville's Monday morning skate. "I love the character they brought in. They brought in some grit and fire in some of their role players. I think they filled-in very nicely. Two teams in the summer filled-in the best in terms of free agency and that (was) the Blackhawks and (San Jose Sharks). Those two teams fit a lot of the right pieces."

One of those pieces Chicago added is 38-year old top-six forward Andrew Brunette, who played for Trotz both in the minors and for one season in Nashville (1998-99). Trotz was asked about Brunette on Monday and had glowing remarks.

"One of my all-time favorite guys," he said. "As he says, he's the best guy that can't skate in the League. For a guy who 'couldn’t skate' in the National Hockey League, he's had a (long) career and he's fantastic in the room. He's a rink rat, even as he's getting into his late 30s. He loves the game. He will be a good coach someday, guaranteed. He's just too passionate about the game."
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Posted On Monday, 10.31.2011 / 4:50 PM

By Brian Hedger -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Bolland shows knack for scoring 'shorties'

CHICAGO -- He's known for playing stellar defense, which is why Chicago Blackhawks center Dave Bolland is a key figure of the team's top-ranked penalty-killing unit coming into Monday night's game against the Nashville Predators.

His offensive skills often get overshadowed, but he's found at least one way to really showcase both sides of his game -- scoring shorthanded goals. Bolland's 5 goals tie him with Marian Hossa for the team lead, and two have come while playing with just four skaters on the ice.

His latest shorty came against the Columbus Blue Jackets this past weekend, when he darted up ice to set up a breakaway after a great shot block and pass by Michael Frolik from inside the Chicago blue line.

Bolland broke in on goalie Allen York and slid a backhand shot just inside the left post while being hooked to the ice. It happened late in the first period and gave Chicago momentum back after the Blue Jackets had tied the game 1-1 earlier in the period.

The Hawks now have three shorthanded goals in the first 10 games of the season -- the other was scored by Hossa -- and it's helping make up for a power play that's potted just four goals in 38 opportunities coming into Monday night's game against the Nashville Predators.

"Those are huge lifts for you," Hawks coach Joel Quenneville said of shorthanded goals. "A lot of nights, if you score shorthanded or you kill a 5-on-3, you're going to come out on the winning side of it. When you are able to cash in, it's a huge bonus. It deflates the other team."

As for Bolland's penchant for putting the puck in the net a man down?

"He anticipates really well and he's got some quickness," Quenneville said. "He's got some deceptiveness and he's out there a lot of the time on the PK … so, sometimes you can counter punch 'em."

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Quote of the Day

It's time we got a break. People that have watched us, I'm sure they said, 'Finally, some things are going our way.' We'll take the breaks when they go our way.

— Boston Bruins coach Claude Julien after a 3-2 overtime win against the Minnesota Wild on Wednesday to snap a three-game losing streak
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