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Notes: Red Wings take on Toronto for Howe Division title

Seider leaning towards staying in North America

by Arthur J. Regner @ArthurJRegner / DetroitRedWings.com

TRAVERSE CITY -- It may just be a game between the Detroit Red Wings prospects and the Toronto Maple Leafs prospects, but regardless of the circumstances, when the Wings and Leafs compete on the ice, a battle royale always ensues.

And Monday's game in Traverse City at Centre Ice Arena is no exception.

 

If the Red Wings can defeat the Maple Leafs in regulation, they will win the Howe Division and play in Tuesday's Prospect Tournament championship game against the winner of the Lindsay Division.

It would be the second straight year the Wings would compete in the championship contest.

Tweet from @DetroitRedWings: The Prospect Tourney continues tonight with 1st Place on the line! #DRWPT🏒: #TORvsDET🕡: Coverage starts at 5:30 PM💻: at detroitredwings📍: @CentreICEArena#LGRW pic.twitter.com/6UcRGwCEWZ

"Definitely a little bit of hatred there. You want to beat them," said Calgary native Taro Hirose about the Leafs. "I know a couple guys on the team and it'll definitely be a bragging rights thing. Nothing against them as Canada's Team but they're a big media market so they can say whatever they want, but at the end of the day we're just going to go out there and try to win."

Toronto has looked formidable thus far, winning its first two games, 6-2 over St. Louis last Friday and 6-3 against Chicago on Saturday.

"We've been getting better every game. These guys are ready to go," Detroit's prospects coach Ben Simon said. "It'll be a fun game. Toronto's got a good group of kids here. It should be a fun game."

Though Detroit's prospects have only been together for a short period of time, the Wings expect the prospects to play the Red Wings way.

"We introduced some systems that obviously a lot of these guys are coming to training camp so what they're going to be taught in training camp, we tried to implement a little bit," Simon said. "We meet with Detroit's staff, try and introduce the basics of what they're trying to teach, the principles and the habits like that.

"Again, we've practiced once, we've had two games so it's kind of learning on the fly, teaching on the fly a little bit. I think our goal to gradually introduce different things as we move forward here, I think the guys have been pretty receptive and have applied what we've shown them to what we've seen on the ice."

Simon is aware of the importance the Red Wings prospects have placed on the Toronto game.

"In any player's career, (they) want to be a part of a winning team in any tournament, any game, you want to win the hockey game," Simon said. "I think for a player, whether it's a rookie tournament, whether it's a regular season game, whether it's a playoff game, I think that you learn how to play the game so that you're contributing and playing with winning habits."

It shouldn't be difficult for the Wings to get motivated, especially playing the Leafs.

"I definitely have a bone to pick with the Leafs, you could say," said defenseman Alec Regula, a Detroit native. "I guess from growing up watching the Wings I always hated the Penguins the most but living in London and being in Ontario I have a roommate that's from Ontario and we never miss a Leafs game so I know a lot about their organization and it'll be really fun to play them (Monday)."

Tweet from @DetroitRedWings: #RedWings leaders through 2 games. #DRWPT@jveleno91: 4G@ryan_kuffner21: 2G, 2A@filip_zadina: 4A@jluko77: 2G, 1A pic.twitter.com/pvoEb7l3cb

SEIDER THINKING NORTH AMERICA: When he was drafted by Detroit sixth overall in the first round of the 2019 NHL Entry Draft, German defenseman Moritz Seider was unsure where he would play this upcoming season.

Certainly he wants to be in Detroit as he said at the draft, but he did indicate he had options between playing for the Red Wings' AHL affiliate, the Grand Rapids Griffins, or going back to Germany to continue playing for Mannheim in the DEL.

That was Seider's thought process in June; fast forward to September and it appears Seider has made up his mind.

"It's probably not Germany anymore. I decided for myself probably staying in the States for a couple years now," Seider said after the Red Wings prospects practiced on Monday. "First of all, it should be about making the (Detroit) team 100 percent. That's why I'm here.

"If that's not possible, I think Detroit has a great AHL team. Grand Rapids is just two hours away. Maybe that's the best way, stepping on the small ice."

Seider stressed the decision is up to the Red Wings, not him, so going back to Germany is still an option.

"It's probably the third possibility. Just a low percentage," he said. "There's always an outlet in Germany, that's for sure. But first of all, it should be Grand Rapids or Detroit."

The 6-foot-4, 207-pound, 18-year-old defenseman has looked good in his two games during the Prospect Tournament. He has shown the ability to jump in the play without getting burned, has quarterbacked the power play flawlessly and has a bit of a mean streak.

"Pretty good so far, I think," Seider said about his performance. "We have a great team, great guys in the locker room, and I think you can see that a lot of times on the ice out there.

"We're looking for nice plays and try to figure out my role on the team. I think that works pretty well. I try to lead the way on the power play. We scored six (power play) goals already, that's huge. We try to build from that and keep going."

Seider feels playing against men in the DEL has helped him anticipate the play especially when he should pinch in or stay back.

"Playing with pros at such a young age, all the old guys help you every single day in practice," he said. "Everybody tries to get the best out of you. I'm very thankful for everyone. Sometimes it's just like a feeling, where the puck comes next and you jump up the play. But sometimes you just have to figure out what's best and sometimes not the best option (is) to pinch."

Simon, who played a year in the DEL, agreed with Seider's assessment, but he is cautious about becoming too effusive about the rookie.

"This is a rookie tournament. In two games, he's done well. He's shown well for himself," Simon said. "He's shown poise with the puck, he's making plays with the puck, he's seeing plays, he's making plays. Again, he has been encouraging. He's a bright spot for this team right now. Hopefully again, he takes that into training camp and continues to progress through the training camp.

"There's always an acclimation period. But for Mo, talking to him and being around him for a week here, you can tell that he's a pretty mature kid. Whether he ends up - wherever he ends up - I think that he's going to have a little bit of an adjustment because it's just the reality, it's a different country, it's a different language, it's a different culture. There's a lot of difference. There's a lot of firsts.

"But for him being as mature as he is as a player and as a person, you're still going to see an adjustment period. but I don't see it being a ton. He's got potential. Young kids take a lot of time to develop, but he works hard, he competes hard, he takes care of himself and I think that based on what I've seen, I think that acclimation period might be a little bit smaller, hopefully because of those contributing factors."

Tweet from @DetroitRedWings: Good morning from Traverse City! The Prospects are getting some work in ahead of tonight���s matchup with the leafs. #DRWPT #LGRW pic.twitter.com/Gc8YLsQOeo

Lineup: Here is the Red Wings lineup for Monday's game against Toronto.

Forwards:

Taro Hirose - Joe Veleno - Filip Zadina

Troy Loggins - Gregor MacLeod - Ryan Kuffner

Givani Smith - Chase Pearson - Jarid Lukosevicius

Thomas Casey - Elmer Soderblom - Chad Yetman

Defensemen:

Alec Regula - Moritz Seider

Gustav Berglund - Gustav

Lindstrom Charle-Edouard D'Astous - Alec McCrea

Goalies:

Sean Romeo

Kaden Fulcher

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