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Wings Notebook: Emmerton's first

by Dave Burke / Detroit Red Wings
DETROIT – With the Red Wings continuing to battle a long list of injuries, many younger players have been called up from the Grand Rapids Griffins to fill the depleted roster.  Some of these younger players have had the good fortune of scoring a goal in their NHL debuts.  One such player was Slovakian native, Tomas Tatar.  The left wing debuted on New Year’s Eve and scored by redirecting a shot in a 4-3 overtime lost to the New York Islanders.

On Saturday, it happened again. Cory Emmerton was called up from the Griffins hours before the puck dropped against the Chicago Blackhawks, and scored in his first NHL goal in his first NHL game.

“It was a little bit unexpected,” Emmerton said, “but my friends and I got a real good chuckle out of it.”

The Wings have had a trend of having their young players score in their NHL debuts and have some veterans on the current roster who have scored in their debut, but not with the Wings.  Former Red Wing forward Kirk Maltby scored his first goal in his debut with Edmonton in 1993.  In October 1989, Mike Modano, a rookie with the Minnesota North Stars, scored his first career goal in a 6-5 win.  Those are two good players’ footsteps to follow in and may be a good omen for the Red Wings young guys.    

ON THE MEND: Veteran forward Tomas Holmstrom skated with the rest of his teammates Monday morning at City Arena. It was the first time since breaking his right hand earlier in the month at Columbus.

“It’s still achy and sore and will take time,” Holmstrom said.

Asked about a possible return after the All-Star break, Holmstrom said, “We’ll see. It’s a broken bone, it will take some time.”

PAV EXPECTS RETURN SOON: Coach Mike Babcock and Pavel Datsyuk confirmed following Monday’s practice that the Wings superstar forward will be back after this weekend’s All-Star Game break.

“He’s supposed to ready to go for the Ottawa game,” said Babcock of the Wings’ Feb. 2 against the Senators.

Since Datsyuk broke his right hand on Dec. 22 against Vancouver, the Wings have been mired in a sub-Red Wings-like 8-5-2 slump. Before the injury, Datsyuk was having a Hart Trophy-type season, posting 39 points in 33 games.

On top of being the offensive catalyst, Datsyuk was still the defensively responsible forward the Wings have become accustomed to seeing with a plus-8 rating.

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