Since our main writers don't live in Michigan anymore (other than Jordan, who wasn't able to catch the game), we weren't able to see the Red and White game last night. That's why we've turned to Josh Howard, our photoshop wizard, and you, the readers of NOHS, to share your comments on the game last night. Here's Josh first:
By Josh Howard
There was a lot of mucking and grinding as guys tried to avoid laying the body. No one got hurt even though there were some goalie collisions. It was a good game… a great game to knock rust off.
Kronwall: Just his usual Kronner self, but really seemed to be moving the puck well.
Ericsson: Good moves. Was impressed with his passing, shot the puck well… I believe he got credit for a goal too. How to know Wings are back- Ericsson's scoring goals. Wasn't cursing the screen so… that's good, right… Right…. RIGHT?
Colia… Colai… F-it… Let me google this… Colaiacovo: Smooth. Really moved the puck well. I had no gripes with him.
Almquist: Great skater. If he can improve his defensive game a shade more, he might really be someone to watch. I've enjoyed watching him in Grand Rapids, but he didn't look out of place in the game.
Smith: While he was able to get beat, Smith was one of the more noticeable d-men out there. His skating is so good and he's not afraid to use his body to move guys around. Also, that little shootout move he did was great. Wish I had video, but it's basically the same move Zetterberg did last season. Only this time the puck barely trickled over the line. Kid's got great hands. Let's hope he readily uses them.
Lashoff: Solid if unremarkable. He just seemed very stay at home, IMO.
Kindl: Ummmm…. yeah… I didn't notice him much except the few times he helped cycle the puck. He looks maybe a little worn out? Dunno if he's in peak shape despite playing overseas.
Make the jump for forwards and goaltenders, and your thoughts as well.
Franzen: His power seems to be picking up, but still a little sluggish… after all it was a scrimmage. I did like his ability to just skate through and push around people. Hit ability to crank it up to get up to speed seems to have improved. Hasn't lost his sense of humor. Was constantly changing colored jerseys on the PP to get more PP practice time.
Filppula: What really needs to be said? Flip looks like he hasn't missed a beat despite the knee sprain.
Zetterberg: Scored a goal… became a captain… women swooned. What else is there to say? Oh yeah… he has amazing chemistry with our next fellow.
Brunner: Two words- Brunner Boner. I have one. Brunner assisted on Zetterberg's goal. There really is something significant about this guy. The puck just seems to follow him around. He has the ability to make some nifty moves to skate around people. Yet, he doesn't give up on plays and is willing to skate THROUGH guys if needed. He's a hard skating, hard shooting, good passing, goalie crashing kinda guy…. and I think I like it. Except for that nose…. at least it's a nose for the net.
Nyquist: Very good yet unremarkable UNTIL he was put on a line with Brunner and Zetterberg. Talk about pass, dangle, shooterific!
Bertuzzi: As always, looks like he's skating through mud. However, I felt his speed was up and his power was there. He moved people around at ease and tried to make things happen for those around him. Needs to just SHOOT instead of passing so much.
Cleary: Holy heck… I've been down on him all offseason, but he looked pretty decent out there. Dude's not got much left in the tank as I think his body is failing him. But, that didn't stop him from grinding it out and playing the puck retrieval game.
Eaves: WELCOME BACK! Eaves had a few good shots on net and was back to his normal self when killing penalties. Not much more that I can ask for the guy.
Miller: Looks like he's brought that scoring touch back with him from Scotland. He got himself a goal and seemed to work well with our next guy…
Tootoo: Wow… he had several chances and was all over the ice. If he was allowed to hit, agitate, and kick someone's ass I could only imagine how his night would have went.
Abdelkader: All over the place… didn't notice him a ton but he was quietly decent. KEPT HIS STICK ON THE ICE.
Mursak: Got some time on the top line with Zetterberg but got a little too fancy with passing. Forgot how fast he really is.
Emmerton: Meh…. he looked fine. Just like during last season, he has flashes and then fades into the background. It's tough to look for #25 and see him… to be honest.
Callahan: Noticeably good at times. He basically was doing the same thing Tootoo was doing and just hounding the puck. Had a few good chances.
Ferraro: My what fast skating and lovely hands you have…
Sheahan: Easy to notice with the purple jersey on.. not really… but seriously, he had a good game. Seemed to be defensively sound and generated some offense here and there.
Tatar: Kid worked his ass off… did all the work and someone else got a goal off it. Story of Tatar's career so far in the minors. He's ready when he gets the call.
Yeah… there were other guys. I didn't notice them as much. Sure, the captain of the Griffins scored a goal as well as Trevor Parkes… but they weren't that crazy. There was just a lot of mucking and grinding at times as both sides tried to feel one another out. I don't really count that as much. So sue me… What's that? I forgot the goalies? No I didn't.. keep reading.
Howard: Trouble seeing through traffic yet seemed to be moving extremely well. Got beat by a few shots he wishes he had back. With that said… dude was stellar in the shootout.
Gustavsson: Looked HUGE in net. Didn't move much but did a decent job seeing the puck. In the shootout, he looked extremely weak. In his defense, the guys did put up some amazing moves against him. You can tell he's trying to get back into the swing of things.
Well, that's pretty much it. It wasn't a perfect game. Hope I captured the spirit of it. One good thing… no one was absolutely terrible. Saturday is fast approaching… I think they're almost ready… everyone except for Samuelsson and…. HELM. (Cries in corner.)
Great recap Josh. Now for a couple of our reader's thoughts on the scrimmage:
I found the game to be a mix of relieft and amusement. I was impressed with Brunner and the development of the prospects. A little concerned about goaltending with the Griffins scoring most of the goals. Franzen being "traded" was amusing, the play-by-play and color were off a bit and hope Ken and Mickey get a few test runs in before it really matters. I think we as Wings fans are up for an experience this season and what can we do other than look for the best and enjoy the ride.
Cuauhtemoc F: (Winner of the hardest name to spell in history award)
I thought Brunner stood out immediately. I can see the chemistry between he and Z as they found each other for some great scoring chances throughout the game and on Z's goal. He (Brunner) still has to get accustomed to the smaller ice surface but he will be fine after a few games. The goal-tending wasn't what I expected, especially from Gustavsson; he looked a bit shaky out there. All in all it was a great game, very entertaining. And it was good to see Eaves back, too.
To be brutally honest, you could see the rust, which is to be expected. At times, it seemed like the game had a good flow, and at other times it almost seemed like some players had two left feet. I did like how they simulated most aspects of a regular game i.e. power plays, 4 on 4, and a shootout. Brunner was fun to watch and I think him being on the top line with Hank and Datsyuk will be a thing of beauty, Tootoo was pretty engaging and gung ho, Howard seemed frozen somewhat, had difficulty tracking the puck maybe. Bert didn't disappoint in the shoot out. It did my heart some good to see Eaves back on the ice. Franzen seemed in good spirits, not the usual grumpy Mule we all know. All in all, you can't predict a season based on the Red and White game. I'm just glad we have some hockey to watch! Can't wait until Saturday!!
I agree Brandi, this makes me so very excited to see what the Wings can do this year.