Red Wings injury woes shed light on bright future

By Brad Constant; Jan. 30, 2014

After sometime off and even a little time off the grid, the Hockey Ref is back just in time to get geared up for the rest of the season. So without further ado, let’s get right to it….

The Detroit Red Wings’ injury-prone season continues as the Olympic break approaches. In fact, it’s safe to say that the Red Wings’ season has been severely hampered by injuries.

Currently Detroit is without powerhouse veterans Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg. Plus Johan Franzen has just been placed back on the injured reserve list due to more concussion symptoms while Stephen Weiss is recovering from a sports hernia surgery. At one point the Red Wings’ injury list also included Darren Helm, Joakim Andersson, Daniel Alfredsson, Jimmy Howard and Jonathan Ericcson.

But there has been a bright spot to come out of Detroit’s injury woes thanks to the team’s young players who have revealed a promising future for the organization.

Players like Tomas Tatar and Gustav Nyquist have stepped up their games. Truth be told, they look like they could be the most suitable replacements for Datsyuk and Zetterberg when the Euro Twins retire. Granted, there is no way to completely fill the skates of Datsyuk and Zetterberg. But Tatar and Nyquist have shown that they have a knack for scoring and making plays game in and game out. Here some proof with sick highlight numbers one and two belonging to Tatar, and number three belonging to Nyquist.

Other young players like the aforementioned Andersson, Riley Sheahan and Tomas Jurco are all big bodies coming in at over six-feet-tall. Andersson looks like the better defensive forward while Sheahan and Jurco seem more offensively inclined. Sheahan has a cannon of a wrist shot and Jurco has hands that could put him on highlight reel after highlight reel.

On the back end there are players like Brendan Smith, Brian Lashoff and Danny Dekeyser. Smith still has a problem with turnovers, but there is promise in his game. Lashoff looks like he’ll make a solid number five or six defenseman. But Dekeyser looks the most promising off all. The former Western Michigan University Bronco has all the makings of a top defenseman in the National Hockey League; size, vision and skill. We can’t wait to see how he turns out in a couple of seasons as he looks the most likely to fill the void left by Nicklas Lidstrom – well, he looks like he can fill a good portion of the void at least.

Lastly, Petr Mrazek has been called upon over the last couple of seasons to step in and man the net. During those appearances he has shown tons of growth, and even recorded his first NHL shutout early this season. The Red Wings could be in a very good position with goaltenders if he continues to grow and mature.

What does all this mean? Simple, the Red Wings’ future looks good, and young. It’s been awhile since Detroit has not been comprised of a majority of players over 30-years-old, and with the salary cap the team cannot splash into free agency to add star power like it has in the past. So the Red Wings have been forced to groom their young talents faster than usual. But it seems to be paying off, and we could see the Red Wings return to the position of league powerhouse again if the youth movement continues on its upward trajectory.

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Latest NHL news; Monday, January 13

By Brad Constant; Jan. 13, 2013

We’ll get things started off with an update on Tampa Bay Lightning sniper Steven Stamkos, who is making great progress after breaking his leg in early November. Here is the bleacherreport.com story.

Lastly, the Washington Capitals gave us a feel-good story by granting the wish of young Braden Nienaber, who was diagnosed with Langerhans cell histiocytosis, a rare childhood disease similar to cancer in which white blood cells multiply too quickly, causing bone and organ damage, according to csnwashington.com. You can check out the CSN story here for all of the details. But be sure to watch the video of Nienaber throwing Buffalo Sabres’ Captain Steven Ott out of the ceremonial faceoff.

Kid throws Ott out of ceremonial faceoff

 

Rick Nash’s falling goal is vintage Nash

By Brad Constant; Jan. 10, 2014

The New York Ranger’s Rick Nash has added yet another goal to his impressive highlight reel with an overtime-winner that he scored while falling down. The people over at ProHockeyTalk.com have the video with a quote from Nash that you can check out here.

We love this goal because it is vintage Nash. Much like his uber impressive, multiple toe drag goal, the falling goal shows off Nash’s never-say-die attitude when in a goal-scoring position. Thankfully he has the skills to convert, and often in special ways.

Which nation will the 2014 Winter Olympic gold medal?

By Brad Constant; Jan. 8, 2014

The 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia are right around the corner and we are gearing up to see nations collide on the ice. Our plan was to give you a breakdown of each National Hockey League player going to Sochi, but Bleacher Report beat us to it. And much like Thomas Holmstrom around the crease, we are ever the opportunist and are kind enough to provide you with a link to the bleacherreport.com story.

Instead, we’ve decide to try and pick the medal winners, but we can’t decide and are on the verge of a donnybrook. So we want you, our readers, to weigh in and give us your opinion. Write a comment below telling us which nation will win and why.

Latest NHL news: Monday, January 6

By Brad Constant, Jan. 6, 2014

It’s a new year and The Hockey Ref is dialing up the coverage. This piece is just the beginning as we strive to bring our readers stories on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. So you can expect a round-up from around the web every Monday covering the latest news and such from the previous weekend.

So to kick things off we have a story from Bleacher Report on the teams that could surprise us during the second half of the season. Check it out here.

The Winter Olympics are just around the corner and many nations have already announced the players that will represent them. But we’re still waiting to hear from the Canadians, thankfully there will be a press conference tomorrow to announce the Canadian roster. In the meantime NHL.com has taken stock on who may be in, and who may be out. Read the story here.

It’s safe to say that the 2014 Winter Classic between the Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs was a big success. But thankfully ProHockeyTalk.com has a video to give those who weren’t lucky enough to be at the Big House for the game an idea of what it was like. Thanks PHT! Watch the video here.

Lastly, the National Hockey League has suspended Buffalo Sabres’ defender Tyler Myers for three games for a hit to the head of New Jersey Devils forward Dainius Zubrus. Watch the NHL’s explanation of the suspension below.