The Detroit Red Wings will open the 2018 preseason on Wednesday when they play host to the Pittsburgh Penguins at Little Caesars Arena.
GAME TIME: 7:30 p.m.
TV: FSDT, NHL
Here's at look the rest of Detroit's preseason schedule:
- Sept. 20 -- 7:30 p.m. against the Chicago Blackhawks in Detroit
- Sept. 22 -- 7 p.m. against the Boston Bruins in Detroit
- Sept. 23 -- 3 p.m. against the Pittsburgh Penguins in Pittsburgh
- Sept. 25 -- 8:30 p.m. against Chicago Blackhawks in Chicago
- Sept. 26 -- 7 p.m. against Boston Bruins in Boston
- Sept. 28 -- 7:30 p.m. against Toronto Maple Leafs in Toronto
- Sept. 29 -- 7 p.m. against Toronto Maple Leafs in Detroit
Zetterberg's career is over -- no captain right now
With Henrik Zetterberg's career coming to an abrupt end right before training camp, the Red Wings are left without one of their top centers and, perhaps more importantly, their captain. I took a quick look back at his NHL career here, arguing in favor of "Z" being placed in the Hall of Fame.
Indeed it is an end of an era, but the question is who takes over wearing the C? I wrote about this very topic right here, mulling whether or not Dylan Larkin is next in line and, if so, whether now is the right time to hand the captaincy to him.
What will this year's Red Wings lineup look like?
Now that we know Zetterberg for sure isn't playing this season, we can start to get a better idea of what the team's lines will look like. At the very least, the following table shows the Red Wings players who are expected to be playing in the NHL this season:
|Forward Line 1||Tyler Bertuzzi||Dylan Larkin||Anthony Mantha|
|Forward Line 2||Thomas Vanek||Frans Nielsen||Gustav Nyquist|
|Forward Line 3||Justin Abdelkader||Andreas Athanasiou||Martin Frk|
|Forward Line 4||????||Luke Glendening||Darren Helm|
As for the defense:
|1st Pairing||Jonathan Ericsson||Mike Green|
|2nd Pairing||Dan DeKeyser||Trevor Daley|
|3rd Pairing||Niklas Kronwall||????|
Who fills in those question marks? Well, I ran through the list of prospects here. You could be seeing Filip Zadina and/or Michael Rasmussen in the Red Wings' top six forwards.It will be exciting to see some new, youthful faces in the lineup this season. Looking to the future is key at this point, because it might get a little ugly for them. The Red Wings defense is considered among the worst, if not the worst, in the league.
NHL Season Preview: Detroit Red Wings— dom luszczyszyn (@domluszczyszyn) August 29, 2018
It’s going to be a long year for a team with the worst defence in the league and no star power. No Zetterberg makes things even worse. https://t.co/gvi1GtztCo pic.twitter.com/eAnWkDZisH
Howard, Bernier between the pipes
Of course, goalie Jimmy Howard is returning for his 12th season with the Red Wings. He will be joined by 29-year-old Jonathan Bernier, who fills the role left vacant by Petr Mrazek. Bernier should help give a boost to the position for Detroit, as I write about here.
Around the league: Leafs excitement, Sens embarrassment
The 2018-19 NHL preseason is now well underway. John Tavares scored Tuesday night when the Toronto Maple Leafs faced the Ottawa Senators in their first preseason game, and the city of Toronto nearly exploded -- at least on Twitter.
But it was Senators news that stole the show. During the first intermission of that same game, Senators GM Pierre Dorion gave this awkward answer to a simple question: Name one positive thing about the Senators right now. Dorion paused for about 4 seconds, with a blank stare, before answering, "We're a team." The look of fear on Elliotte Friedman's face is priceless.
Dorion hasn't had anything to celebrate, especially after franchise defenseman Erik Karlsson was traded to the San Jose Sharks for, well, a bag of pucks. Pucks are useful, they're just not Erik Karlsson.
So to all the frustrated Red Wings fans out there, remember things could be much worse.