After a crushing 5-0 loss to the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday evening, Detroit Red Wings head coach Jeff Blashill made some changes both on the roster and the ice. The Detroit Free Press’ Helene St. James writes that Blashill made the decision to move Luke Glendening up to the second line during practice, and that Niklas Kronwall, who has taken maintenance days since his knee injury during practices, will sit against Tampa Bay tomorrow. Further, Petr Mrazek will be back in after Jimmy Howard was shelled–though it was hardly his fault. The Red Wings defense has been porous and since Thomas Vanek’s injury, unable to generate scoring chances much less score goals. From Blashill:
“We’ve got to get to the other nets better. We’ve got to get more forecheck pressure, and we’ve got to win more puck battles. He does all those things. It frees you up on the wing, a little bit, to be able to get in on the forecheck, win puck battles, get to the net, and allow some more space for Nielsen and Larkin, potentially. It’s something we’re looking at.”
Glendening seems a curious choice to move up, but it fits the narrative of “toughness” and “grit” that Detroit continues to use as its guiding principle this season. Whether it translates into goals is an entirely different matter.
In other division news:
- Michael Traikos of the National Post reports that the Maple Leafs players have followed the rules and adhered to Lou Lamoriello’s rules of short hair and clean shaven faces. Matt Martin says that his agent first brought up to him before he was signed, and Martin obliged, cutting his long blonde hair down to a modest offering. Though it may seem outdated, Traikos writes that Lamoriello indicated that his teams, not individuals win championships and having a “unified appearance” is one way to buy into that. Players have certainly bought in. Netminder Frederik Andersen says that it’s part of building a culture and that the “rich history” of Toronto begs the need for unity in order to win. Traikos adds that with a young team like the Leafs, anything to build culture is welcomed and can lead to better results down the road–even something as simple as shorter hair and no facial hair.
- The Sun-Sentinel’s Craig Davis reports on newly acquired Panther Seth Griffith’s journey to Miami. Griffith was snagged off the waiver wire from the Toronto Maple Leafs, who in turn, took Griffith from the Boston Bruins in October via the waiver wire. writes that Griffith should have ample opportunity to prove his worth with the Panthers as roster spots are aplenty.