In an encouraging development for a team desperate for scoring, the Detroit Red Wings look like they have found a second line.
Robby Fabbri, Filip Zadina and Vladislav Namestnikov starred, for what it is worth, in Sunday’s scrimmage, showing chemistry and scoring prowess. Namestnikov scored the first goal and Zadina the last goal as Team White topped Team Red, 6-2.
“I think the fact they were dangerous in the scrimmage is important,” coach Jeff Blashill said. “We need more lines. So the fact they could be impactful in a scrimmage is good. Come Thursday, it will be a different animal a bit, but all they can control is the setting and then play great within the setting, and they did a great job of that.”
Detroit Red Wings’ Vladislav Namestnikov during the first training camp practice at the Little Caesars Arena practice rink, Jan. 1, 2021.
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It was the third and final scrimmage before the Wings open the 2021 season Thursday at Little Caesars Arena against the Carolina Hurricanes.
“I thought both teams were competing,” Blashill said. “It wasn’t like it was a summer hockey game. It looked like a real enough game.”
Unlike Friday’s lopsided affair, when Team Red had far more NHLers than Team White, Sunday’s event was more evenly split. Dylan Larkin’s line with Anthony Mantha and Tyler Bertuzzi headlined the red sweaters while Fabbri’s line headlined the opposition. The red defense included Danny DeKeyser, Marc Staal and Troy Stecher while white had Filip Hronek, Patrik Nemeth and Jon Merrill.
Namestnikov scored on a redirect, with Fabbri buzzing and ready in case there was a rebound opportunity.
“That line right off the bat was really good,” Blashill said. “Fabs was skating really good, he had good jump, he did a good job in the d-zone. I thought the same with Z and Vladdy. It was real noticeable.”
Namestnikov, who was moved onto the line because Bobby Ryan has been “unfit” to practice since Friday, has looked like a great fit. The 28-year-old, one of general manager Steve Yzerman’s offseason additions, adds versatility to the lineup because he can play on an offensive line or in a more defensive role.
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“He’s pretty smart,” Blashill said. “I love smart players. In the chaos of all the action out there, smart players can make good decisions. I’ve been impressed with him.”
Thomas Greiss looked good, too, making numerous point-blank saves — including one on Mantha during a power play.
Valtteri Filppula scored twice and Givani Smith also scored for Team White. Mantha, who has produced in every scrimmage, solved Greiss early in the third period to put Team Red on the board.
Michael Rasmussen, who has slotted onto Larkin’s power play unit in the net-front role with Ryan unavailable, scored on a rebound in the crease to pull Team Red within a goal, at 3-2. It’s the type of goal the Wings see as Rasmussen’s potential bread and butter in the NHL.
After using Friday’s post-regulation play to work on their 6-on-5, empty net power plays, the Wings used Sunday to simulate 3-on-3 overtime. That’s when Zadina struck.
Contact Helene St. James at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @helenestjames. Read more on the Detroit Red Wings and sign up for our Red Wings newsletter. Her book, The Big 50: The Detroit Red Wings is available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Triumph Books. Personalized copies available via her e-mail.
This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Detroit Red Wings look like they have a second scoring line
Published: 2021-01-11 03:01:56
Tags: #Detroit #Red #Wings #scoring #line #Heres