Cross Checks: Gustav Nyquist

Will Daniel Alfredsson play next season?

September, 8, 2014
9/08/14
10:13
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Detroit Red Wings star Gustav Nyquist got a big smile on his face when asked if Daniel Alfredsson would return next season.

"I hope so," Nyquist told ESPN.com on Monday. "He’s a great, great hockey player and unbelievable leader as well."

Alfredsson is skating with the Red Wings regulars in Detroit. He’s still an unrestricted free agent and undecided about his future. This was the plan he agreed upon with Detroit general manager Ken Holland in late June.

"I said to Alfie: `I’ll do whatever I do on July 1, you train all summer like you’re going to play, get to Detroit in early September, skate every day for a couple of weeks and then right before camp, let’s see where you’re at,'" Holland told ESPN.com's Pierre LeBrun last week.

"If he’s healthy and wants to play, we can then sit down and talk about a contract."

ESPN.com's Pierre LeBrun contributed to this report.

Rebuilding? Not the Wings, says Osgood

September, 2, 2014
9/02/14
12:17
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The Detroit Red Wings are a revered franchise, steeped in history and with a long winning tradition. For 23 seasons and counting, the Wings have made the playoffs and are aiming to keep that streak intact.

And though they boast some of the biggest names in the league in veterans Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk, they are becoming a team that will have to rely on youngsters more than in years past.

That can be a good thing, according to former Red Wings goaltender Chris Osgood.

“They’re not rebuilding like people say,” Osgood told ESPN.com in a recent telephone conversation, instead insisting, “I think it’s a nice transition.”

The luxury of having that core group of veterans (which could also include Daniel Alfredsson, should his health allow him to play this season) and such a strong crop of prospects is what has made the Red Wings such a model franchise.

[+] EnlargeChris Osgood
Robert Laberge/Getty ImagesChris Osgood celebrated titles as a Red Wing, and he likes the team's current direction and makeup.
Osgood credits Red Wings general manager Ken Holland and the team’s scouts for their keen ability to draft well. He said back when current Stars GM Jim Nill was with the team, the two were probably the best scouting duo in the league. The result?

“Their depth in the organization is unmatchable,” said Osgood, who now works as an analyst for Fox Sports Detroit.

That depth will be on display as the club opens camp and discovers what it has in a loaded group of prospects that includes forward Anthony Mantha, defensemen Alexei Marchenko, Xavier Ouellet and Ryan Sproul, and goaltender Petr Mrazek.

And that’s not to mention the group of young players that already has ample NHL experience: Gustav Nyquist, Tomas Tatar, Tomas Jurco and Riley Sheahan.

With such a deep pool of talent, training camp could get really interesting with roster spots up for grabs.

“Usually with [the Wings], their roster is pretty much solidified when you get there,” said Osgood, a three-time Stanley Cup champion. “Now you have a lot of guys looking for spots.”

Among the most intriguing storylines for Red Wings brass and fans alike will be what happens with Mantha, the team’s 2013 first-round draft pick (20th overall).

Though the winger, who turns 20 this month, will likely have a chance to crack the lineup, he’ll have to make a really strong impression on longtime coach Mike Babcock to earn that opportunity.

What will he have to show?

“That he has a complete game,” Osgood said. “That he can play in his own end. If he’s not scoring that he can still be productive -- that means still playing good defense. Knowing how to play in Babcock's system.”

Traditionally, the Wings have erred on the side of caution when it comes to development, opting for more seasoning rather than expediting the process. Last season was a bit of an anomaly, given the club’s injury-ravaged lineup, but Osgood is interested to see what approach they take with Mantha in particular.

“Don’t forget that in this organization it is instilled that they like to bring guys along slow,” Osgood said. “They’re not gonna be in any rush unless he blows them away. They know he’s gonna be a great player. You don’t want to start him too quickly and have him struggle. He’s going to need to play with confidence.”

Speaking of confidence, that may be exactly what goaltender Jimmy Howard is looking to regain after an inconsistent season (21-19-11, 2.66 goals-against average and .910 save percentage), one in which he was also hampered by injury.

Just being able to stay healthy and clear his mind should provide a huge boost to his game, Osgood predicts.

“For Jimmy Howard, he signed that contract and maybe put a little too much pressure on himself, plus his knee was bothering him,” Osgood said. “I think he just needs a healthy, consistent year where he doesn’t have to worry about anything more than stopping the puck.”

The other major training camp question is whether the Wings will have Alfredsson return. The 41-year-old has not yet made a decision on whether he feels healthy enough to play and contribute.

Osgood said he was really impressed by Alfredsson’s leadership and professionalism last season, suggesting it would be a major coup for the club to have him back.

“He blew me out of the water,” Osgood said. “If he can be healthy and come back and give them that same productivity, that would be a huge boost for the team.”
From the official NHL release:

NYQUIST, LUNDQVIST AND IGINLA NAMED NHL ‘THREE STARS’ OF THE WEEK


NEW YORK (March 24, 2014) – Detroit Red Wings right wing Gustav Nyquist, New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist and Boston Bruins right wing Jarome Iginla have been named the NHL’s “Three Stars” for the week ending March 23.

FIRST STAR – GUSTAV NYQUIST, RW, DETROIT RED WINGS

Nyquist led all players with six goals and tied for the League lead with seven points to help the Red Wings (33-24-14, 80 points) earn seven of a possible eight points and move into the first Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference. He opened the week with two goals in a 3-2 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs March 18. Nyquist followed that up with 1-1—2, including the primary assist on Daniel Alfredsson’s last-second overtime winner, in a 5-4 triumph over the Pittsburgh Penguins March 20. He then scored his fifth game-winning goal of the season in a 3-2 victory over the Minnesota Wild March 22 and capped the week with 2-0—2, his fourth multi-goal game of the season, in a 4-3 overtime loss to the Minnesota Wild March 23. The 24-year-old native of Halmstad, Sweden, has 23-17—40 in 46 games this season, including 7-1—8 during a five-game goal/point streak and a League-leading 18 goals in 23 games since Jan. 20.

SECOND STAR – HENRIK LUNDQVIST, G, NEW YORK RANGERS

Lundqvist posted a 3-0-0 record with a 1.67 goals-against average, .942 save percentage and one shutout to backstop the Rangers (39-29-4, 82 points) to three consecutive victories, helping the team move into third place in the Metropolitan Division. He began the week by making
35 saves in an 8-4 triumph over the Ottawa Senators March 18, moving past Mike Richter and into sole possession of first place in Rangers history with his 302nd career victory. Lundqvist then stopped 25 shots in a 3-1 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets March 21. He capped the week by making 21 saves for his 50th career shutout (and fifth of the season) in a 2-0 victory over the New Jersey Devils March 22, passing Ed Giacomin for the most blank sheets in franchise history. The 32-year-old native of Are, Sweden, has appeared in 55 games this season, compiling a 28-22-4 record with a 2.42 goals-against average and .919 save percentage.

THIRD STAR – JAROME IGINLA, RW, BOSTON BRUINS

Iginla tied for second in the NHL with five goals in four outings to help the Bruins (49-17-5, 103 points) extend their winning streak to 12 games and take over the top spot in the NHL standings. He recorded 2-0—2 in a 4-1 victory over the Minnesota Wild March 17. Iginla followed that up with his seventh game-winning goal of the season, his most in one campaign since 2007-08 (9), in a 4-2 triumph over the New Jersey Devils March 18.
After being held off the scoresheet in a 2-0 win over the Colorado Avalanche March 21, Iginla (2-0—2) posted his sixth multi-goal game of the season in a 4-2 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes March 22 to pass Hockey Hall of Famer and Bruins legend Johnny Bucyk for sole possession of 25th place on the NHL’s all-time goals list (558). The 36-year-old native of Edmonton leads the Bruins with 28 goals and ranks second on the team with
58 points in 71 games this season, including 9-1—10 in his last eight contests.
From the official NHL release:

LEHTONEN, NYQUIST AND SEKERA NAMED NHL ‘THREE STARS’ OF THE WEEK


NEW YORK (Jan. 27, 2014) – Dallas Stars goaltender Kari Lehtonen, Detroit Red Wings right wing Gustav Nyquist and Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Andrej Sekera have been named the NHL’s “Three Stars” for the week ending Jan. 26.

FIRST STAR – KARI LEHTONEN, G, DALLAS STARS

Lehtonen went 3-1-0 with a 1.25 goals-against average, .944 save percentage and two shutouts to help the Stars (24-20-8, 56 points) move within sixth points of a playoff spot in the Western Conference. He made 19 saves in a 4-1 loss to the Nashville Predators Jan. 20 before picking up three consecutive victories, recording 18 stops in a 4-0 shutout of the Minnesota Wild Jan. 21, 24 saves in a 7-1 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs Jan. 23 and 24 stops in a 3-0 shutout of the Pittsburgh Penguins Jan. 25.
The 30-year-old Helsinki native has played in 43 games this season, compiling a 20-14-8 record with a 2.52 goals-against average, .917 save percentage and three shutouts. Lehtonen also now has 25 blank sheets in his NHL career, 11 of which have come in a Dallas uniform. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, he is just the third goaltender to reach double-figures in shutouts since the franchise relocated to Texas in 1993, joining Marty Turco (40) and Ed Belfour (27).

SECOND STAR – GUSTAV NYQUIST, RW, DETROIT RED WINGS

Nyquist recorded 4-2—6, scoring in all four games to help the Red Wings (23-18-11, 57 points) pick up five out of a possible eight points and move into the second Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference. He posted the team’s lone goal in a 4-1 loss to the St. Louis Blues Jan. 20. Nyquist then collected 1-1—2 in consecutive games: a 5-4 shootout victory over the Chicago Blackhawks Jan. 22 and a 4-1 win over the Montreal Canadiens Jan.
24. He closed the week by scoring his ninth goal of the season in a 5-4 shootout loss to the Florida Panthers Jan. 26. The 24-year-old Halmstad, Sweden, native has 9-8—17 in 27 games this season, including 4-3—7 and a +4 rating during a five-game point streak.

THIRD STAR – ANDREJ SEKERA, D, CAROLINA HURRICANES

Sekera posted 1-5—6 and a +8 rating to power the Hurricanes (23-19-9,
55 points) to three consecutive victories, moving them within one point of the No. 3 spot in the Metropolitan Division. He opened the week by earning the primary assist on Jiri Tlusty’s tiebreaking goal in a 3-2 triumph over the Philadelphia Flyers Jan. 22. Sekera then posted a career-high three points (1-2—3), including his first game-winning goal since March 6, 2009, in a 5-3 victory over his former team, the Buffalo Sabres, Jan. 23. He capped the week with his sixth two-assist performance of the season in a
6-3 win over the Ottawa Senators Jan. 25. The 27-year-old Bojnice, Slovakia, native has played in 49 games this season, leading all Hurricanes blueliners in goals (8), assists (22) and points (30).

Jaromir matches Gordie and Mario

November, 22, 2013
11/22/13
9:40
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Devils 2, Kings 1 (OT)
Jaromir Jagr scored the game-winning goal in OT for the Devils as he tied a couple of Hall of Famers in the process. Jagr now has 121 game-winning goals (ties Gordie Howe for most in NHL history) and 690 career goals (ties Mario Lemieux for 9th-most in NHL history).
* Devils: 4-0-1 in last 5 road games
* Kings: loss snaps 4-game win streak
FROM ELIAS:
Most Game-Winning Goals, NHL History
Jaromir Jagr 121<<
Gordie Howe 121
Phil Esposito 118
Brett Hull 110
Brendan Shanahan 109
>>Includes Thursday vs Kings

Most Career Goals, NHL History
6. Mike Gartner 708
7. Mark Messier 694
8. Steve Yzerman 692
9. Jaromir Jagr 690<<
Mario Lemieux 690
>>Includes OT-goal Thursday

Red Wings 4, Hurricanes 3
* Gustav Nyquist (DET): 1st 2 goals of season (just recalled from Grand Rapids of AHL)
* Henrik Zetterberg (DET): 2nd 3-assist game this season (other was Nov. 7 vs Stars)
* Red Wings: 1st win in last 8 games (1-2-5)
* Hurricanes: on 3-game losing streak
FROM ELIAS SPORTS BUREAU: Gustav Nyquist, playing in his first NHL game this season after being called up from the AHL earlier in the day, scored two goals to help the Red Wings end their eight-game home winless streak with a 4–3 victory over the Hurricanes at Joe Louis Arena. It was only the third time in the last ten years that a Red Wings player scored two goals in his first game of a season. The other Detroit players to do that since 2003 were Tomas Holmstrom (2008–09) and Todd Bertuzzi (2012–13).

Sharks 5, Lightning 1
* Tommy Wingels (SJ): 2 goals (1st career multi-goal game)
* Logan Couture (SJ): 3 assists (1st career 3-assist game)
* Sharks: won 5 straight home games vs Lightning (outscored TB 27-7)
* Lightning: lost 3 straight games

Blackhawks 6, Jets 3
* Jonathan Toews (CHI): goal (11), 3 assists; 2nd 4-point game this season (other was Oct. 29 vs Senators)
* Patrick Kane & Marian Hossa (CHI): goal & assist each
* Blackhawks: 6-2-0 in last 8 games overall; 1-1-0 on 7-game road trip (next game on trip: Saturday at Canucks)
FROM ELIAS SPORTS BUREAU: Jonathan Toews scored four points in one game for the second time this season when he tallied one goal and three assists in the Blackhawks’ 6–3 victory at Winnipeg. Toews, who registered three goals and one assist in Chicago’s 6–5 win against Ottawa on October 29, had scored four or more points in only two of the 408 regular-season NHL games he played before this season. He’s the first Blackhawks player with two four-point games in one season since Jeff Hamilton in 2006–07 (one five-point and one four-point game in Hamilton’s only season with Chicago).

Rangers 3, Stars 2
* Rangers: won 5 straight road games (this was first game of 5-game road trip)
* Stars: have 3-game win streak snapped, 0-2-2 in last 4 home games
* Rick Nash (NYR): 1st regular-season goal since last April 27 vs Devils (this was his 2nd game back from a concussion injury, his 5th game of the season)
* Henrik Lundqvist (NYR) season-high 41 saves
* Jets: 0-2-1 in last 3 games following a 4-game winning streak
FROM ELIAS SPORTS BUREAU: Henrik Lundqvist made 41 saves and also recorded his first assist of the season in his 3–2 win at Dallas. It was the first time that a Rangers goaltender won a game in which he made at least 40 saves and also registered an assist since Feb. 1, 1992, when John Vanbiesbrouck did that in a 2–1 victory against the North Stars in Minnesota (also 41 saves and one assist). The only NHL goaltender besides Lundqvist to manage that feat over the last two seasons is the Flyers’ Steve Mason on April 27 last season at Ottawa (43 saves, one assist).

Blues 3, Bruins 2 (F/SO)
* David Backes (STL): Goal (9); 10 points in 9 road games this season (13 points in 24 road games last season)
* Blues: 7-1-1 in last 9 games, 22/25 on penalty kills in those games
* Bruins: snapped 4-game home win streak

Predators 4, Maple Leafs 2
* Matt Cullen (NSH): goal (4), 3 assists; 3rd career 4-point game (1st since Dec. 15, 2002)
* Predators: won last 3 games following a 4-game losing streak
* Maple Leafs: 2-4-0 in last 6 games
FROM ELIAS SPORTS BUREAU: Matt Cullen recorded one goal and three assists in the Predators’ 4–2 win at Toronto. Cullen, who entered play on Thursday with just two points over his last 12 games, had scored four points in a game only twice before in his NHL career and not since December 2002 for Anaheim. At age 37, he’s the oldest player to score four or more points in an NHL game this season and the oldest player in Predators history to do so, breaking the mark set by 36-year-old Cliff Ronning in December 2001.

Flyers 4, Sabres 1
* Matt Read (PHI): 2 goals (6); 4th career multi-goal game
* Flyers: 5-0-1 in last 6 games
* Sabres: lost 3 straight following season-high 2-game winning streak
FROM ELIAS SPORTS BUREAU: Matt Read scored a pair of goals in the Flyers’ 4–1 win over the Sabres at Wells Fargo Center. Read is the first Flyers player to score two goals in a Philadelphia home-ice victory since Brayden Schenn did so in a 5–3 win against Winnipeg on February 23 last season. The three two-goal games by Flyers players on home ice in the interim (by Jakub Voracek, Scott Hartnell and Tye McGinn) all came in regulation or shootout losses by Philadelphia.

Avalanche 4, Coyotes 3 (OT)
* Avalanche: 2nd straight win after 3-game losing streak
* Coyotes: 8-1-2 in last 11 games (8 games decided by 1 goal)
* Ryan O'Reilly (COL) 3rd career overtime goal; has scored a goal in 3 of his last 4 games
FROM ELIAS SPORTS BUREAU: Colorado’s Semyon Varlamov has won all three games this season in which he faced at least 40 shots on goal, including his 4–3 OT victory at Phoenix on Thursday. The only other NHL goaltender with three such wins this season is Buffalo’s Ryan Miller.
FROM ELIAS SPORTS BUREAU: Phoenix defenseman Michael Stone extended his goal-scoring streak to three games in the Coyotes’ 4–3 overtime loss to Colorado. Stone is only the second defenseman in the last 20 years to score goals in each of three consecutive team games in one season for the Jets/Coyotes franchise. Oliver Ekman-Larsson had a three-game streak for Phoenix in March 2012.

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