Helene St. James | Detroit Free Press
A career night for Luke Glendening, waivers for Danny DeKeyser.
The Detroit Red Wings begin a new week boosted by a rare victory. But even though Ws have been scarce — they won twice on the six-game road trip — their work ethic has been a positive, as has their defensive game. Over the past week they played well at Florida in a one-goal loss, were a minute from pushing the first game in Nashville past regulation, and won Saturday’s contest against the Predators.
Overall, individuals have done a good job in that stretch, but there are three who stand out, and three whose stock has dipped.
Glendening recorded a goal and two assists in the 4-2 victory, in his return from a two-game absence dealing with concussion-like symptoms. Those were his first points in 41 games. He took 21 of the game’s 53 faceoffs, 67%. That’s slightly higher than his season average of 66%, which leads the NHL in players who have taken at least 200 draws. Glendening’s name rarely appears on the scoresheet, but is regularly associated with doing all the little things right. He’s a huge loss when not in the lineup, and was a welcome sight back.
Another player whose absence is sorely felt, Fabbri scored for the third time in four games Saturday, in his sixth game back since missing two weeks with COVID-19. He’s consistently a hard-nosed player who contributes offensively. His .63 points-per-game average is second on the team behind Tyler Bertuzzi.
He has three points the past two games, and is tied with Dylan Larkin and Anthony Mantha for a team-high nine points. Hronek is the team workhorse, averaging nearly 24 minutes a game, playing in all situations. He’s consistently gritty, and while all his points are assists, he’s second on the team with 33 shots on net.
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DeKeyser was placed on waivers Sunday. It has been a challenging time — he has not been in the lineup since the first 10 games. The concern the organization had about the veteran defenseman coming into the season has proven to be warranted. He underwent major back surgery in November of 2019, and had not played since. While not injured, he’s not fully healthy either — coach Jeff Blashill has described DeKeyser as “playing on one leg.” He has another season left on his contract, but clearly the Wings no longer consider him part of the lineup. He’s likely to clear waivers, at which point he can be assigned to the taxi squad, or the Grand Rapids Griffins.
He was a healthy scratch the first game at Nashville and only subbed in Saturday because of an injury to Darren Helm. Filppula did record an assist, but he was also a minus-1. The Wings don’t expect much production from him, but two points in 12 games is subpar, and his defense could be tighter. He’s counted on as a veteran to set a better example.
Suffered a lower-body injury in the first game at Nashville. Helm was one of the few Wings veterans who played decently last season, but it has been a rough time this season. He missed most of training camp because he was on the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol list, and didn’t play until Jan. 22. He has appeared in nine games, with no points and minus-two rating.
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.