The Detroit Red Wings played their preseason home opener at Little Caesars Arena on Thursday night. The Red Wings showed their improved skill with a commanding 6-2 victory. The top line of Pius Suter, Robby Fabbri and Lucas Raymond accounted for four goals. The line dominated all night long and looked like a line that should stay together to start the season.
Here are eight takeaways from the game:
#1: Robby Fabbri scored two goals in regulation and the only goal of the shootout. Fabbri had four shots on goals and was +4 on the night. His chemistry with Suter and Raymond was noticeable throughout the game.
#2: Pius Suter was outstanding all night long. Every time he was on the ice, Suter helped create one scoring chance after another and contributed three assists on the night. This signing by Steve Yzerman looks like yet another brilliant move by the general manager.
#3: Lucas Raymond is fighting for a spot on the opening night roster. His speed and skill was evident throughout the entire game. He scored one goal and added the primary assist on Fabbri’s empty net goal. If he continues to play with the high energy he exhibited Thursday, Raymond should make the opening night roster.
#4: Moritz Seider showed why he is so highly touted as a first defense pairing with Nick Leddy. Seider is positionally sound, makes safe plays and uses his size to his advantage. The defense should prove to be significantly improved with Seider being a full-time regular this season.
#5: Nick Leddy showed the poise that has made him a solid regular in the NHL. The Red Wings seemed to have the puck in the offensive zone throughout most of the evening when Leddy and Seider were on the ice. The defense pairing of Leddy and Seider played the power play and killed penalties. It was fun to watch Detroit break out of their end with ease with Leddy and Seider on defense.
#6: Filip Zadina looks like he is ready for a breakout season. He didn’t hit the scoresheet, but Zadina was dangerous every time he was in the offensive zone. With Jakub Vrana out for four months with his shoulder injury, look for Zadina to possibly slide onto the #1 line with Dylan Larkin and Tyler Bertuzzi.
#7: Joe Veleno didn’t look out of place, but he didn’t do anything special on Thursday night. He plays with poise and looks ready to make the jump to the NHL. If all the centers remain healthy, look for Veleno to sharpen his offensive skills in Grand Rapids until the trade deadline potentially opens up forward spots in the lineup.
#8: Alex Nedeljkovic played his first preseason game with Detroit on Thursday night. He made 17 saves on 19 shots and showed the poise of a veteran goaltender. The goalie tandem of Nedeljkovic and Thomas Greiss should stabilize the Detroit net this year.
The Detroit Red Wings should be a fun team to watch this season. They will score more goals, have less scored against them, and will ultimately win more games than they have in the last few seasons. One thing that is obvious when you watch the Red Wings this year, they are younger, faster, and more skilled than what we have witnessed since they last made it to the playoffs.
The Red Wings will play their third preseason game in four nights Saturday when they host the Columbus Blue Jackets. Game time is 7:00pm ET at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit.