Here is who stood out in the Red Wings’ intrasquad scrimmage

Detroit News

Traverse City − After several days of seemingly endless drills and practices and video work, the Red Wings were finally put into a game situation.

Sunday’s annual Red & White intrasquad scrimmage at Centre ICE Arena was enjoyable for fans, and equally fun for players wanting to get into game atmospheres.

“It was great,” forward Dominik Kubalik said. “After a couple of months (off), it’s always nice. It’s what we play for. It was fun and I hope the fans enjoyed, same as us.”

The Red team came out with the 4-2 victory. Givani Smith had a penalty shot and empty-net goal for the Red, with Jakub Vrana and Cross Hanas adding goals. Dylan Larkin and Matt Luff scored for the White squad.

As expected, this early in the exhibition season, there were positives and negatives during the afternoon. Coach Derek Lalonde saw things he liked − and some things he did not.

“I liked it structurally; some things we worked on whether it was the new neutral zone (coverages) or our defensive zone, there was a conscious effort to execute,” Lalonde said. “So we did a good job with that.

“Obviously, a ton of turnovers, which is kind of expected, but turnovers led to most of, if not all, of the offense. So it’s a good picture to paint for the guys starting tomorrow, cleaning up some of the puck play.

“But for the most part, the three days we worked on some structure, and some of it translated and we’re in a good spot going forward.”

There was a good amount of physical play, which Lalonde wanted and was pleased to see come to fruition.

“We encouraged it and we talked about it, we ended up both meetings asking for it and you saw that,” Lalonde said. “You can’t turn it on and off. We want to be able to turn it on and just make a habit of who we are, and you saw it on both ends.

“Nobody was concerned about who was in the other jersey, and that makes for hockey played the right way.”

Several players stood out during the scrimmage.

Forward Jonatan Berggren had a chance to play with Larkin and Lucas Raymond, and didn’t look out of place.

“He was foreign to me coming in (to camp),” Lalonde said. “I did not see Grand Rapids at all last year, didn’t really watch a ton of GR tape, so it was a fresh start. He had a real good camp and that was the management group last night wanting to see him with some different type of players and those players were Larkin and Raymond, players that we foresee being in our top six throughout the year.

“He earned that opportunity and he performed very well.”

More: Red Wings’ Lucas Raymond striving to have more in store for an encore

Smith, who might be in a battle for a roster position, began his quest to keep his spot with the two goals and several nice plays.

“We need him to be simple, assertive, play north, and he did that,” Lalonde said. “He created with his line, they spent some good zone time which should be a strength of his, spending time with the puck in the offensive zone, and he finished on a breakaway (on the penalty shot). Good for him.”

Also impressing was Filip Zadina, who created scoring opportunities including setting up Vrana for a goal.

“He was assertive in his game,” Lalonde said. “It started probably in day two of camp. Day 1 was fine, but Day 2 you could see him being assertive with the puck some confidence and it translated into today’s game. He was flying with the puck on his stick. In tight, he was getting shots off and created a ton of offense.

“He’s playing with confidence, so hopefully he can keep building that going forward.”

Up and down

Rookie defenseman Simon Edvinsson showed flashes of his ability, but the 2021 first-round draft pick also turned the puck over, creating offense going the other way.

“He might have had six or seven turnovers in the first half and that’s something he’s going to have to manage, and we’ll work with him,” Lalonde said. “We understand it’s a process with him, but unfortunately for him, a lot of turnovers ended up back at him and cost him to defend on shifts where we’d like to be playing going north.

“It’s all part of it and it didn’t surprise me with him. A lot of positives, you see the special skill set, but you don’t have to be a trained hockey guy to see I’m sure he led the entire group in turnovers and it’s something we’ll work with him.”

More: Niyo: Red Wings’ Edvinsson knows it’s game on with NHL job in reach

Ice chips

Defenseman Robert Hagg took a shot to the side of his head and immediately scrambled to get off the ice early in the scrimmage. There was no update afterward.

“He obviously came off (the ice), and I didn’t get a chance to see him afterward,” Lalonde said. “It looked a little scary. He took it on the back of the ear and head area, which is a little scary.”

Joe Veleno was held out of the scrimmage, which Lalonde termed a “maintenance day” for a lower-body issue. Tyler Bertuzzi and Oskar Sundqvist remained out, and day to day.

… Defenseman Ben Chiarot continues to establish a physical tone on the ice, Sunday making big hits on Michael Rasmussen and Zadina during the scrimmage.

“That’s just a tone-setter that we’re going to get to work today,” Lalonde said. “This is how we’re going to play and hopefully that translates into our game.”

Twitter: @tkulfan

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