The Detroit Red Wings are placing an emphasis on NHL experience when it comes to filling their spots on the taxi squad. Hence, Sunday’s promotions to the taxi squad were Taro Hirose, Luke Witkowski and Calvin Pickard. They all played for the Red Wings.
That experience immediately paid dividends on Monday when Red Wings backup goalie Thomas Greiss entered COVID-19 protocol. That led to the activation of veteran netminder Pickard. He will be serving as backup to Alex Nedeljkovic on Monday afternoon in Buffalo.
Former Michigan State player Taro Hirose has 16 points in 43 games with the Red Wings. He is currently leading the Grand Rapids Griffins with 27 points. He played one game for the Red Wings earlier this season. A small number of Red Wings fans wish Hirose would get another shot at playing in the NHL regularly. He’s 25.
A native of Holland, Mich., tough guy Witkowski, 31, played 131 NHL games, including 65 for the Red Wings. Pickard, 29, played 113 NHL games in net, including nine for the Red Wings.
The Red Wings play the Sabres in Buffalo today in a 1 p.m. game. Detroit beat the Sabres Friday in Detroit.
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Around the NHL
Detroit: Coach Jeff Blashill moved Tyler Bertuzzi to the second line and that has created balance in the second line. The Red Wings had been too dependent on the Lucas Raymond-Dylan Larkin-Bertuzzi line.
Also, Check out the videos of Raymond and Moritz Seider showing their puck juggling skill.
Florida: The Panthers say their raucous fan support is a primary reason for their winning ways.
New York: Islanders raised more red flags in their Saturday loss to the Washington Capitals.
Pittsburgh: Forward Bryan Rust is off the COVID-19 protocol list and back at Penguins practice Sunday.
San Jose: What Sharks coach Bob Boughner likes about Noah Gregor’s game.
Vancouver: Canucks will be well-rested and brimming with confidence heading into Tuesday’s game in Nashville.