Detroit Red Wings forward Jakub Vrana is admitting that fear and doubt were briefly occupying a place in the back of his mind as he was returning from a 56-game absence this season following September shoulder surgery.
“I was afraid for a while,” Vrana told irozhlas.cz. “But everyone around me who worked with me for four months did a great job. Both mental and physical. They kept me afloat and that helped me come back.”
As it turned out, he needn’t have worried. Picking up where he’d left off at the end of the 2021 campaign, Vrana finished with 13 goals in 26 games for Detroit.
Going For Gold
Evidently, Vrana and fictional NASCAR driver Ricky Bobby think along the same wave lengths. It was Bobby, the character Will Ferrell portrayed in the film Talladega Nights, who coined the phrase, ‘If you ain’t first, you’re last.’
Readying for the IIHF World Championship with Czechia, Vrana is of a similar mindset. His belief is that if you’re going to compete, what are you doing there if you aren’t there to win it all?
— IcehockeyGifs (@IcehockeyG) May 5, 2022
“The goal is to be the highest,” Vrana told isport.blesk.cz. “I say, and I will always say, that the goal should be clear. Then of course the steps are as they are, but the head should be set to something right from the start.
“I think if you ask the other guys, they’ll tell you the same thing.”
One of those other guys is Red Wings defenseman Filip Hronek. He’ll be playing in his fourth successive world tourney and in what should offer him good experience for life without Jeff Blashill next season, under his fourth different coach.
“When I’m healthy, I always go,” Hronek told ceskenoviny.cz. “It’s an honor to wear that jersey. It’s nice to see the boys and talk. It is a different bunch than at a club in America.”
Red Wings Prospect Updates
The Charlottetown Islanders are off to a quick 2-0 series lead over Moncton in the QMJHL playoffs. Defenseman Oscar Plandowski (155th overall, 2021) has accounted for one goal in the set.
— QMJHL (@QMJHL) January 20, 2022
Things aren’t going as well for goalie Jan Bednar (107th overall, 2020) and the Acadie-Bathurst Titan. They’re down 2-0 to Halifax. Bednar is showing a 5.12 GAA and .800 save percentage.
Red Wings In Case You Missed It
- A look at the 2021-22 Red Wings season by the numbers
- Detroit goalie prospect Sebastian Cossa continues to play like a wall in the WHL playoffs
Hockey Now Network
Boston: Rebounding strongly on home ice, the Boston Bruins posted their first win over the Carolina Hurricanes in Game 3 of their series.
Pittsburgh: After undergoing core muscle surgery, Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Casey DeSmith is out for the season.
Washington: Returning from a serious eye injury, Washington Capitals forward and former Michigan Wolverine Carl Hagelin is back skating.
Florida: NHL commissioner Gary Bettman is of the belief that the Florida Panthers are growing the game in the southern part of the state.
Colorado: Up 2-0 on the Nashville Predators, the Colorado Avalanche insist they are being driven by the singular focus of winning the Stanley Cup.
Calgary: With a 1-0 win and a 2-0 loss through two games of their series against the Dallas Stars, the Calgary Flames aren’t letting their overall confidence waver.
Vancouver: New Jersey Devils Tom Fitzgerald says his No. 5 overall pick in the 2022 NHL entry draft is up for bids. Could a package including center JT Miller help the Vancouver Canucks land that pick?