To Domink Kubalik, the chance to come to the Detroit Red Wings was about opportunity, the chance for a fresh start.
“I think as a hockey player you want to prove it to everybody every year,” Kubalik explained. “You want to show what you can do.”
There was a lot to love about Kubalik’s first game in a Detroit uniform, both from a personal and team standpoint. With the left-winger leading the way by scoring two goals, the Red Wings ended up smacking Pittsburgh 6-2 in their NHL preseason opener on Tuesday.
A KUBY ROCKET 🚀
— Detroit Red Wings (@DetroitRedWings) September 27, 2022
Kubalik potted 30 goals as an NHL rookie with the Chicago Blackhawks in 2019-20 and wants to get back to that level of production for his new club. He’s scored a combined 32 goals over the past two seasons.
“Even if you have a good season, you gotta a prove yourself that it wasn’t just one season,” Kubalik said. “If you have a bad season, you want to go back up there. There’s always something.
“I think that’s why we love the game. It’s so many up and downs and you just need to battle through.”
Red Wings Special Teams Are Dynamite
The Red Wings were 2-for-2 with the man advantage. Kubalik and defenseman Steven Kampfer were the ones scoring on the power play.
— Detroit Red Wings (@DetroitRedWings) September 28, 2022
Detroit wound up killing off all nine Pittsburgh power plays. Adding insult to injury, Kubalik even wound up scoring a shorthanded goal for the Red Wings.
Other goals came from Filip Zadina, Elmer Soderblom and Tyler Spezia.
Eight Is Enough For Detroit
The Red Wings get right back on the ice on Wednesday. They’ll be facing the Blackhawks (7:30 pm) at Little Caesars. It will be the second game in an eight-game preseason slate over a 12-day span.
Normally, such a busy schedule would be just cause for concern within an NHL team. In this case, Red Wings coach Derek Lalonde is welcoming the opportunity to hit the ice so frequently.
With a new coaching staff and a significant amount of fresh faces in town, he’s viewing this busy preseason as the more, the merrier.
“It really does (come in handy),” Lalonde said. “This is the first time and maybe only time in my NHL career I’ll be happy to have eight games.
“To me six is good, seven is maybe a little too much. Eight seems a little excessive but I understand there’s a business aspect to it. But for us this year it’s going to be beneficial.”
Kubalik is in agreement with his coach.
“Obviously with the new team, new coaching staff, it’s always important to get the system going, be on the same page,” Kubalik said. “Just do the things we work on during the practice, especially in training camp. That’s what we’re trying to translate into the game.
“Obviously there’s going to be mistakes but that’s what the exhibition games are for. Just gotta stay aware of it and then get ready for the real games.”