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Red Wings Are Grateful for More Than Turkey This Thanksgiving



Dominik Kubalik, Red Wings
Dominik Kubalik has rediscovered his mojo after switching from Chicago to Detroit

Thanksgiving is a day for filling our plates with turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes and grandma’s pecan pie. It’s about catching a nap while watching football on television. It is also a day to be grateful for our blessings. Family is a given. But here are some hockey reasons why Detroit Red Wings should be thankful this Thanksgiving.

Defenseman Filip Hronek

New coach, clean slate:  Hronek seemed out of sync last season to the point that coach Jeff Blashill made him a healthy scratch for two games.  He didn’t play as confidently as he did previously. It’s always hard to get a read on what GM Steve Yzerman is thinking. But it seemed as if there was chance the Red Wings might move him. But when this season started Hronek remained among coach Derek Lalonde’s top four defenseman.

Hronek has responded to the coaching change by playing some of the best hockey of his career. He’s been a much more effective player this season in Lalonde’s system

Forward Jonatan Berggren:

First NHL opportunity: Berggren did everything the Red Wings asked him to do last season in Grand Rapids. He put up 64 points in 70 games for the Griffins. But Yzerman never gave him a shot to play in the NHL last season. Berggren even started this season in Grand Rapids. But he’s with the Red Wings now and making a strong case to stay permanently (four points in six games). He adds a little magic to Detroit’s attack. His brother and mother are in Detroit this week. He’s undoubtedly thankful he’s finally getting his chance in the show.

Coach Derek Lalonde

Steve Yzerman’s free agents and draft picks: Lalonde has done an excellent job making this team more competitive. They are harder to play against. Their defensive play is much stronger. That’s all Lalonde. But you can bet that Lalonde is grateful that Yzerman signed eight free agents that are making a difference. Plus, he’s getting a team that is already well into the rebuild.

Left wing Dominik Kubalik

Fresh start in Detroit: Kubalik lost his game in Chicago and has found it in Detroit. He had 32 points in 78 games last season for the Blackhawks and he has 21 in 19 games for Detroit. He knows he made the right decision to sign with Detroit.

Center Andrew Copp

Forty-one real home games: Copp was born and raised in Ann Arbor. He was a star high school quarterback at Skyline High School. He played hockey at the University of Michigan. This is home, but he played almost 500 games in Winnipeg. We can guess he is thrilled to be back in Michigan where it is easier for family and friends to watch him play.

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Red Wings D Men

Teammate Olli Maatta. Every member of the Detroit blue line corps is thankful to have his Maatta’s steady, hard-nosed defensive play. His defense-first thinking plays well in Lalonde’s system.

Red Wings Fans

Ville Husso. The fan base is starting to love this guy. His composure and no-quit attitude has helped the Red Wings take their defensive coverage to a higher level.  Husso is 8-2-3 with a 2.36 goals-against average, .922 save percentage and three shutouts in 13 games with Detroit. He became the third Red Wings/Falcons/Cougars goaltender with three shutouts prior to his 15th appearance with the franchise, joining Hap Holmes (four in 1926-27) and Dolly Dolson (three in 1928-29). The “Husso” chants say fans are thankful for their new No. 1 goalie on this Thanksgiving

Detroit Coach Derek Lalonde

The Buffalo Bills Beat the Lions on Thanksgiving: Lalonde is an avid Bills fan and that’s another reason Lalonde has to be grateful. He can make it up to Detroit fans by getting the Red Wings into the playoffs.