DETROIT– Preseason NHL lines are like Forrest Gump’s box of chocolates. You never know what you will get until you take a bite. But the Detroit Red Wings have had a taste of Michael Rasmussen playing with JT Compher and David Perron and they like it quite a bit.
The line combined for eight points to lead the Red Wings to a 6-1 win against the Chicago Blackhawks Sunday at Little Caesars Arena. Rasmussen, playing on the wing, scored twice and added an assist. Compher netted Detroit’s only power play goal and added two assists. Perron boasted two assists.
“Compher is a really smart player and Ras can complement anyone,” Detroit coach Derek Lalonde said. “I think both players because of their ‘B’ game, their responsible game, what they take pride in and how they play, can complement anyone, so not surprised.”
If Dylan Larkin ends up centering Alex DeBrincat and Lucas Raymond, the Rasmussen-Compher-Perron would fit as the second line. That would leave Andrew Copp as the No. 3 center with Robby Fabbri, Jonatan Berggren, Klim Kostin and Daniel Sprong competing for the winger spots.
Compher liked the chemistry with Rasmussen and Perron, but he’s not counting on this being permanent. It’s too early in the process. Last season, Rasmussen also had chemistry with Copp.
“The lines have been mixed around in training camp,” Compher said. “It’s kinda how it usually goes in camp. I think there’s been a lot of guys l like playing with. I thought tonight we were able to connect on some nice plays. We were talking a lot on the ice and knew where each other were, which was good.”
Bedard Pointless, But Impressive
The Red Wings didn’t allow Connor Bedard to register a point against them in their win. But they now understand what Bedard mania is about. Bedard led Chicago with four shots on goal and undressed defenseman Simon Edvinsson on a rush.
“The move was like a ‘Wow!’ moment, which is awesome. Those young type of players, those superstars in the making, which it looks like he’s going to be, it’s really good for the league. My boys are here for that reason. They were going to stay on the couch until I told them Bedard was in, then they made the trek here.”
Connor Bedard's wrister already commands so much respect that it opens up plenty of other possibilities on the attack. Here, he uses that threat to dance past Simon Edvinsson 1-on-1. #Blackhawks #Bedard pic.twitter.com/II8EtRga2M
— Virtual Hockey Scout (@Vhockeyscout) October 2, 2023
Veleno Impresses Lalonde
The Red Wings are hoping Veleno shows increased offensive production, but he clearly has a spot among the bottom six forwards. He has the skating and skill to move up in the lineup if he starts to score. He had 150+ hits last season. If he can raise his goal total to 16-18, then Veleno becomes far more valuable.
“Joe’s had a good camp. He’s got some pace to his game. I like his two-way game. When he’s involved, when he’s engaged he’s an effective player. He’s been that so far in camp.”