Raymond makes great arrival as Red Wings pass Sabers, 6-2
Detroit – The Red Wings want Lucas Raymond to be visible, to have an impact and be one of the best players on the ice when competing in these exhibition games.
If Raymond does that, he’ll be on the opening night list.
One game later, Raymond was very visible.
Raymond scored a goal on his debut in the exhibition season, helping the Red Wings win 6-2 over Buffalo at Little Caesars Arena.
“It’s great for a guy like that to be as confident as he is,” said teammate Robby Fabbri, who scored two goals. “It’s important that he makes these games and plays his game and you can see that tonight. It makes our job easier when he plays his game.”
Fabbri (two goals, including an empty net), Troy Stecher, Luke Witkowski and Jon Martin added the other goals, but it was Raymond that the fans came to see – along with defender Moritz Seider – and the fans probably came home happy. .
“Like I said (at training camp in Traverse City), he looks good,” said Pius Suter, who has three assists. “He shoots the puck and has a good shot.
With the news Thursday that Jakub Vrana to miss at least four months with shoulder surgery, the Wings will need the ability to score goals from someone.
Raymond begins to show that it could be coming from him.
In the second period, just 23 seconds after Robby Fabbri put the Wings on the scoreboard, tying the game, Raymond picked up a loose puck near the point, skated in the slot and whistled a shot against the goaltender. Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen sabers.
“He did a good job, he’s a smart player,” said coach Jeff Blashill. “He’s got a good two-way game and these types of players are guys who are transferable (from offense to defense.”
Raymond, who also got an assist on Fabbri’s empty goal, explained after Thursday morning practice how excited he was to play at Little Caesars Arena.
“It will be a lot of fun playing here,” Raymond said Thursday morning. “It’s something I dreamed of since I was drafted. Finally being there, being able to play (Thursday) will be an incredible feeling.
“Of course there are nerves in the first game of the season, but I just try to treat it like every game and be calm. To be in this arena in a Red Wings jersey is really special. “
Like most young players arriving from Europe, the small rink in North America was a challenge.
“It’s a huge difference in tempo, which I’m getting used to,” Raymond said. “I like the style of play. It’s fun, fast hockey, lots of shooting. You can be a threat almost anywhere in the area.
Fabbri, who also had a good game, Raymond and Stecher scored three goals in 3 minutes 22 seconds to erase a 1-0 lead over Buffalo.
After seeing his season marred by a coronavirus case at the start, then a concussion at the end of the season, Fabbri entered this camp healthy and looked as sharp as any player.
“I had a great summer, felt great coming out of summer and in training camp, and I’m trying to pick up where I left off,” said Fabbri. “It starts with confidence. I felt good skating there, and little games here and there that I can work on and improve on with some games here in the preseason, and I felt good.”
Fabbri and Suter, who were junior hockey teammates, seem to have some of that chemistry at the start of exhibition season.
“It’s a game, but you saw he does it all, and any team would love to have a guy like that,” Suter’s Fabbri said. “It will be great for us.”
Suter played in both specialist teams, was good defensively and seemed efficient between Fabbri and Raymond.
“It’s the first game, but everything went well,” Suter said. “We scored goals so it’s always fun. Every time we play it helps us for the regular season, knowing where everyone is going and how they react in certain situations.”
Blashill liked the type of sound game Suter displayed during the preseason.
“He had a good camp,” said Blashill. “He’s been in every practice, the red and white game and tonight. He’s smart, a playmaker, he has a lot of attributes.”
The Wings divided the goalkeeper between Alex Nedeljkovic and Victor Brattstrom.
Nedeljkovic stopped 17 of 19 shots, allowing goals for Rasmus Asplund – Nedeljkovic was beaten to five holes, one he would probably want to recover – and Arttu Ruotsalainen (power play).
Brattstrom stopped all 13 shots he faced.