Wings' plethora of youth impresses veterans

The Detroit News

Detroit — The young guys are impressive, and players who have been around the Red Wings dressing room for more than a few preseasons are taking notice.

As the Wings continue their “rebuild on the fly,” a push to reconstruct the roster without completely dismantling it now entering its fourth season, players have routinely arrived from Grand Rapids and performed well enough to continue the string of 24 consecutive seasons in the playoffs.

But the quantity of young talent is ever more apparent, and the depth was on display versus the Penguins Thursday when Dylan Larkin, Teemu Pulkkinen and Tyler Bertuzzi all had big games.

Detroit's Dylan Larkin is one the rookies who has impressed during the preseason.

“There are a lot of younger guys in here who can play,” said Niklas Kronwall, who recalled how he struggled to play the positional game in his first camp as he got used to the North American style of hockey.

“It’s incredible,” he said. “But it just goes to show you: You have a good scouting staff, and they’ve been doing a tremendous job for not just a few years now. I mean, it goes back a long way.

“And, in today’s era, if you don’t get the first five picks, you’ve got to have a really good scouting staff to narrow down what you’re looking for. And, so far, it’s been spot-on, really.

“It’s great to see these young guys coming up and doing so well, they’re not just happy to be here. They want to make an impression and to make sure that after each game the coaches are talking about them.”

Bruins at Red Wings

Faceoff: 7 p.m., Saturday, Joe Louis Arena

TV/radio: None.

Notes: Red Wings coming off a hot performance, albeit against a Penguins roster that included many players destined for minor leagues. Bruins coming off a tumultuous off-season, in which they changed general managers and a significant pieces of the roster. Zdeno Chara left the game Thursday with an upper-body injury.