Red Wings look forward to long holiday stretch at home

Ted Kulfan
The Detroit News

Detroit — A hockey team usually doesn’t get this kind of home stand, so the Red Wings would be wise to take advantage of it.

The Red Wings will play 11 of their next 13 games at Joe Louis Arena, only venturing on the road for single games Dec. 8 (in Washington) and Dec. 11 (in New Jersey).

So from Thanksgiving to Christams, the Red Wings will be home except for two days.

“Two road games until Christmas? That’s exciting,” forward Brad Richards said. “We should be excited about that opportunity.”

But there is caution. The Red Wings are only 5-5-1 at Joe Louis Arena thus far this season, a record that will need improving if they want to move up the standings.

“We had a stretch of games where we weren’t playing well and not doing things the way we should be and a lot of those games were at home and we lost those,” forward Justin Abdelkader said. “When you go on the road, you tend to play a simpler game, especially the first 10 minutes. Maybe we can carry that over to home ice and play a little simpler and not give teams the quality chances we’ve given.”

For coach Jeff Blashill it doesn’t matter where the Red Wings are playing, just as long as they continue to improve upon what they’ve done.

“It’s important just because we need wins, period,” Blashill said. “No matter if we were facing 13 road games, I would feel the same way. We need to find a way to win games.

“Now, you don’t want to face the prospects of not doing well and having to face a ton of road games in January.

“We just have to continue to build as a hockey team, as we have and we have to continue to.”

Glad for Ferraro

The Red Wings knew there was potential to lose forward Landon Ferraro when they placed him on waivers Saturday, so it wasn’t a shock when the Bruins claimed him.

With Ferraro close to returning from a knee injury, the Red Wings simply had too many bodies for roster spots.

“It’s never easy to lose a quality person and player,” Blashill said. “We knew it would be a risk but it’s part of the CBA (collective bargaining agreement) and part of the business.

“On the personal side, I’m glad Landon gets a chance to play in the NHL. He’s worked extremely hard for me for three years and I’m certainly happy for him personally.

“From an organizational standpoint, we made that decision and we knew the potential consequences and we’ll live with it.”

Player of the week

Tomas Jurco, on a conditioning assignment in Grand Rapids, was named AHL Player of the Week.

Jurco injected life into a dormant Griffins offense, scoring seven points (three goals, four assists) in three games – assisting on all three game-winning goals in the three games.

Jurco, 22, had one assist in four games with the Red Wings, struggling to get into the lineup.

“My message to Jurcs was to go down there, and I wasn’t going to judge purely on the scoresheet, he has to do other things,” Blashill said.

“The reports I’ve gotten is he’s played real good. He’s dominated from an offensive sense, which is great. ... (But Jurco) did good stuff on the forecheck, he was physical, and the goals were elite. They were snipes. I hope he continues to build his confidence.”