Cholowski, young Wings see some promise in late rally

Gregg Krupa
The Detroit News
Dennis Cholowski

Detroit — After the roof fell in, the Red Wings showed some signs of improvement.

Jonathan Drouin scored the Canadiens' sixth goal at 15:59 of the second period, in the 7-3 loss Monday. But, the Wings scored the next two goals and outshot Montreal 16-8 the rest of the way.

The Red Wings say they started playing more as they had intended, with more possession, more time in the offensive zone and a bit more forechecking.

The Canadiens, ahead 6-1 at that juncture, likely eased back on the throttle a bit.

But the young Wings hope their rally toward the end of two brutal losses on the road can help them in Tampa, where they have no points in five years.

“We were doing the right things,” Dennis Cholowski said Wednesday.

More: Analysis: Wings need changes, but firing Jeff Blashill isn't one of them (yet)

Cholowski played 21:57, second-most among defensemen (Nick Jensen, 22:21). Cholowski also carried the most power play time, 2:01.

“We were getting it deep," he said. "We were forechecking hard. We were wearing them out in the O-zone; going low to high, getting it to the net.”

Through the first six games, the 20-year-old from British Columbia, who has played in only four NHL games, leads the team in average time on ice, 22:07, ahead of Jensen’s 21:16.

“Third period was good,” Cholowski said. “If we can do that for 60 minutes, we’ll be fine.”

But it is that consistent performance the injury-battered Red Wings lack, off to their worst start since October 1985.

“No matter how bad you’ve played a game, there’s something you can build off,” said Tyler Bertuzzi, who, with Gustav Nyquist and Dylan Larkin, leads the team with five points.

“We did a decent amount of good things, but we did too many bad things.

“Today, in practice, we worked on a lot of defensive pressure and the neutral zone fore-check,” said Bertuzzi, who is making the most of his chances, with two goals on five shots on goal, through six games.

“So, we’ve got to better defensively, and we will be.”

Wings add depth

The Red Wings added to their depth Wednesday claiming forward Jacob de la Rose off waivers from Montreal.

de la Rose, 23, is a 6-foot-3, 216-pound center/left wing, who Montreal picked in the second round (34th overall) in the 2013 Entry Draft.

In 119 career NHL games, de la Rose has eight goals and 11 assists (19 points).  In 55 games last season, de la Rose had 12 points (4 goals, 8 assists).

de la Rose has yet to play this season. He suffered a cardiac episode following a Sept. 29 exhibition game but was eventually cleared to practice, which he’s been doing with the Canadiens.

He must cleared medically, and obtain a work visa before joining the Wings.

Daley is back

Trevor Daley does not quite remember whether it was a knee or a thigh. He just knew his neck hurt more than his head.

The grateful, hard-pressed Red Wings will welcome back the solid, veteran presence of the 35-year-old Daley on Thursday. It allowed them to send Libor Sulak, 24, to Grand Rapids, after he averaged 19:22 in the first six games in the NHL.

Daley tumbled into an oncoming opponent in Los Angeles two weeks ago. He said he is not sure what body part skated into him, but jamming his neck proved more of a problem than striking his head.

Daley marveled at four young defensemen, all playing together for several games at the start of the season -- a highly unusual circumstance.

“Yeah, it’s unheard of,” said the veteran of 15 seasons, who played in 77 games last year.

“I think they’ve been playing great. All of them. But, for their sake, it helps to have someone who’s been around a little bit to lean on a little bit.

“We’re getting healthy and we’re getting back,” Daley said. “And, these guys are still getting better.”

Advice for Rasmussen

Michael Rasmussen hopes to be better when he returns to the lineup Thursday. 

The 19-year-old averaged 12:33 and one shot on goal through the first five games before sitting aloft and watching in Montreal.

“You have more time than you think, but not as much as you like,” Rasmussen said, of what coaches are counseling about his play.

“And, just hold on to the puck,” he said. “And get my feet going more, in the neutral zone.”

Twitter: @greggkrupa

Ted Kulfan contributed

Red Wings at Lightning

Faceoff: 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Amalie Arena, Tampa, Fla.

TV/radio: FSD/97.1

Outlook: Off to the worst start since Steve Yzerman’s third season as a player, 33 years ago, the Red Wings seek their first win of the season in a town where they do not have a point since December 2013.