Red Wings forward Mathias Brome's patience pays off, gets into NHL scoring column
Detroit — Mathias Brome hadn’t scored in 17 games, hadn’t earned a point, but he didn’t panic.
Brome is 26, an undrafted free agent who signed with the Red Wings, and has played professionally in the Swedish Elite League
He’s been through scoring slumps. And although frustrated, Brome knew he could get out of this one.
“I’m pretty old, I know a little how it is to have (scoring) chances and not to score,” said Brome after Saturday’s 2-1 victory over Florida in which Brome scored his first goal, turning out to be the game-winner.
“I had the same thing when I was back in Sweden my first year in the SEL (Swedish Elite League) and I had 13, or 14, or 15 games without a point there,” Brome said. “But I know it’s going to come when you create chances.
“You’re more worried when you don’t have any chances. But I created a lot of chances and today it went in, so I’m real happy and I’m glad we got a win.”
Still, the lack of scoring was beginning to get to Brome.
The fact Brome was joining a new team, in the NHL no less, and understanding the competition for spots in the lineup, it was important to begin producing offensively.
But Brome attempted to remain as calm as possible.
“Of course it’s frustrating when you don’t score in games, but when you leave the game you wonder what you did good and not so good, and I did create a lot of chances and bounces did not go in,” Brome said. “I’m not going to go home and say I’m never going to score. That’s not how I am, and it’s not going to help me.
“So I’m just trying every day to push a little harder and score more in practice and suddenly you’re going to get a chance.
“I’ve had better chances than I did (on the goal) but today it went in.”
On the goal, Brome was at the post to put back a rebound of Dylan Larkin’s shot.
It was the real estate that Tyler Bertuzzi often occupies, and Brome has taken notice of how Bertuzzi capitalizes on that.
“I looked at how Bertuzzi scores his goal and he is always around the net,” Brome said. “That’s where you’re going to score in this league and I’m trying to be there every day.
“I knew Larkin was going to shoot the puck there and there would be a rebound. I got in there and that’s where you’re going to score.”
Many fans on social media had begun to wonder why coach Jeff Blashill was showing so much patience toward Brome, what with the zero offensive production.
But on a team with many players who were flirting with zero offensive production, it’s not like there were a ton of other choices.
Plus, Brome was creating chances, and was playing a positive two-way game, and making a favorable impression on the ice.
“It wasn’t like there was a whole bunch of guys producing a ton,” Blashill said. “We felt like if we stayed with him, he would produce eventually because he’s done it the right way.
“He skates hard, he does a real good job of playing from the right side of the puck, and he checks pretty well. He does a good job of being on the puck. He’s a guy that we think has done a pretty god job overall, so it’s good for him to break through and hopefully it takes the weight off his shoulders and he can score more.”
The Wings waived another veteran Sunday to gain roster flexibility.
The Wings waived forward Frans Nielsen, who is expected to clear waivers by Monday' noon deadline.
Nielsen, 36, has no goals and three assists in 18 games, and has carved out a role on the bottom-six forwards and penalty kill in recent weeks, after beginning the season outside of the lineup.
Still, this gives the Wings flexibility if they need to assign Nielsen to the taxi squad, if there’s a need.
Nielsen has one more year remaining on his contract, with a $5.25 million salary cap hit.
The Red Wings waived defenseman Danny DeKeyser a week ago, he cleared, and DeKeyser happened to be back in Saturday’s lineup.
Considering it wasn’t even a full 24 hours after being humbled 7-2 by Florida, and finding out the shocking death of team masseur/equipment manager Sergei Tchekmarev, the way Wings responded Saturday was a true show of character and professionalism.
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“I really like our team,” Blashill said. “We don’t want to come out and lay an egg like we did the other night. They have a real short memory, which has been good.
“We want to compete for each other, grind and work for each other, and ultimately, that’s what is special about teams. We got a good group of guys.
“We haven’t won, certainly, as much as we want to, but when we’ve had our full lineup, we’ve played pretty good.”