Detroit Red Wings head coach Derek Lalonde shakes up training camp

(Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)
(Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images) /

The Detroit Red Wings are finishing up their training camp in Traverse City as they prepare to begin their preseason schedule, which commences on Tuesday at home against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Detroit will play eight preseason games before the regular season starts in New Jersey on October 12th.

Head coach Derek Lalonde elected to tweak Detroit’s traditional Red and White team scrimmage. For years, the Detroit Red Wings Red and White game had been a conventional three-period contest with a bit of three-on-three work to simulate overtime and conclude the game with a fan-favorite shootout competition.

This year, things looked a whole lot different. Instead of simulating a game, each period was dedicated to working on something specific. In the first period of the scrimmage, the Detroit Red Wings worked on five-on-five play. The second period was devoted to a bunch of one-minute power play opportunities rotating between the two squads. In the third frame, the Red Wings worked on four-on-four and three-on-three play, concluding the day with a shootout.

Lalonde called the event ‘a productive day.’

"“I loved the pace,” Lalonde said. “We wanted to be productive, work on some things, and it went a lot smoother than I had anticipated. The pace of the first period, pace of the special teams, credit to the staff.“We worked on a lot of things, we got five-on-five structure, a ton of special teams, we introduced three-on-three and four-on-four, which is part of our process along the way.“All in all, productive day.”“Give credit to the penalty kill and some good goaltending,” Lalonde said. “We had a lot of looks on the power play, a ton of good looks and chances. If we go through a dry stretch like that in the regular season, we’d be happy knowing as long as you’re going to get looks like that it is going to go in. Guys looked comfortable in their spots.”"

James Reimer stood out the most to Detroit Red Wings head coach Derek Lalonde.

Lalonde pointed to James Reimer as the player that stood out most. Reimer, of course, is battling with Alex Lyon for the team’s primary backup goaltending job. The Detroit Red Wings need a reliable netminder to spell Detroit’s workhorse, Ville Husso. Last season had been Husso’s first as a franchise goaltender, and he appeared fatigued down the stretch. Husso was called upon more than Lalonde would have liked, but the organization didn’t have a trustworthy backup to keep Detroit in games. General manager Steve Yzerman not only went out and signed one veteran backup in free agency, he added two. Ironically, both of Detroit’s backups from a year ago landed with the Pittsburgh Penguins.

"“Both of those guys had real strong days,” Lalonde said. “It was real hard not to notice Reimer today, if you were asking me the one guy that stood out. It was him, the way he played, and Lyon had a good day too. Ville, also, he gave up the two goals early but looked real sharp.“Part of the special-teams killing 100% over 16 minutes (of power play) was the goaltending. It was real sharp.”"

Most of us expected to see Reimer win the no. 2 goaltending job, and although things are subject to change, it appears Reimer has a leg up on Lyon at this time. Lyon performed exceptionally well last season down the stretch for the Florida Panthers. He was one of the main reasons Florida snuck into the postseason. After beginning the playoffs as the starter, he would eventually yield the job back to Sergei Bobrovsky, who went on an absolute tear.

Next. 4 players to watch closely during training camp. dark

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If the goaltending situation shakes out this way, having Lyon begin the year in Grand Rapids would be great for the organization’s top goaltending prospect, Sebastian Cossa. Following a tremendous year in Toledo with the Walleye, Cossa, like his coach (Dan Watson), is expected to make the jump from the ECHL to the AHL. Lyon, 30, can be a great mentor to the young prospect trying to find his way.