On April 5, the Detroit Red Wings headed out West to visit the rival Colorado Avalanche. Not only was the OT win a move forward for the Red Wings, they also had their newly acquired defenseman Dan DeKeyser (Western Michigan University) played in his first NHL game in the Red and White jersey. Without scoring or assisting, he added two giveaways and three takeaways. Mike Babcock, Red Wings head coach, had a few nice comments about the new d-man they so desperately need.
“I liked him,” coach Mike Babcock said. “He’s going to be a good player in this league for a long time. Obviously he has to get stronger, but he’s a good skater, he’s smart and a good defender. He’s pretty easy to like.
DeKeyser, playing 16 minutes 36 seconds in a total of 22 shifts, reminisced about the old rivalry between Detroit and Colorado, which made him excited to play in the game Friday.
“I remember Roy and Vernon in the 1990s, watching some of those games, it was exciting,” said DeKeyser, noting the goalie fight between Patrick Roy and Mike Vernon. “Definitely a fun history there for sure.”
As Babcock said, he has to get stronger, but he seems to have a good feel for what the Red Wings need. He could be the puzzle piece Detroit needs in the defense to help them next year and for years to come.