CALGARY, Alberta — Speaking with Detroit reporters after the Red Wings’ morning skate Friday, Robby Fabbri described coming to his new team as a fresh slate.
“I did that as a 19-year-old coming in over there (to St. Louis), and I’m going to have that same mindset coming in over here,” he said. “I want to make a big impact.”
He did just that in his Red Wings debut Friday night. Fabbri scored a power play goal just under 12 minutes into Detroit’s game against visiting Boston. He scored again, also on the power play, 90 seconds into the second period.
As such, Fabbri became the seventh player in the long history of the Red Wings to score twice in his team debut, and just the second to do so over the last 34 years.
Boston has one of the top penalty-kill units in the league. Even after Fabbri got them twice, the Bruins ranked fifth in the NHL on the PK (86.7 percent). Both of his goals came from about the same area in the near slot, and the second one proved to be the game-winner in a 4-2 Detroit triumph. He was named the game’s No. 1 star.
Frustrated over a lack of playing time in St. Louis, Fabbri requested a trade last summer. After originally being told by Blues general manager Doug Armstrong to stay patient, Fabbri got his wish Wednesday night. In exchange for Fabbri, the Blues received Jacob de la Rose in the trade of young forwards.
“I talked to Ken Hitchcock and Craig Berube (Thursday),” Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill told reporters in Detroit, referring to the Blues’ former coach and current coach. “There’s a belief there’s more in him.
“We have opportunity here, a clean slate, and now he’s got to grab it. We need more scoring. He can potentially provide that, so I look forward to watching him play.”
With Fabbri wearing jersey No. 14, his Detroit debut came with a couple of plum assignments: a spot on the Red Wings’ second line and a spot on the team’s first power play unit.
Fabbri played the first eight games for the Blues on the team’s third line this season, and then was a healthy scratch in eight of the next nine contests before Wednesday’s trade. His last game as a Blue came Oct. 27 — in Detroit.
His season high in playing time with the Blues was 11:55 on Oct. 10 in Ottawa. He played 13:15 Friday, including 4:08 on the power play.
D-men shuffle continues
Berube and his staff have yet to settle in with their defensemen pairings. During Friday’s practice at the Scotiabank Saddledome, things were switched up on all three pairings. They were Colton Parayko-Alex Pietrangelo, Jay Bouwmeester-Justin Faulk, and Carl Gunnarsson-Vince Dunn.
The only time Berube has gone into a game with those three pairings this season was five games ago against Minnesota at Enterprise Center. For the past three games, he has opened with Gunnarsson-Pietrangelo, Bouwmeester-Parayko and Dunn-Faulk.
One constant this season has been plenty of in-game switching on the blueline, so there’s no guarantee the Blues will finish Saturday’s game against Calgary the way they start.
“It’s going to be mixed at times,” Berube said. “There’s going to be times in games where we’re going to be moving guys around. A lot of it has to do with minutes, too. Match-ups, minutes. Getting guys their minutes and match-ups are a big thing.”
And in San Antonio
Playing in his second game since returning from kneecap surgery, Jordan Kyrou scored a breakaway goal Friday night for San Antonio in American Hockey League action against Milwaukee. Kyrou had two assists in his season debut last Saturday for the Rampage.
It was the only goal of the game for San Antonio, which fell to 6-3-3 with a 3-1 loss to the Admirals.