Originally posted on Fox Sports Detroit  |  Last updated 12/18/11
DETROIT-- Cory Emmerton showed what kind of player he can be in Saturday night's 8-2 victory over the Los Angeles Kings. Emmerton had two goals and an assist, one more point than he had in his previous 20 games combined. While the Red Wings don't expect Emmerton to get three points every game, they do expect him to be a little more consistent. Like all the fourth-line players, Emmerton has to be responsible defensively, use his speed and chip in offensively when the opportunity presents itself, as he did Saturday. "He's got NHL skills, he's got to decide he's an NHL player," coach Mike Babcock said. "When you don't play for a while and mentally you might start getting closer to the door. You don't want to be closer to the door, you want to be in the middle of the room hanging on. So it's a good sign for him." Drew Miller, who also had two goals Saturday, was happy to see one of his fellow grinders get on the scoresheet. "I've been in the same exact position as him in the past," Miller said. "The best thing to do is respond and he did that with two good goals and played solid the whole game so you gotta make those kind of statements." Emmerton had a goal and an assist in the first game of the season against the Ottawa Senators but hadn't scored since. "Its one of those things that youre trying to do the little things right, and then when youre fortunate enough to get a bounce or two it gives you that much more confidence or momentum to carry you through," Emmerton said. "As much as you hate to say it, the big thing about hockey is all about confidence and comfort level, and I was fortunate enough (Saturday) to get a few." Of course, when you have two goals in the first period, you might start thinking about a hat trick. "Obviously it kind of crosses your mind, but the way things have kind of gone this year I was just happy to have two, so I wasn'treally thinking too much about three," Emmerton said. No Wings rookie has recorded a hat trick since Johan Garpenlov, who had four goals against the St. Louis Blues on Nov. 23, 1990. With Chris Conner out for a couple of weeks with a broken hand and Jan Mursak getting back in shape after breaking his ankle in September, Emmerton will get a chance to play more -- for now. "He's playing so well so it's tough to see a guy like that go down," Emmerton said of Conner. "He's been working hard. I just try and stay ready, stay positive and wait for the chance. And (I'm playing with) two pretty good players right now so you just try and take advantage of that." Emmerton is playing wing along with Tomas Holmstrom on Justin Abdelkader's line. "The first couple of games that I played the wing, it was kind of an adjustment of getting used to it; I used to play it in junior, actually," Emmerton said. "I enjoy playing it, and (Saturday) was a nice relief. But sometimes you just get fortunate to have the opportunities and chances." With the team set to head out to Western Canada for three games this week, Emmerton doesn't have long to enjoy his best NHL game to date. "For the night. That's about it," Emmerton said. "It's obviously a good feeling to contribute offensively, but our goal is to play well defensively and kind of grind on the other team's defense and wear them out so our top two lines can generate more offense and more room out there. But any time you can chip in offensively, it's going to help the team along." Back on the road Unlike last season when the Wings were better on the road than they were at home, the Wings are still looking for consistency away from the friendly confines of Joe Louis Arena. "That's a good question," Babcock said. "We skate and start on time and play on our toes. We've gotta play the same way on the road. We just gotta continue to get better on the road. We're a little more cautious on the road and we can't be." Last season the Wings were 21-14-6 at home and 26-11-4 on the road. This year they're 13-2-1 at home and 7-8-0 on the road. "Every team in this league wants to establish that presence at home," Miller said. "Definitely the Red Wings have had that in the past here and it's something you want to continue having. When teams come in here it's a tough place to play, we got good fans and we play hard." The Wings have generally done well in Western Canada. Last season they were 5-1 in Edmonton, Vancouver and Calgary, dropping one game to the Canucks. But that doesn't mean the Wings can assume victories. "It's not just going to happen," Brad Stuart said. "What's happened in the past really doesn't apply to us today. But we got to feel good about going out there, coming together as a team on the road. We haven't had a lot of road trips that are longer than one or two games." After the three games, the Wings will return home to celebrate Christmas, then travel to Nashville the day after. "We're looking forward to it, let's get out there and get going," Babcock said. "We've gotta be better on the road. We're all coming home for Christmas, it's a great time of year. The games are on the schedule. Looking forward to going, that's it." Plus-minus tales Before Saturday night, the Wings had just two minus players, Tomas Holmstrom, who was minus-2 and Niklas Kronwall, who was minus-3. Holmstrom, who had two assists Saturday, finished plus-2, making him even for the season. Unfortunately for Kronwall, despite the eight goals, he finished minus-1, making him minus-4 for the season. Defenseman Ian White, on the other hand, was plus-3 Saturday, making him plus-21 for the season, second in the league behind Boston's Tyler Seguin, the former Plymouth Whaler, who is plus-22. "Great for him," Babcock said. "Sometimes it doesn't tell the whole story but over a period of time it sure does and there's a reason he's plus. He's making good plays, he's good defensively, he gets the puck going."
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Texans have been ‘blown away’ by Deshaun Watson

Lucky Whitehead reportedly claimed by Jets

Reasons for concern with Kyrie Irving's game

When will it be OK to worry about Clayton Kershaw?

Ivy League-educated ex-NFLer questions recent CTE study

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Timberwolves seriously exploring Kyrie Irving trade

Is there really such a thing as a Cubs World Series baby boom?

Some coaches expect Tom Brady to 'dramatically age’

Cavs reportedly wanted to sign Rose before Irving trade request

Report: Novak Djokovic could miss rest of season with elbow injury

Reggie Jackson praises, urges caution with Aaron Judge

The 'Cooperstown: The New Class' quiz

For the revitalized Pirates, trade deadline has newfound meaning

Every MLB team's best and worst deadline trade from the last 25 years

The 'Kyrie revolts against the King' quiz

The most memorable moments from the class of 2017 Baseball Hall of Fame inductees

BIG3 Ref Hotline Bling: James White slams the phone down

Box Score 7/25: The pressure of the trade deadline is here

The 'When George Brett went completely batty' quiz

Finding the possible Achilles' heel for baseball’s best teams

Getaway Day: A pair of aces get lost in the shuffle

Sports & Politics Intersect: Trump casts shadow over U.S. Women's Open

Best of Yardbarker: General managers take the spotlight

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Yardbarker Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

For the revitalized Pirates, trade deadline has newfound meaning

The 'Cooperstown: The New Class' quiz

The 'Kyrie revolts against the King' quiz

BIG3 Ref Hotline Bling: James White slams the phone down

The 'When George Brett went completely batty' quiz

Finding the possible Achilles' heel for baseball’s best teams

Getaway Day: A pair of aces get lost in the shuffle

Sports & Politics Intersect: Trump casts shadow over U.S. Women's Open

The National League Wild Card is suddenly relevant again

The 'Pay that man his money' quiz

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker