DETROIT — What a week it’s been for Cory Emmerton.
He was put on waivers by the Red Wings on Sunday. On Monday, he cleared waivers and was assigned to Grand Rapids, then a few hours later, he was back on the Detroit roster.
On Wednesday night at Joe Louis Arena, he was centering the Wings’ fourth line as they opened their season with a 2-1 victory over the Buffalo Sabres.
Emmeton had a remarkable a game: set up Detroit’s first goal of the season; failed to convert on a penalty shot in the second period; and later in the second, was assessed a delay-of-game penalty, which gave the Sabres their second prolonged 5-on-3 man advantage of the night.
“From the moment I got put on waivers to the moment the puck dropped, I just had one mindset, which was to just play hockey,” Emmerton said. “You just can’t dwell on anything else.”
Drafted by Detroit in second round (41st overall) in 2006, Emmerton is a smart two-way player who lacks natural goal-scoring ability, yet through a strong work ethic, he’s managed to find a spot on the Wings roster — at least for the moment.
“Hockey is crazy,” Emmerton said. “You never know what’s going to happen. In one second, you don’t know where you’re going to be. You could be with 29 other teams, you could be in the minors, or end up on the same team.
“As far as the game goes, it’s going to be like that every game. As long as you have more good shifts than bad shifts, you’re doing well.”
If there’s one moment from Wednesday that Emmerton would like to have back, it’s his second-period penalty shot, which was stopped by Ryan Miller.
“He’s such a good goalie,” Emmerton said. “He’s so big and square to the puck. I was a little tried, too. It was right after a penalty kill, and my goal was, don’t do something dumb.
“It’s something that I’ll work on. It was my first penalty shot in the NHL. It can only get better from there.”