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Detroit Red Wings’ Dylan Larkin returns to practice

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Detroit – When the Red Wings returned for a full workout on Sunday, there was a big addition to the lineup: Dylan Larkin.

Just because Larkin attended training on Sunday doesn’t mean he’s ready to play Tampa Bay on Tuesday.

But after missing the entire four game road trip last week because of an upper body injury, seeing Larkin on the ice and participating in hockey activities was a big step forward.

“I felt pretty good,” Larkin said on Sunday after training in a Zoom chat with reporters. “It’s an everyday thing. The big thing is (Monday) and see how it feels and take it from there. “

Larkin wants to play Tuesday but it’s not a suspension.

“I would say that exactly,” said Larkin.

Coach Jeff Blashill wasn’t sure if Larkin was available for Tuesday either.

“We have two days to find out,” said Blashill. “I don’t do math one way or the other at the moment. We’ll find out when we go through it. He finished training today so that’s a good sign. “

After the Wings reached half-time of the season after Thursday’s game, Larkin is confident that the Wings will finish strong and have a positive impact on this season.

On 7-16-3, the Wings have exactly the same record as last season when the Wings were the last to finish in the NHL.

“We have to find a way, we’ve stuck together, but we have to find a way to get some wins and some positive energy here,” said Larkin. “I had a feeling it was coming, but it’s difficult when the team is out and you’re at home and not really in the room with the guys, but I know we’re fighting each other and just need some results. ”

The wings had a stretch where the COVID-19 protocol breached the wing lineup, and major injuries decimated their depth and lessened the effects of free agent and trade supplements in the off-season.

“You go into a season and you see the pickups we did that summer and yes you hope,” Larkin said of the expectations going into the season. “(But) we knew it was going to be a tough year (with COVID-19) and we would need everyone, people from the taxi team and people from Grand Rapids, and many of them did a good job.

“But we need our boys, we need our team to be out there and that was frustrating in that regard. But we knew it would be like that and we had to be prepared for anything. “

Bertuzzi “Progress”

While Larkin and Troy engraver (Lower body) were on the ice on Sunday – Stecher has missed the last seven games – there haven’t been any Tyler Bertuzzi.

And no one really knows when Bertuzzi (upper body) will be back after missing the last 17 games.

“He’s making progress and moving in the right direction, but I don’t have a schedule (to come back),” said Blashill. “I would just say he’s making progress.”

Blashill didn’t expect Bertuzzi to be off the line-up for as long as he did. He last played on January 30th.

“It’s just been a longer process than we thought and that happens sometimes with injuries,” said Blashill. “So we just sit and wait until he’s completely healthy and can come back to it.”

Bertuzzi’s absence hurt the wings in many ways.

“He’s a guy who does a lot of different things,” said Blashill. “When he was eliminated, he took penalties, he was in power play, he was our top scorer (five goals, seven points in nine games), he scored on the net, well on the defensive and he ended up playing five against out there six (skaters).

“He’s been a key piece to us over the years and he’s a winning hockey player.

“We miss a really good player, (but) we have to find ways to be successful without him. We’re not the only team (missing players). We are not as deep as other teams. So if you miss a man like that, it has an impact. It’ll be nice to have him back whenever that is. “

Nice rest

During an overloaded schedule, the wings have four days off between games.

They had two days off (Friday, Saturday), something Blashill hopes will rejuvenate the roster.

“Rest and rejuvenate and just reset and consolidate our structure and habits,” Blashill said. “It was great, something we definitely needed. What happens during the season, and especially this season, you keep going and it’s hard. This gives us the opportunity to reset. “

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Twitter: @tkulfan

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Dusty Kennedy