Detroit Red Wings hopeful Michael Rasmussen can make positive impact
Evgeny Svechnikov took his opportunity last weekend. Now Michael Rasmussen gets his chance.
The Wings recalled Rasmussen from Grand Rapids on Tuesday as the Dylan Larkin (upper body) and Robby Fabbri (lower body) centers had been injured.
Fabbri, said coach Jeff Blashill, was a decision on Tuesday’s game against Columbus. Regardless of whether or not Fabbri was on the line-up, Rasmussen – a 2017 round one draft pick – would most certainly play, especially after glowing reports from general manager Steve Yzerman and Grand Rapids Griffins coach Ben Simon.
“According to reports from both Ben and Steve, he played very well. He did a good job, ”said Blashill in Zoom chat with the media ahead of the game on Tuesday. “He went down in a short time and did what he had to do in the sense that he went down and played fast and played without fear, and I mean that without fear of making mistakes, playing physically and being tough with people .
“Overall, Ben feels like he took a big step a year ago and that’s positive for all of us. Hopefully he can get in here and it’s a different league, it’s a different beast for sure, but that doesn’t mean his game doesn’t translate well. I hope it translates well. “
Svechnikov, who was elected in the first round in 2015, had scored a goal in both games last weekend in Chicago in his first stint in the Wings line-up this season.
Rasmussen played eight games with the Wings with three points (all templates) in January.
In seven games with Grand Rapids, Rasmussen has six points (two goals, four assists).
At 6-foot-6,229 pounds, Rasmussen has the size and temperament to become a formidable shutdown center, along with a heavy mesh front presence as the Wings envision.
“One thing for our team is actual size,” said Blashill. “When you play against teams like Columbus, who protect the middle very well and have very good defenders, it’s good to have that size in the line-up.”
The Wings had a morning skate in Detroit and then flew to Columbus, a departure from the normal pre-pandemic routine.
Teams usually fly into a city the night before a game.
But during this shortened season based on division plans, more teams are choosing to fly the game day, especially if it’s a short flight between cities to limit exposure in hotels.
This was the third time the Wings flew a game day. The other two times were trips to Chicago.
“The more you do it, the more you get used to it,” said Blashill. “Certainly a break in the routine you’re worried about, (but) luckily it’s not really that stressful. But it’s a different routine, and this is the third time. I hope we’re even better at it this time than the last two times, which means we’re really going to start the game. “
The strict restrictions on teams on the street also played a role.
“We have spent many nights in hotel rooms every year, and this year it was just important to us to have those extra nights at home instead of having them without actually getting out of your hotel room. You sit in a hotel room and do nothing” said Blashill.
Blashill said Larkin, who missed two Chicago games after clashing with the Nashville defender Ben Harpur and injuring his left arm in Thursday’s game against the Predators wouldn’t be in the two games this week.
“I would get through these next two games tonight and Thursday (in Carolina) and then I would hope to have him again when we see Tampa (next week),” said Larkin. “We have a pretty long break (four days after the Carolina game) so we hope to have him back. He’s not on the road so he won’t be playing (the two games this week).”
Without Larkin, Fabbri or Tyler Bertuzzi (Upper body) the wings have received the urgently needed secondary rating.
“It’s an important piece of that,” said Blashill. “Hopefully at some point we can make everyone healthy and many of them can continue to contribute. We have had long stretches of the season where we couldn’t score enough and we could have won more games if we had scored one . ” additional destination per night.
“It’s good that these guys score and hopefully feel good. We just have to make sure we spread that depth of scoring as much as possible.”
Bertuzzi missed the entire February after injuring himself in the last game in Florida in January, and Blashill said Bertuzzi was at least a week away from returning.
Blashill said Troy engraver (Lower body) stays day after day, and Patrik Nemeth has been removed from the COVID-19 protocol list.