Filip Zadina excited to return to Detroit Red Wings lineup:
The Red Wings are getting one more piece that was missing from the lineup on Friday and it could potentially be an important one.
Filip Zadina, who was on the COVID-19 log list and missed seven games, trained on Thursday and is expected to face Tampa Bay on Friday.
Make no mistake, the wings could use any help they can get, especially from an offensive point of view.
Zadina had two assists in the four games he played before contracting the virus and his offensive skills certainly give coach Jeff Blashill more offensive options.
“It was tough,” said Zadina of watching games during Zoom chat with the media on Thursday. “I lost my head watching the games. It was difficult. But I’m back and I’m glad it didn’t take that long and I’m back to help the team. “
Zadina has been ice skating with the other wings on the COVID log list for about five days and returned for Wednesday’s 5-1 defeat in Tampa – strikers Robby Fabbri, Adam Erne and Sam Gagner and defenseman Jon Merrill.
Blashill, who spoke to reporters Thursday, was excited to get Zadina back, but warned people of excessive expectations.
“As you saw last night, your first return leg is not easy,” said Blashill, noting the impact of the Wings’ return on Wednesday. “It’s hard enough when you come out of training camp and take a break. It will take time for Filip to get back on track.
“But it’s the situation we’re in and the guys are trying to get back on track as quickly as possible.”
Zadina was never “seriously ill,” as he put it, but “didn’t feel well for two or three days, didn’t feel okay.
“But right now I feel really good and I’m looking forward to playing again. I am happy.”
After skating and doing some conditioning work, Zadina is confident that he will quickly adjust to the speed of the NHL again.
“It will of course be different, but I’ve tried to get back in shape as soon as I can and I’m ready to go,” said Zadina. “I’ll be a little tired (Friday), but I’m fine.”
After watching Zadina during training, Blashill was also optimistic.
“Filip seems to be feeling fine so hopefully he can get started here,” said Blashill.
Zadina had been part of an effective line with Fabbri and Bobby Ryan to start the season, but whether that line will be put together for the Tampa Bay game is unknown.
“We played well, but now the line-up has changed a bit, so we’ll see,” said Zadina. “It was great (with Fabbri to play Ryan). What happens when we’re together, we’ll see. “
A little support
goalkeeper Thomas Greiss probably deserved a better fortune overall this season.
Greiss was barely responsible for Wednesday’s debacle as it was the Wings defensive game before him that resulted in Tampa Bay scoring three quick goals and Greiss being replaced by Calvin Pickard.
But ultimately Greiss remained without a win that season, seeing his record fall to 0-6-2, with an average of 3.46 goals against the average and a saving of 0.885 percent.
Greiss played well, especially at the beginning of the season, but received no offensive support. Blashill doesn’t think the difficult start hit Greiss.
“I’m not worried about Greiss at all,” said Blashill. “Mentally he’s in a great place. He went through the rigors of the NHL. He is a person with a straight keel. He knows games will be like last night and he will keep going.
“He played really well (this season) and received little offensive support. He should have wins on the board, he certainly played well enough, well enough to have wins.
“Like the rest of our team, all of our games have shaken a little and trust is a factor. We have to work it through and regain our trust. “
goalkeeper Jonathan Bernier (Upper body) was training lightly Thursday, but Blashill wasn’t sure Bernier was available for the Tampa game.
… When Zadina returns, the wings are moved forward Taro Hirose to the taxi team, although that doesn’t mean that Hirose couldn’t get back to the Wings line-up in time for Friday.
But with forward Darren Helm and Frans Nielsen Hirose will have to wait Wednesday until he’s back on the line-up.
…Forward Anthony Mantha has scored in three consecutive games but Blashill clearly feels that Mantha has even more to offer.
“I don’t think you can only judge a player by attacking results,” said Blashill. “There are moments in the game when he’s done what needs to be done and that’s skate, and there are times when he hasn’t done enough of it and we’ll keep working on it.”
Red wings on lightning
► Allusion: Friday, 7 p.m., Amalie Arena, Tampa, Florida
►TV / radio: Fox Sports Detroit / 97.1 FM
► Outlook: The Red Wings (2-7-2) and Lightning (6-1-1) complete the two-game series in Tampa and the second of eight games between the teams this season. … Tampa Bay won the opener 5-1 on Wednesday … The Wings have lost 15 games in a row in Tampa.