Time off leaves Detroit Red Wings re-energized as they return to action
Detroit – The Red Wings played hockey again Tuesday and should be a refreshing team here for a while.
During this intense, shortened regular NHL season, the Wings had their longest season break to date, with four days between Tuesday games against Tampa Bay.
For a team that played a lot of hockey, coach Jeff Blashill noted a revitalized and rested team when the wings returned to practice on Sunday.
“We had a couple of days that we didn’t skate, one was completely off except for (virus) tests and was only used for lifting (weight room), and the energy that came back from those days was enormous,” said Blashill on Tuesday during his media zoom chat after morning skating. “This allowed us to sit back a little and systematically ensure that our structure was really good.
“We have to be a team that plays with great structure and has allowed us to work on some things that you normally can’t work on.
“It (the four days off) came at a good time. It’s almost exactly the middle of the season or just before it, and again it gave us a chance to freshen up and sit back. “
Many teams, so late in the NHL season, and especially this fast-paced season, are starting to eliminate morning skates on game day in order to conserve energy.
Blashill and his coaching staff take part in a game-to-game situation.
“We take it on a case-by-case basis in terms of morning skate,” said Blashill. “We’ve been ice skating for the past few days, so we made it optional (Ice Skating Tuesday). If we have practiced the day before at the start of the season, we generally make these skates optional.
“Morning skate for me is the reason it’s optional, because the player has a duty to do what they have to do to make sure they’re ready (for the game). Some guys prefer not to skate in the morning so give them this option.
“When you have a day off, you skate many days. You won’t do much in the morning by improving your habits or your structure (on a team) so it’s more about preparing for the game and we will continue to make these decisions from game to game. “
Players across the league, including the Wings, generally say that over a little over six months this particular season is coming their way much faster than a normal 82-game season.
This 56-game season lasts more than four months (and one week in May).
“The NHL schedule is coming your way no matter what,” said Blashill. “Our boys said it sure seems more condensed. Part of it is also when you’re out and about and can’t do much else yourself at home, so it’s kind of hockey all the time and it seems like you might not get your bother.
“But in the NHL you’re definitely going to be quick.”
Excited for Svechnikov
Dylan Larkin is a frequent training partner of Evgeny Svechnikovis over the summer.
Larkin has spent a lot of time over the past few summers as Svechnikov rehabilitated his knee injury and patiently waited for Svechnikov’s NHL chance.
Svechnikov has seen and played well in the last four games (two goals, two assists) – including the game against Svechnikov’s brother Andrei in Carolina – was an encouraging one.
“I was very excited for him and I know he was very excited too,” said Larkin. “I don’t know if I’ve ever seen someone who went through as much adversity as he (Evgeny Svechnikov).
“It was great that he had a little bit of success, scored a few goals and most importantly, really helped our team. He looked like a dangerous player when he got the puck, played games, and got his linemates better.
“I was very happy for him.”
Despite the long-term injuries and frustration of not getting a regular NHL spot, Larkin was impressed with Svechnikov’s determination.
“His work ethic and approach, his attitude has never wavered,” said Larkin. “Never negative. Always wait for the opportunity and do what you can to be prepared for it.”
Troy engraver (Upper body) is expected to return to the lineup on Thursday.
… after the game on Tuesday, Darren Helm is now a game of binding Brendan Shanahan (716) for 18th place in Wings history in games played.