Colaiacovo: “I’m confident in myself and I’m confident in my abilities.”

DETROIT – After playing three games in four nights, Wings defenseman Carlo Colaiacovo seems to have put the shoulder injury that sidelined him pretty much the entire season behind him.

“I think that’s been my mindset for the last couple of days, just getting back to being a hockey player again,” Colaiacovo said after practice Wednesday at Joe Louis Arena. “It’s been an unbelievable feeling. I took advantage of my day off yesterday to get some much-needed rest. Coming off three really good games, I want to keep building on that momentum as a player and a person.”

Colaiacovo missed 33 games after suffering a sprained left shoulder in the second game of the season. He returned to the lineup in Monday’s 3-2 win over the Colorado Avalanche.

He played two games with the Grand Rapids Griffins over the weekend as part of a conditioning stint.

“I think the biggest battle I was fighting was the third game in four nights, but I didn’t let that become an issue for me,” Colaiacovo said. “I let the adrenaline take me through it. At the end of the day, my hockey sense and my experience got me through it. I’m confident in myself and I’m confident in my abilities. It’s just felt so great to be out there. You’re out there in the middle of a game, you’re into it, you’re making hits and plays and at the end of the day, it was a huge important win for us and that was a very gratifying feeling.”

Now Colaiacovo just has to focus on remaining in the lineup. When Brian Lashoff joins the team in Phoenix, the Wings will have nine healthy defensemen to choose from.

“Depth is never a bad thing to have on defense,” Colaiacovo said. “If you look at the unfortunate turn of events we’ve had this year, we’re going to need every guy going into this thing. It makes guys stay on top of their game, because there are guys pushing to get into the lineup. There’s a case to make for every guy on our back end that they deserve to play every night. I’m not the coach, I don’t make those decisions. I just worry about what I need to do, focus on what I need to bring on a daily basis.”

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