DETROIT — Quick update from Wings practice Wednesday at Joe Louis Arena.
Forward Jordin Tootoo said he’s been cleared from a shoulder injury he suffered in the preseason.
“Cleared to play, as far as medically wise, I feel I’m in the right state to get back at ‘er,” Tootoo said. “Right now it’s just about maintaining my strength and making sure every day I come to be ready, both mentally and physically.”
Tootoo will have an uphill battle to get in the lineup with the number of forwards in the Wings locker room.
“Like I said before, my job is to play hockey when I’m called upon,” Tootoo said. “For me it’s one day at a time. Just enjoying every bit of it. This is the greatest league to be in and when you’re around the greatest hockey players in the world, life is good. I’m just glad to be part of this whole organization and for me I’m ready to go when called upon.”
Wings coach Mike Babcock said Mikael Samuelsson will return to the lineup Thursday at home against the Phoenix Coyotes after sitting out Saturday’s 4-1 loss at Boston.
Tomas Tatar will be a healthy scratch.
The Coyotes have lost two straight coming in after winning their opener. They’ve been outscored 10-2 over the last two games.
“Well I watched them these last two games and they didn’t play as good as they can,” Babcock said. “Well we just lost too. We’ve had a few days off, we should be refreshed and ready to go. They’re a good hockey team and a proud team and they’re going to respond and we’re going to respond as well. It should be a good game.”
The Coyotes are the first team from the Western Conference they’ll face this season.
“Every time we play Phoenix it’s a very hard-fought game,” Jimmy Howard said. “They’re so well-coached, they play their systems so well. If you’re going to beat them you have to beat them with all aspects of your game.”