DETROIT – Quick update from the Wings’ morning skate prior to their game tonight against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Joe Louis Arena.
Wings coach Mike Babcock will pair the two newcomers from Grand Rapids, Luke Glendening and Patrick Eaves, on the fourth line with Daniel Cleary.
“We’re just looking for a more consistent push back from our fourth group,” Babcock said. “That’s what we need from them. We think (Joakim) Andersson, (Tomas) Tatar and (Drew) Miller have been fantastic for us. We think we can get more out of that (fourth) group so that’s why we’re giving them a chance.
“They both can penalty kill,” Babcock continued. “Eaves can really shoot the puck. They both have some grit and physicality to them. Glendening is normally a real good faceoff guy and knows how to play. We’ve liked it when he’s been here before.”
Glendening, who’ll be playing in this 10th game with the Wings tonight, has three goals and seven assists in 17 games this season with the Griffins, while Eaves has four goals and two assists in eight games.
“I’m excited to be here,” Glendening said. “Every time I get up here it’s just another opportunity for me to show I can be here.
Eaves was a numbers casualty at the start of the season, playing just three games in Detroit before being sent to Grand Rapids.
“It’s good to be back,” Eaves said. “I’ve had a really good time in Grand Rapids. There’s an excellent team down there, very well coached and it was a great atmosphere. The guys made it easy on me to come in and kind of join their team.
“(I) just want to play every night,” Eaves continued. “That’s the key, that’s what you want to do and I was able to do that down there. They gave me an opportunity and I tried to run with it the best that I could and, like I said, I was playing with great players so that really helped.”
Jonas Gustavsson will start in goal.
Stephen Weiss is still waiting to hear the results of his MRI, which are supposed to come tonight, but there’s a good chance he’ll need to see a groin specialist according to Wings general manager Ken Holland.
“There’s a chance we might send him in for another opinion,” Holland said. “We’re going to see tonight what Dr. Plagens thinks, but Piet Van Zant thinks the second opinion might be (the right move).
“You’ve got a guy that’s had groin issues 3-4 weeks ago, came back, felt great, now we got groin issues, we got to be sure,” Holland added. “He’s out for sure until after Christmas. Let’s see what Dr. Plagens reads and let’s see where we go.”
Weiss has been placed on short-term injured reserve.