Daily Archives: November 14, 2014

Datsyuk returns; Jurco back in the lineup after three games as a healthy scratch

DETROIT >> Quick update from the Detroit Red Wings’ morning skate prior to their game at Joe Louis Arena tonight against the Chicago Blackhawks.

Pavel Datsyuk (groin) and Tomas Jurco (healthy scratch) will both return to the lineup and skate on the same line, along with Justin Abdelkader.

“I was expecting to get back,” Jurco said. “I was just trying to work hard. Work hard at the practices and just work my way back into the lineup. Finally it’s tonight so I’m excited for it.”

Jurco had been a healthy scratch the last three games.

“I was getting frustrated before when I played, I couldn’t score,” Jurco said. “It just wouldn’t go in for me. I’ve got to stop thinking about it and just play my game and hopefully it’ll start going in.”

Jurco has no goals and two assists in 12 games.

Wings coach Mike Babcock said on Thursday that Jurco wasn’t benched because of his performance it was more he felt the lineup needed a change.

“I had a meeting with Babs and he told me the same thing,” Jurco said. “I didn’t think I didn’t play bad, I just couldn’t score. Maybe if I scored three goals before nobody would think I was playing bad. I didn’t score and I didn’t put up any great numbers. They needed a change and I was a good option for Babs to change the lineup. I’m back tonight. I can’t wait.”

“He’s a big, strong, young kid who can really skate,” Babcock said Friday. “He’s real good with the puck and we expect him to just go out there with confidence and play hard. I thought he was playing well in his last two games. We sat him out. He’s had three games to sit around and watch and decide how bad he wants to play and understand that it’s not a given. You have to earn the right to play. He’s getting an opportunity to play with Abby and Pav that are real good players and we need him to be good.”

Jurco had eight goals and seven assists in 36 games last season.

“The first time around no one expects anything,” Babcock said. “You guys didn’t even know his name, nor did I. So anything he did we said, ‘Great job, Jurcs, that a boy.’ But then what happens is when you play in the league there are expectations and if you played good there are expectations to do it again.

“The other team knows you did it and it’s a hard league,” Babcock continued. “There are a whole bunch of guys in the Guide and Record Book who did something well for one year and didn’t last in the league, and that’s why when you see these guys like (Henrik) Zetterberg and Datsyuk and (Jonathan) Toews and (Patrick) Kane and they do it year after year after year it’s not about skill as much as it is about will and determination and being a good pro.”

Datsyuk returns after missing the last two games with a sore groin.

“I haven’t played with him much,” Jurco said of Datsyuk. “He’s one of the best players in the world. It’s going to be real exciting for me. I’m going to try and enjoy the game and hopefully it’ll go well.”

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Wings focused on fast start after four-day break

DETROIT >> The Wings are focused on one things after a four-day break between games … getting off to a fast start.

“We’ve definitely got to get going right away,” Drew Miller said. “We know that Chicago is a team that starts quick and they play hard. We can take a lot of positives from (the break). We got some guys that are a little beat up and could use some rest.

“We want to have a good start and establish our game right away,” Miller added. “We know they like to play with speed and we got to cut their big guys off and limit that.”

The Wings last played on Sunday.

“Any time you have four days off it’s a good thing, we’re not complaining about it but at the same time you got to make sure you get off to a good start, make sure you get your legs under you right away,” Justin Abdelkader said. “As time goes here it’s going to prove to be a great break and beneficial to us. They’re a fast-starting team. We got to make sure we match that and come out skating right away.”

Detroit only has one more four-day break between games this season and that’s comes at the start of February.

“For a couple of days you kind of check out of hockey for a bit,” Miller said. “You have days away from the rink, try to get away and get your mind elsewhere. It’s a long season. Then when you’re back at the rink, back at practice, you dial it back in and get ready to go, have some good practices and get ready for the next game.”

The Wings play 13 games in the next 24 days, playing every other day beginning Friday. Eight of their next 13 games are at home.