Jurco makes season debut; Franzen sidelined

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DETROIT >> After being a healthy scratch the first two games of the season, Tomas Jurco made his debut Tuesday against Tampa Bay.

“I’ve got lots of belief in Jurks,” Wings coach Jeff Blashill said. “I’ve seen Jurks be great at times for me. He’s 6-foot-2 and he can skate, so the number one thing he needs to do is make sure he’s skating. He needs to pressure on the forecheck. He needs to have a physical presence and a stick on puck on the forecheck. He needs to have lots of time spending in the O-zone and then he needs to do a good job of pressuring back on the track. As simple as it can be though, in its simplest form, he needs to do a real good job of skating, if he’s going to make a mistake make it out of skating.”

Jurco was supposed to replace Landon Ferraro on the fourth line, but Johan Franzen was a late scratch so he took his place on a line with Brad Richards and Tomas Tatar.

The Wings said Franzen wasn’t feeling 100-percent and was pulled as a precaution. They didn’t know if it was concussion-symptom related.

Jurco struggled mightily last season in Detroit.

Despite playing in 27 more regular season games than he did his first season, he scored five fewer goals. Jurco had three goals and 15 assists last season, compared to eight goals and seven assists in the 2013-14 campaign.

While in Grand Rapids, Juro had 27 goals and 47 assists in 106 games over two seasons.

“We want to put in the best lineup every night to give ourselves a chance to win,” Blashill said. “We’re in a spot right now where we’re sitting very good players out. I thought Landon Ferraro played very good on Saturday. Those are very hard meetings to have when somebody plays really good, but yet you’re taking them out. Joakim Andersson is somebody I believe a lot in. Helm’s not ready. So it’s splitting hairs a lot. We think we’ve got some really good players. We just thought tonight this was the right spot for Jurco. We’ll see. We’ll see.”

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