Yet another Detroit Red Wings player is back ahead of schedule, and this one just might be the most important cog to get the team back on track.
Defenseman Mike Green will play Friday at Winnipeg against the Jets as the Wings begin a two-game road trip.
“Today was great, so I’ll play tomorrow,” Green told Mlive.com after practice on Thursday.
The Wings with and without Green are as different as day an night. Detroit went 13-8-2 after Green return from a start of season absence due to a liver infection. They opened 1-6-2 without him. And they’ve gone 2-7-3 since Green went back the shelf with an ankle injury suffered when he was struck by a shot in a Dec. 10 game against the Los Angeles Kings. He tried to play one game on the injured ankle against his old team the Washington Capitals before shutting it down.
Green doesn’t put a lot of stock into his value to the success of the club.
“When I came back, the guys really picked up the game and it was just coincidence at that time I think,” Green suggested. “I think that’s the thing about this league, experience and knowing this league if you have your ups and downs.”
Forward Gustav Nyquist admitted that he didn’t know the team’s exact record minus Green, but knew enough to be aware that the numbers would not be flattering.
“It’s probably not good,” said Nyquist, who was certain as to why they are a better team with Green in the lineup.
“He’s a dynamic D-man who helps us out always but especially offensively, can really jump into the play. He’s a great, great D-man, so that’ll help us for sure.”
Green believes by what he’s been watching of late that with or without him, the Wings are ready to turn the corner toward success.
“Right now as a team we’ve got to make sure that we get our wins here,” Green said. “I feel like we’re starting to play good hockey. If we continue to do that, maintain it, I think in the long run we’re going to give ourselves a good chance to win a lot of hockey games.”
With Green ready to go, defenseman Brian Lashoff was dispatched to AHL Grand Rapids
Lashoff has been called up twice this season for a span of 13 days but has yet to see action in a game. He last played for the Red Wings on Nov. 17, 2017 against the Buffalo Sabres.
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