Jimmy Howard and Andreas Athanasiou are ready to come back for the Red Wings writes Dana Wakiji. Detroit has been plagued by injury since the onset of the season, and the return of two key players should boost a team starving for more points as they sit outside the final wildcard spot. Howard, Athanasiou, and Alexey Marchenko all returned to full practice but only the latter might be held out of Friday’s game. Getting Athanasiou back, who has a knack for disrupting opposing teams because of his blazing speed, will be a major asset according to bench boss Jeff Blashill:
“He certainly adds an element of speed that’s obviously important in the league, and he can self-create,” Wings coach Jeff Blashill said. “It’s hard to self-create in this league, and he’s one of the guys that can do it. So he brings another guy in our lineup that can do a good job. That said, I think the guys that have been in the lineup have done a good job as well. When Andreas comes back he needs to make sure he’s ready to be an impact player.”
Howard has been a savior in the net for the Wings before he succumbed to a minor groin injury according to the Detroit Free Press’ Helene St. James. St. James adds that Howard is relieved it’s only a two week layoff whereas a groin injury in the past had a longer duration–and saw a dip in his play. Marchenko is close, and if he’s not ready by Friday’s game, he will certainly be slotted into Sunday’s contest. The defenseman has been out with a shoulder injury since November 20.
In other Red Wings news:
- Red Wings television play-by-play announcer Ken Daniels’ son Jamie passed away suddenly at the age of 23 Thursday. The Red Wings released a brief statement after learning of the tragic news:
“Both the Red Wings organization and Fox Sports Detroit would like to offer their heartfelt condolences to the Daniels family during this most difficult time.”