Michael Rasmussen has scored in each of his last three games and boasts four goals in his last five games. Who does he think he is? Dylan Larkin?
Actually, he may think he’s Jordan Staal or at least playing like Jordan Staal.
The Detroit Red Wings asked Rasmussen, 22, to play a style similar to Carolina Hurricanes forward and he has worked at accomplishing that objective. Detroit Hockey Now’s Bob Duff detailed Rasmussen’s growth in this recent story.
Rasmussen, with 12 goals, is actually outscoring Staal this season and is playing more than the Carolina veteran lately. Rasmussen has been given 17+ minutes in two of his last three games as a reward for his improved play. With the Red Wings riding their first two-game winning streak since February, Rasmussen could get that kind of playing time Saturday when the Red Wings play the Columbus Blue Jackets at Little Caesars Arena.
It not’s Staal’s scoring that the Red Wings want Rasmussen to replicate as much as it his all-around game. They want Rasmussen to be one of NHL’s best No. 3 center — blending strong defense, physical play and scoring. They want him to be able to slide up and down the lines like Staal has done his career. Staal is equally comfortable playing first line or third line. Coach Jeff Blashill has given Rasmussen first line time. They see him being a net-front presence on the power play.
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Sam Gagner’s 11 goals are the most he has scored since 2016-17 when he had 18 for the Blue Jackets
Tyler Bertuzzi is -6 in his past four games.
Hockey Now Network
Boston: The Boston Bruins will be without David Pastrnak for a second consecutive game Friday against the Tampa Bay Lightning. What about defenseman Hampus Lindholm?
Coach Bruce Cassidy and his team are trying to figure out why they’re surrendering so many goals as periods wind down in the last minute.
The University of Michigan suffered a stunning upset in the Frozen Four losing to the University of Denver Thursday night at TD Garden 3-2 in overtime. Will Boston Bruins prospect John Beecher forego his senior season and sign with the Boston Bruins now?
Pittsburgh: Captain Sidney Crosby and defenseman John Marino didn’t play in the Pittsburgh Penguins‘ 3-0 loss to the New York Rangers Thursday night.
Washington: Lars Eller has been moved to the wing for the Washington Capitals.