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Red Wings Notebook: Is Rasmussen Better on the Wing or at Center?

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Michael Rasmussen, Detroit Red Wings

DETROIT — The Detroit Red Wings are experimenting with Michael Rasmussen on Dylan Larkin’s left wing and they may be creating an offensive monster.

Rasmussen posted two goals and two assists for his first NHL four-point game in Wednesday’s 7-4 win against the Tampa Bay Lightning. Fellow linemates Larkin and David Perron had three points each.

“I’ve liked it,” Detroit coach Derek Lalonde said. “Ras is a diverse player, he can play center and wing.”

Lalonde said assistant coach Alex Tanguay has been lobbying for the switch.

“I think it simplifies his game,”  Lalonde said. “(Rasmussen) can skate more north-south being on
the wing and he’s been pretty good there. Fortunately, with the amount of injuries we’ve had up front all year, it’s been a luxury those guys who can play both wing and center. Suits going to center the last few games has played very well for us, too.”

Suits is Pius Suter, who slots back into center when Rasmussen is on the wing.

One thing the Red Wings appreciate about Rasmussen is his willingness to whatever is asked of him. He has worked at becoming a third-line all-purpose center. Now, they are asking him to contribute to a scoring line.

“I think we were just working,” Rasmussen said about his big game. ” Everyone was doing their jobs well. I think we had a really good forecheck night, some good plays. I think overall everyone was competing, getting to the their spots and it just went well for us.

Does Husso Need R and R?

If you have wondered whether Ville Husso might need more rest, know that coach Derek Lalonde has also been thinking about that.

Husso played in his 23rd game Wednesday against Tampa Bay. That’s 71% of Detroit’s games this season. Only six goalies have played more games than Husso. New York Rangers’ Igor Shesterkin and Philadelphia’s Carter Hart lead the league with 25 appearances. Hart is playing 75% of his team’s game and Shesterkin is at 73%.

“There’s a balance there,” Lalonde said. “It’s something we’re battling here. He had some rest before this stretch. We had the vision of playing him the last four games down the stretch. We’re three games in. We’ve asked a lot of him.”

Husso faced 80 shots over the past two games in helping Detroit earn three out of four points.

“We’ve been playing pretty well defensively, when you look at the Carolina game, even the Ottawa game, the Minnesota game, there was not a lot of volume,” Lalonde said after Detroit downed Tampa Bay, 7-4 “But the last game there was some volume and tonight, too. Even that fourth goal, I don’t think a fresh Ville Husso gives that up.There’s going to be a balance there that we’re going to have to manage.”

Ville Husso (46-19-12 in 80 GP) recorded his 46th win in his 80th appearance. Only six active goaltenders (min. 1 GP in 2022-23) had more wins through 80 games: Frederik Andersen (54), Jordan Binnington (53), Matt Murray (52), Igor Shesterkin (51), Ilya Samsonov (48) and Jake Allen (48).

Ice Chips

After Maatta (1-0-1), Soderblom (1-0-1) and Perron (1-2-3) each scored against Tampa Bay, Detroit now has 40 goals this season by players in their first season with the Red Wings. That’s the most among all NHL teams. The next closest is Vancouver with 35. Elmer Soderblom gave Detroit a 4-3 lead with his fourth goal of the season. He is on a career-long three-game point streak (2-1-3 in 3 GP) since being recalled by the Red Wings on Dec. 14…After being perfect on the penalty kill against Tampa Bay Wednesday, the Red Wings are 17th in the NHL with a PK percentage of 78.1%.

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