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Red Wings Forwards Finally Healthy as Filip Zadina Returns



Filip Zadina, Detroit Red Wings

Detroit Red Wings forward Filip Zadina has only played nine games this season, scoreless in all. Last night in his second  conditioning stint with Grand Rapids, the 23-year-old registered a goal in Grand Rapids win.

Apparently that’s all the Red Wings needed to see. With Adam Erne clearing waivers and reporting to Grand Rapids, Zadina is back.

Zadina rejoined the team Sunday in practice, and could be in the lineup as early as Tuesday. Erne had 14 points (6-8) in 43 games for Detroit this season. With a log jam at forward, Erne certainly figures to be the odd man out unless ther are significant injuries bringing him back. With Jakub Vrana, and Elmer Soderblom alongside him in Grand Rapids, it’s likelier one of the two would be shuttled to Detroit first.

Red Wings Will Likely Ease Zadina Into Lineup

Just as Zadina looked to be coming into his own, he was injured blocking a shot against the Islanders in a 3-0 victory back in November. Though he wasn’t able to come up with any points during his nine-game stretch, he was improving after being a healthy scratch on opening night.

Now it appears Zadina has a crack at building on that momentum but head coach Derek Lalonde still is in a wait and see approach.

“We have 13 available to us now,” Lalonde said.  “Just want to get through practice today. It’s probably something we’ll discuss tomorrow what that lineup is going to look like Tuesday.”

After missing over two months of action, Zadina might get his chance yet. Defenseman Jake Walman believes that with a team finally getting healthy, it will provide the opportunity for the Red Wings to gain some momentum.

“We have a lot of great depth on the team,” Walman said. “I think everybody can play, everybody on our roster can play on any NHL team. I think we all push each other to get better and it’s healthy competition. When everybody’s healthy, I think we can be a really good team.”

While Zadina Returns, Hronek Gets Hurt in Practice

Just when the Red Wings were though to be fully healthy, the injury bug returns. Filip Hronek left with what the team called an upper body injury during practice. Lalonde didn’t have any more information.

“I did not [get an update],” Lalonde said.  “Upper body. Don’t know. Looks like something he got in a rep there. We’ll know more in the morning.”

Signs point to Robert Hagg working back in, but Lalonde pointed to the good fortune of the blue line escaping major injury.

“Knock on wood, we had a D go down in practice today,” Lalonde said.  “With all those forward injuries, we’re very fortunate on the back end, where of late we haven’t had to go through our eighth or ninth D man.”

What Awaits the Red Wings in the Final Two Months?

Between trade rumors, Dylan Larkin’s contract negotiations, and going against steady competition, Lalonde is looking for consistency as Detroit embarks on.a crucial stretch.

“You can see how we’re building,” Lalonde said.  “I don’t mind how we’re playing. We won two of the last three before the break, gave ourselves a chance on the Island.”

“We’ve had moments of all our areas playing well,” Lalonde continued. “But I just think consistency throughout our lineup and we have our first opportunity Tuesday against a very good team in Edmonton.”

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After Edmonton, Detroit hosts Calgary and Vancouver before heading out to Western Canada for a handful of games. The next 10 games, in fact, will be crucial for the Red Wings.

“We know what needs to be done to compete,” Walman said.  “We’ve played top teams and we’re gonna play a lot of top teams in the second half. It’ll be exciting. Hopefully we can compete and make a push.”