Tomas Jurco has three points in seven games with the Red Wings this season. (Bruce Bennett / Getty Images)
New York— Listening to Tomas Jurco on Thursday, you could hear the anticipation in his voice.
Madison Square Garden.
“It’s one of those building where as a young player it’s exciting to play,” said Jurco, who played over 13 minutes in Thursday’s 1-0 loss to the Rangers, a day after being recalled from Grand Rapids. “I never thought I might be able to in my hockey career, and now it’s here.”
Jurco replaced Tomas Tatar, who was unavailable because he was in Slovakia to attend the funeral for his father.
During a seven-game stretch with the Red Wings in December, Jurco showed a skill level that was close to playing in the NHL regularly.
“From where he was last year to where he is now, he’s come a long way,” Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said. “He’s like a lot of kids, he can skate and shoot the puck, and he has a good skill set.
“Now, he has to do it every day.”
Jurco also will get a chance to “do it every day” during the Sochi Games next month after he was selected to play for the Slovakian national team.
“I was hoping (to be selected),” he said. “It means a lot to me to get the chance.”
Young players Jurco, Luke Glendening and Riley Sheahan all were either in New York or visited Madison Square Garden for the first time.
And they all came away inspired.
“I went for a little walk last night with Riley and it’s like something I’ve never seen (Time Square) before,” Jurco said. “I saw it in movies and pictures. Just all the pictures and lights. So many people. It was like I imagined it.”
Said Sheahan: “We weren’t sure where we were navigating to, it was hectic. Cars honking, people everywhere, noise. I don’t think I’d be able to handle living here. A bit overwhelming for me.”
Glendening, a Grand Rapids native, said Manhattan was a bit “chaotic,” but he was looking forward to playing at the Garden for the first time.
“It was tough to sleep last night, thinking about playing here,” Glendening said. “I’ve played in other (big) games but there’s something about this place, the aura of it, and it kind of got my heart racing.”
Add one more player to the Red Wings injured list.
Forward Joakim Andersson is day-to-day after missing Thursday’s game with a lower-body injury, general manager Ken Holland said.
With Andersson unavailable, the Red Wings recalled forward Cory Emmerton from Grand Rapids.
Emmerton arrived shortly before the game began but was impressive on the penalty kill and faceoff circle (won 6-of-11) in 11:59 of ice time.
… The Red Wings are 0-for-23 on the power play after going scoreless Thursday in two attempts.
… Babcock, on the young players promoted from Grand Rapids: “We are getting lots out of our guys that have been called up to fill in and do a job. I didn’t think they looked star-struck at all. They just played.”
Goaltender Jonas Gustavsson (groin) could return Saturday against the Kings, while defenseman Jonathan Ericsson (ribs) could be back next week.