The Red Wings' Martin Frk describes his second-period goal against the Coyotes on Thursday night. Ted Kulfan, Detroit News
Las Vegas — You hear about it in professional sports so often — and team sport, but it’s always the same.
How a player needs to be patient, and wait for his opportunity. But once it arrives, you better capitalize on it.
Martin Frk finally earned a chance this season — heck, Frk was waived and claimed by Carolina last season, only to be waived by the Hurricanes and reclaimed by the Red Wings — and he’s taking advantage of it.
Frk scored his team-leading third goal during Thursday’s 4-2 victory in Arizona, a blistering one-timer on the power play that handcuffed Coyotes goalie Louis Domingue.
Frk largely got this chance because forward Andreas Athanasiou and the Red Wings haven’t been able to come to terms on a new contract.
No one knows what’ll happen with Athanasiou.
But with each passing game, Frk is only cementing his spot.
“Door opens and he's doing a great job,” coach Jeff Blashill said. “I told him before the game, it’s one thing to score. That’s obviously a weapon (Frk’s shot) he brings.
“But he’s doing all the other little things really well. He's making real good plays on the wall and coming out of his end, he’s responsible, all the things that give the coach confidence in you.
“He’s doing a great job. He’s put lots of work in.”
Whether other teams still aren’t sure how to defend against Frk, or maybe he’s simply riding a hot streak, Frk isn’t concerned with any of that.
He’s enjoying life in the NHL, finally, and is overjoyed with the puck going into the net with regularity.
“I don’t care how I score as long as it goes in,” Frk said.
Defenseman Mike Green entered Friday’s games tied for the league lead with Washington’s Evgeny Kuznetsov with eight assists.
Green had two assists Thursday, including setting up Frk on the power play.
“He’s a great player,” Frk said. “On the power play you can see it, he always finds you. He’s got a great eye and he’s also got a good shot.”
Green has been around the NHL long enough he isn’t swayed or awed by his quick start.
“Just taking it day to day right now,” Green said. “As a team, we are. We’re trying to find our ground here and get into a rhythm as a group.
“I’ve just been kind of lucky, I guess. It could change very quickly in this league.”
If teams do shift over and focus on Frk, the Red Wings have plenty of options, said Blashill, on that particular power play unit.
“As he (Frk) attracts attention, I would say there’s a lot of other dangerous people on the power play, too,” Blashill said. “Dylan Larkin has a heck of a shot. Anthony Mantha alone in front would be a tough (match-up).
“That what a good power play has, a lot of weapons.”
Defenseman Danny DeKeyser (lower body) missed his second consecutive game. DeKeyser’s status remains day-to-day.
...Defenseman Nick Jensen drew praise in the locker room for fighting Arizona’s Lawson Crouse in the third period after Crouse hit Xavier Ouellet from behind.
“That’s a big guy he fought, and he’s (Jensen) had a sore thumb so I’m sure that’s not the first thing he wanted to do,” forward Luke Glendening said.
“But to see a guy like Jensen standing up for a teammate, that’s huge for us and that kind of turned the tide in the third period.”