Booth earns spot on Wings’ top line; Daley, Frk out
Detroit — Among Jeff Blashill’s continual observations this season and last is: Every player must perform at about his best in each game for the Red Wings to win.
When skating, fore-checking or any other element of successful play lags, it can mean that a fine effort overall results in defeat.
So, David Booth, who found his way into the lineup after injuries to Martin Frk and Trevor Daley, and Luke Witkowski’s 10-game suspension, will play again Tuesday against the Kings.
And after his two-goal, hard-skating performance Saturday in the 4-3 loss to the Devils in overtime, Booth’s role is intended as one of prominence, even though he did not dress for 18 of the first 24 games.
The Detroit native and former star of the Spartans will start off, at least, on the top line with Henrik Zetterberg and Gustav Nyquist.
“Yeah, he earned it, you know?” Blashill said.
“The two things we’re going to have to do tomorrow is skate and compete, and so the guys that want to skate and compete are going to play. And the guys who don’t skate and compete, I just can’t put out there.
“Because if we don’t skate and compete against L.A., we’re not winning.”
DALEY, FRK ON MEND
It would help to have a mainstay on defense and “a finisher” up front, too. But both Daley and Frk likely are out of the lineup against the Kings.
Daley has played up to expectations for his steadiness on the back end. His average time on ice for the season is 20:43, two seconds more than the average for his career, and second on the team to Mike Green (23:15).
Jonathan Ericsson has improved since he paired with Daley, and the veteran’s 2:57 on the penalty kill per game are integral to the Red Wings standing fourth in the NHL, entering play Monday.
Daley was reinjured Friday against the Rangers in a mid-ice collision after suffering a stinger against the Flames on Nov. 15.
“I don’t know, it’s the stinger,” said Daley, clearly frustrated the injury reoccurred. “I got myself into an awkward situation
“We’re taking it as precautionary, make sure I’ve got it all checked up.
“Should be good to get back, here, soon.”
Out six games since Nov. 11 versus the Blue Jackets, Blashill said Frk left the ice early as planned during practice Monday.
The coach recently said Frk, who scored six goals in 18 games played, is missed, especially on the second power-play unit.
The Red Wings began play Monday standing eighth in the league in power-play success.
Frk, who has six goals and three assists in 18 games played, should be back this week in one of the back-to-back games against the Canadiens, Blashill said.
“I would aim for Thursday or Saturday, with Saturday being the much more likely scenario,” he said.
The Red Wings on Monday announced NHL Centennial Fan Arena will be just west of Little Caesars Arena at 2130 Cass, from 12 to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
Fans are offered a free interactive traveling experience honoring players, teams, historic highlights, trivia and virtual reality games, autograph sessions with former Wings’ players and a chance to take a photograph with the Stanley Cup until 5 p.m., both days.
For more information: www.nhl.com/redwings/fans/nhl-centennial-fan-arena.
Fans planning to attend can RSVP at www.NHL.com/FanArena, where notifications and updates are available.