Red Wings' Dylan Larkin not worried about 'nagging' foot injury, hopes to play soon

Ted Kulfan
The Detroit News

Detroit – Dylan Larkin is adamant he’s going to be ready to play soon, but exactly when remains uncertain.

Larkin skated briefly Thursday during one of the Red Wings’ split practices, but when he’ll make his first appearance in a preseason game is unclear.

“I’m not sure,” said Larkin, when asked if he’ll play in one of the two games this weekend. “I feel good on the ice, just taking it easy, I guess, resting up and I hope to play soon.”

Red Wings forward Dylan Larkin, shown here during training camp last week in Traverse City, says he's had a "nagging" foot injury on and off this offseason, but says he isn't worried about missing too much time.

Larkin called it a “nagging injury” in his foot and heel.

“We’re just trying to figure it out. It’s something that came up during training (over the summer), running.

“I skated today and it felt good. We’ll see what tomorrow feels like.”

The Wings host the New York Islanders on Friday and Pittsburgh Penguins on Sunday.

The Wings will be cautious with Larkin, said coach Jeff Blashill. Blashill didn’t think Larkin would be available for either game against the Islanders or Penguins.

“We’re going to give Larks enough time to make sure that when he comes back, there’s no re-aggravation of what I would term a minor injury,” Blashill said.

The foot felt fine for a couple of weeks, Larkin said, then started to bother him again during an off-ice workout.

“I’m not worried,” Larkin said of missing too much time. “It’s fine. Just nagging. I’ll be back playing soon. This isn’t an injury that will hold me back.

“If it was the regular season, I’d be playing tomorrow night.”

Larkin wouldn’t speculate as to how many exhibition games, or practices, are ideal for him to get ready for the regular season, but admits he’d like to get on the ice for a game.

Larkin centered a line with Tyler Bertuzzi and Anthony Mantha that dominated over the final month of the season, and will be counted on to maintain that level of production this season.

“You want to get on the ice,” Larkin said. “It’s been a long summer. You need to work some things out (with linemates). I’d say everyone’s first game is pretty ugly, and I don’t want my first game to be against Nashville (Oct. 5, regular-season opener), so we’re working on it.

“I don’t think it’ll be a problem. I’ll be all right.”

Green’s debut

Defenseman Mike Green made his exhibition season debut Wednesday in Chicago and played a team-high 23:17.

“There was no easing into it,” Green said. “It took some time to find my timing again and rhythm and flow of the game. But once that came, you settle into it quickly.”

Green played in only 43 games last season due to a virus that sapped his strength.

“It was frustrating,” said Green. “But you just kind of stick with it and do everything you possibly can to get better and healthy. I’m fortunate enough I’m healthy, and I’m lucky.”

Blashill liked what he saw of Green.

“Greener was solid,” Blashill said. “I talked to him on the ice today and he said he felt pretty comfortable. I like where he’s at.”

Seider’s challenge

Defenseman Moritz Seider played his first exhibition game Wednesday, getting 23:19 of ice time, mostly against the Blackhawks’ top lines.

“It was a tough challenge,” Blashill said. “Obviously they had a pretty good lineup certainly with (Jonathan) Toews and (Patrick) Kane, two of the best players in the world.

“He was out there enough times against that group and he did a good job. Dales (Trevor Daley) did a good job of talking to him and helping through the process.”

Seider was a presence physically, something that has been consistent since the start of the prospects tournament earlier this month.

“He’s a pretty big, strong guy for his age,” Blashill said. “He’s 18 but he didn’t look to me out of place physically, or from a speed or size standpoint.

“It was a positive start. There’s lots of little things that he can continue to learn. Let’s continue to watch and see how he does.”

‘He makes plays’

Taro Hirose came into this training camp and preseason with a bit of an advantage on others attempting to win a roster spot because of Hirose’s impressive stint with the Wings in March after signing out of Michigan State.

Hirose continued to make an impact in his exhibition debut Wednesday, scoring the Wings’ lone goal, on a first-period power play.  

“He was one of our few forwards that was able to create some offense,” Blashill said. “We weren’t able to create much offense. He makes a lot of plays and that’s what has to do, and not give much up, and he’s done that.”

Islanders at Red Wings

Faceoff: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Little Caesars Arena

TV/radio: No TV/97.1

Outlook: The Wings begin a stretch of three games in four nights. … Coach Jeff Blashill expects many of the Wings who’ve been nursing minor injuries to be in Friday’s lineup.

Twitter: @tkulfan