Detroit — Madison Bowey sat through the opening two games anxiously, waiting to get in the lineup.
Now he has, but at the cost of a good friend and teammate, Trevor Daley.
“It’s obviously tough to see Dales go down, he’s a key to the back end,” Bowey said of Daley, a veteran defenseman who was injured in Sunday’s Red Wings victory. “But, for me, I’m just waiting for an opportunity, for a chance, and I’m ready to go.”
Bowey, 24, was acquired at the trade deadline in February from Washington in exchange for Nick Jensen, with draft picks going both ways.
Bowey eventually played 17 games with the Wings, collecting four points (one goal) and a minus-4 rating. As he became acclimated to the Wings’ system and new surroundings, Bowey looked like an intriguing prospect, another defenseman with some size (6-foot-2, 200-pounds), and good skating ability.
“I feel ilke I ended up the season pretty well last season and carried it into camp,” Bowey said. “It’s been going good and I’m focused on playing my game and helping the guys win.”
In Washington, Bowey’s inability to develop consistency was a drawback from him gaining a spot in the lineup.
Bowey realizes he must do that with the Wings, to earn consistent playing time.
“Playing my game for a full 60 (minutes) and focus on defending hard and keep the puck out of our net,” Bowey said. “If I can do that, it’ll help our team win and give us a good chance,, along with using my skating ability to my advantage.”
Bowey looks to be paired with Dennis Cholowski on the Wings’ third defensive pairing. The two played together at times during training camp and the exhibition season, so there is familiarity.
“We were together most of camp and got good chemistry over those two weeks,” Bowey said. “We’re definitely excited to get going.”
Newest Red Wing
Just a few locker stalls from Bowey, newly acquired defenseman Alex Biega was getting accustomed to his new surroundings.
Biega, 31, was acquired late Sunday from Vancouver for forward David Pope. After having spent parts of five seasons with the Canucks, but never being able to secure a regular spot in the lineup, Biega is excited about the new opportunity with the Wings.
“In Vancouver I was in a situation where I’d go in and play well in the top six and I was the guy to go out and be that number seven (defenseman),” Biega said. “The year I had last year, I took some steps offensively and especially the way I see the game is bein played these days, it’s going to skating, puck-moving defensemen and that’s my game.
“I just want to seek out an opportunity of proving I could in the top six on a regular basis.”
The first day with a new team did have Biega’s head swirling.
“It was like the first day of class, with new practice drills and new faces, but once game time comes, when I get called upon, you just go out and play,” Biega said. “You have to know the systems, but at the end of the day, that’s why we get paid, you have to know the systems and understand them.
“I’m just looking forward to getting in and proving what I can do.”
With Andreas Athanasiou (lower body) expected to draw back into the lineup Tuesday night against Dallas at home, his line with Taro Hirose and Luke Glendening was reunited from late last season.
The trio appeared to have good chemistry last season, with the offensive-minded Athanasiou and Hirose clicking and Glendening providing the grunt work.
“At the end of the year they were really good,” coach Jeff Blashill said. “I started the preseason in a different way because I knew what that line looked like and I wanted to see how some other things looke like. We didn’t get the chance to do that, as much, because of injuries, but I do know what that line looks like.”
Because of his ability to make plays and create offense, Hirose appears more comfortable playing with skill players rather than grinders.
“Double-A can play with lots of types of players because he’s such a self-creator and plays with different looks,” Blashill said. “But with Taro, he gets a little bit of a give-and-go guy, and Glenny is a guy who wins pucks battles and can create havoc on the forecheck and goes to the net-front.
“All those things allow the skill players to use that skill."
The Wings called up forwards Evgeny Svechnikov and Ryan Kuffner, and defensemen Biega and Oliwer Kaski from Grand Rapids on Monday night, while putting forwards Athanasiou and Frans Nielsen (facial injury), and defensemen Daley and Jonathan Ericsson on the injured list. But Athanasiou (lower body) was ready to play, and neither defenseman was immediately needed, so Kuffner and Kaski were returned to G.R. Tuesday. Svechnikov and Biega were kept in Detroit.