Ville Husso spent the break in in Orlando with his girlfriend and his dad. Jonatan Berggren went to Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic, and Robby Fabbri to Tulum, Mexico.
They were all back to the thawing temperatures of metro Detroit in time for Sunday’s practice, which had the Detroit Red Wings at full health for the first time this season — well, almost, anyway. Defenseman Filip Hronek left the hour-long skate at Little Caesars Arena early because of an upper-body injury; the Wings expect to have a better feel for his status on Monday.
They resume their season Tuesday against the Edmonton Oilers.
“It was nice to get a little week off from the rink,” Husso said. “It’s always nice to get that time off and get a little refresh and then come back with energy. We had a good practice, with lots of smiles and good speed. It’s nice to be back.”
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No player needed the break more than Husso, who is earmarked to get his 35th start Tuesday, putting him three shy of the career high 38 starts he had last season.
“It will be a grind for us,” Husso said. “We need everybody. I think we’ve been playing pretty well against good teams and there are going to be a lot of good teams we are going to play against. Right before the break we were putting ourselves in a good spot. We know we can beat anybody in this league. We just need to go day by day.”
The Wings (21-19-8) have 34 games left. During the break, they assigned Berggren to the minors in order to have the roster space to activate Filip Zadina, who was then assigned to the minors on a conditioning stint. Zadina was recalled after two games, and the Wings cleared room for Berggren by placing Adam Erne on waivers. He cleared Sunday and was assigned to the Grand Rapids Griffins.
“It’s probably more a credit to Berggren in that he played his way into (that spot),” coach Derek Lalonde said.
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Lalonde was noncommittal on whether Zadina would play against the Oilers, saying “we’ll have to see.” He suffered a leg injury in early November, missed three months, and had one goal in the two-game conditioning stint.
It’s the first time this season the Wings have been fully healthy up front. That gives Lalonde options on how to shape his lines, and power play units, and gives players hope they can rise from seventh place in their division.
“To be able to go on a run down the stretch here, we are going to need everyone healthy and have that depth and have the options,” Fabbri said. “Having everyone push together is what we need to go on a little run here.”
Contact Helene St. James at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @helenestjames.
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Her latest book, “On the Clock: Behind the Scenes with the Detroit Red Wings at the NHL Draft,” is available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Triumph Books. Personalized copies available via her e-mail.
Next up: Oilers
Matchup: Red Wings (21-19-8) vs. Edmonton (28-18-4).
Faceoff: 7:30 p.m. Tuesday; Little Caesars Arena, Detroit.
TV/radio: ESPN+, Hulu (online-only); WXYT-FM (97.1).