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Notes: Marchenko out at least a week, Smith back in

Wings looking to regain shooting mentality; Kronwall, Zetterberg, Nielsen, Green take maintenance days

by Dana Wakiji @Dwakiji /

DETROIT - The news on Alexey Marchenko isn't terrible but it isn't great either.

In the game that Thomas Vanek returned after missing 11 games, Marchenko was hit by Calgary's Micheal Ferland at 13:58 of the second, suffered an upper-body injury and did not return.

"I guess I'd say today he's going to be out at least a week but it's not months, it's going to be weeks," Wings coach Jeff Blashill said after Monday's practice.

Marchenko joins Andreas Athanasiou (knee) and Darren Helm (shoulder) on the shelf.

"It's tough, but that's the NHL," Steve Ott said. "Every other team has these types of injuries going on right now too. Calgary was one of them, losing (Johnny) Gaudreau last week. Every team has injury woes, that's just part of the game. They guys that are dressed every single night the onus is on them to go out and win the game and play your structure as a team and continue to get points. When it's a long year like it is it's tough missing guys, but when you get them back it's an extra boost."

Blashill said Brendan Smith, a healthy scratch the last two games, would return to the lineup.

"First of all, he didn't come out because he was playing bad," Blashill said. "He came out because (Niklas Kronwall) came back in and I wanted to leave the shot mentality of (Ryan Sproul) on the power play. Actually I thought Smitty also had a pretty good shot mentality. He needs to keep getting them through but he had a good attack mentality. He's done a good job. He needs to make sure his consistency is real high, his attention to detail every day is real high so his attention to detail for 60 minutes is real high. If it's that, I think he can do real good stuff for us."

Smith has two goals, two assists and is minus-5 in 17 games this season.

SHOOT MORE: Sproul has 19 shots in just eight games, one of the highest shot attempts per game of any player on the Wings.

Blashill said he'd like to see more of that from everyone.

"I don't think there's any doubt, we got to have more of a shot mentality," Blashill said. "I don't think we're doing a good enough job, I think we're passing up shots when we have opportunities to shoot and just create chaos off that. With that said, we got to do a better job of driving to the middle and getting to the net. Those are areas that are easy to help create offense. That's an area we got to do a better job at."

In the Wings' two best performances, a 5-3 win over the Nashville Predators Oct. 21 and a 3-0 win over the San Jose Sharks Oct. 22, the Wings had 43 and 32 shots, respectively.

Since then, they've only surpassed 30 shots three times, 36 in a 5-2 loss to the Florida Panthers Oct. 30, 33 in a 5-3 loss to the Winnipeg Jets Nov. 4 and 35 in their 3-2 shootout win at Philadelphia Nov. 8.

"We've got a group here that are guys that like to make plays," Blashill said. "The positive of that is you've got guys with skill who like to make plays. The negative of that is you've maybe got too many guys that want to make plays instead of shoot the puck first and have a more shot-first mentality. It's just something we're going to continue to stress, to have that shot-first mentality."

Dylan Larkin leads the team with 57 shots.

Ott said it's not just shooting that is the issue.

"I don't think we've been putting the same amount of pucks towards the net, but at the same time we have to clean up our turnovers and when you clean up your turnovers that leads to more puck possession time and we're not just hoping to get goals or hoping to get opportunities to score," Ott said. "We have to hold onto it and make it hard on the other team. When you do that it seems to open up something else and you get a nice shot or opportunity at the time."

Ott said the team worked hard in practice Monday on battling and puck possession.

MAINTENANCE AGAIN: As always the day after a game, defenseman Niklas Kronwall did not practice.

Also just working off-ice were captain Henrik Zetterberg, Frans Nielsen and Mike Green.

Blashill said all were taking maintenance days.

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