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Kindl's chance

by Dana Wakiji / Detroit Red Wings
Jakub Kindl is getting a new opportunity to show coach Jeff Blashill that he belongs on the team. (Photo by Getty Images)

DETROIT -- All Jakub Kindl wanted was a chance and now he's got one.

Kindl could never consistently find a place in the lineup when Mike Babcock was the coach but with a new regime, things could be different.

New coach Jeff Blashill met with Kindl before training camp.

"I just ask him, all I want is a chance," Kindl said. "It looks like he's giving me a chance and that's all I can ask for. I'm just going to come here every day and compete every single day and hopefully I can make the lineup."

In two preseason games, Kindl has a goal and two assists and is plus-2.

"Sometimes when it hasn’t gone as well there’s a chance to have a good year and vice versa," Blashill said. "You can never rest on your laurels in this league because somebody is always chasing you from behind. I think Kindl has good ability, he needs to continue to execute at a high level. He has so far."

On March 24 last year against the Arizona Coyotes, Kindl had a goal and an assist.

Then he didn't play again until April 11 at Carolina.

"I always try to have that confidence, even when I wasn’t playing enough," Kindl said. "Obviously, it wasn’t easy for me. You may think you have a good game and you still sit out for next time and just keep going back and forth. That was in the past. I’m just looking for a new challenge."

Blashill has played Kindl both on the power play and the penalty kill this preseason.

"I thought I already retired from the PK but no, it's good," Kindl said. "I understand we're not going to have Kronner (Niklas Kronwall) and Big E (Jonathan Ericsson) play both minutes so make sure they don't get hurt. I had the chance to play for a little bit but again, it's good that Blash is giving me a chance to play, whether it's the PK or the power play. It seems like he likes to play the players everywhere."

Although Kindl has a lot of competition to win a spot with Brendan Smith, Nick Jensen, Brian Lashoff, Kyle Quincey, Alexey Marchenko, Ryan Sproul and Xavier Ouellet in the mix, he feels he has a legitimate chance.

"First of all, Blash knows me since he was here with Detroit so he's familiar with the kind of player I am," Kindl said. "He also saw me a couple weeks when I was down in Grand Rapids for the conditioning week. Again, I'm not the coach, I don't make the decision but all I can say is just a fresh start and I'm excited."

HOWARD STARS IN BOSTON: Although the game was not on television or radio, one thing was abundantly clear from Momday night's 3-1 exhibition victory in Boston -- Jimmy Howard was on.

Howard stopped 31 of 32 shots faced, including 17 of 18 in the third.

The only blemish was Loui Eriksson's power-play goal late in the period.

"Jimmy Howard was great," Blashill said. "The difference in the game was probably that, not that Tuukka (Rask) wasn’t but Jimmy was really good."

In three games this preseason, Howard is 2-0 with a 2.00 goals-against average and a .943 save percentage.

"I'm not really too concerned about goals at this time of year," Howard said. "It's about getting the rust off and just getting back out there and feeling the puck and getting used to traffic again."

Howard said he has already put last season behind him, when a slight groin tear derailed an All-Star season.

"I learned from it and I grew from it and I used it for motivation over the summer," Howard said.

Howard said he and Petr Mrazek aren't concerned about the competition to be the No. 1 goalie, especially considering both will play a lot with back-to-back games every Friday and Saturday in October.

""We're going to need both guys no matter what the situation is," Howard said. "Him and I are good friends, we get along great and we want the best for both each other so it's just one of those friendly competitions, pushing each other because it's only going to make our team better."

GREEN NEARLY READY: Defenseman Mike Green, bothered by a tender groin the last several days, was able to participate in the entire practice Tuesday.

"Put a full practice in today, which was good, feel pretty much 100 percent," Green said.

Blashill said Green would not play Wednesday but would go Friday at home against Toronto.

Green said since he's new to the team, he wants to play again before the regular season gets underway.

"It’s extremely important just to kind of get the feel for each other and certain lines and Danny (DeKeyser) as a partner, hopefully," Green said.

HELM WON'T PLAY BEFORE REGULAR SEASON; PULKKINEN SKATES: Darren Helm, out since the first drill of the first practice in training camp with a concussion and a slight shoulder separation, still has not skated.

"We’d like to skate him by the end of the week and hopefully get him in position where he can go full next week," Blashill said. "Helmer will not get a game before the regular season. He’ll skate at best by the end of the week and then have a good week of practice."

Blashill said he wants Helm to have a couple of good practices before playing in a game.

Teemu Pulkkinen (upper-body) skated Tuesday but remains day-to-day.

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