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Notes: Bowey looking for strong second half

Zadina earning more ice time through confident play; Wings prospects had success at world juniors

by Dana Wakiji and Arthur J. Regner @Dwakiji and @ArthurJRegner /

DETROIT -- Statistically speaking, Red Wings defenseman Madison Bowey is among the team leaders in points.

In 32 games, Bowey has two goals and 10 assists, which is eighth on the team and second among defensemen.

Only Filip Hronek, who has eight goals and 15 assists in 41 games, has more points.

But at age 24, Bowey is still a work in progress.

"He's had ups and downs," Wings coach Jeff Blashill said after the team's optional on-ice practice at the BELFOR Training Center. "He's had some games where he's played real well, he's had moments in games he's played real well, and when he's playing well he's moving his feet, he's a big body, he can make good outlet passes and he defends pretty well.

"When he doesn't play as well I would say sometimes he doesn't recognize danger, so there's too many real chances against. He's got to eliminate those chances against and just on a consistent basis make the right play, where you're helping us get out of our end, where you're helping us defend, but you're not giving up real chances. He's a little bit on a roller coaster. It's got to even out a bit."

Rarely do young defensemen make it in the NHL without a period of struggle and growth whereas forwards often have success at younger ages.

With the many injuries the Wings have had this season, Bowey is getting more experience, which should help him in the second half of the season.

"I just want to prove to the coaching staff that I can play," Bowey said. "The biggest thing for me is defending hard. I know when I'm playing well, I'm playing good defensively and I'm playing physical and I think moving the puck up to the forwards and I'm breaking the puck out nice. I think that's just my main focus, to keep working hard every night and competing hard in practice every day. Just keep building. Obviously we have a lot of young guys here that are still developing. We just gotta really use this second half to set us up for success and then moving into next season, we have to have a better start for sure."

ZADINA EARNING HIS ICE TIME: If there is one attribute which has stood out this season for Filip Zadina during his three call-ups from Grand Rapids to Detroit, it's his ability to keep everything in perspective.

For sure, his laser beam of a shot is impressive and deadly, but it has been the 20-year-old rookie's ability to filter everything out -- the good, the bad, the rabid criticism and the effusive praise, allowing him to concentrate on becoming a productive Red Wing.

In 18 games this season, Zadina has 10 points (4-6-10), including four goals, two of which have come on the power play and his five total power-play points (2-3-5), place him in a tie with Andreas Athanasiou for fifth on the Wings in power-play points.

But despite his on-ice success, which has led to being bumped up to Detroit's top line on occasion and to overall increased ice time, Zadina has kept his head firmly square on his shoulders.

"Yeah, sure, it means a lot for me," Zadina said. "I'm trying to do my best and that's probably the reward (ice time), what I'm getting right now, so I just want to keep going, and I'm going to keep going and I'll do my best to help the team.

"Obviously, I'm getting more confident while I'm here but I was always a confident guy, and right now it's more about the experiences, not the confidence for me. It's about the team and not myself. If they send me down, they send me down. That's why I'm doing my best to stay here as long as I can."

Blashill has always been adamant when it comes to Detroit's prospects that if they need time to develop their game, the NHL is not going to be the league for them.

Yet, even the Wings' cautious coach has liked what he's seen from his talented and rapidly developing young right wing.

"Opportunity sometimes comes (when) you have injuries to (Anthony) Mantha and Athanasiou, so there comes opportunity;" Blashill said. "(Zadina's) earned the increase in ice time. I think he's played very well. I thought the other night he might have been our best forward."

When asked to elaborate which areas Zadina has improved upon, Blashill didn't hesitate to respond.

"What areas? One's confidence with the puck," he said. "I think he's done a really good job of making plays without taking unneeded risk but yet not throwing the puck away. I think he's had poise and done a really good job of that, too.

"Two would be winning puck battles. I think he's battled from the correct side of the puck so he's won a bunch of puck battles. I think his defensive game's been accountable. The first thing you have to do on any team is earn trust to get on the ice and he's done that. Then, like I said, I think he's played pretty solid."   

Justin Abdelkader has also been impressed with Zadina's play, especially his prowess on the power play.

"He's done a good job coming up here. Obviously he's really dangerous on the power play," Detroit's alternate captain said. "You can see it with his shot. He's young. He's going to continue to get some great experiences up here and hopefully build his confidence.

"As you see pucks go in, when you get the puck on your stick you want to shoot it even more. I think we're seeing that. He's really dangerous on that power play and great on offense five on five. He's still really young but he's going to continue to build his game every single day."

From his perspective Zadina is all about the team, not about his individual statistics.

"We're a pretty good team. Our friendships are awesome, so we're just sticking together and hoping for better days and hoping for winning the games," Zadina said. "It's always close (games), but we had some meetings today and they show us what we got to do better and I believe the next game we'll do everything we can to win for sure.

"You just got to go and believe and score more goals than the other team. It's tough to say right now. You got to believe and work 100 percent."

Since he was drafted by the Red Wings in the first round, sixth overall, in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft, Zadina has played in 27 games for the Wings.

He has 13 points (5-8-13), is minus-9 with an average ice time of 14:45 per game. Out of his 13 points, seven (3-4-7) have come on the power play.    

MOMS TRIP FUN: The Wings just wrapped up the trip with their moms and mentors that took them to Dallas and Chicago.

For many moms, it was the chance of a lifetime after seeing their husbands get to go with their sons on the fathers and mentors trips.

"It was fun. It was a great time," Bowey said. "Obviously it would've been nice to win but having them there and having that positive energy I think helped us a lot. And the moms deserved every bit of it. I think it was really cool and a really special moment to share that with them. I know my mom loved it and she'll be talking about this probably for the next few years."

Tweet from @DetroitRedWings: "They deserve this more than anything."Madison Bowey on the Mom's trip and tonight's game against the Stars. #DETvsDAL #LGRW #DRWMoms

Pam Bowey, Angela Bertuzzi and Stefani Fabbri also had the opportunity to deliver the starting lineup to the team before the game in Chicago.

Tweet from @DetroitRedWings: Momma Bertuzzi, Bowey and Fabbri read the starting lineup to the boys. And it was amazing. 😂 #DRWMoms | #LGRW

"It was hilarious," Bowey said. "It was funny that we had three moms come in, the life of the party moms and so right away, Bert, Fabbs and I knew it was gonna be them. We just laughed. It was definitely cool and they did get us going a little bit. We had a good start, so it was definitely fun."

For Abdelkader, it was the second time his mom, Sheryl, joined the Wings on a trip.

"That was great. It's always special," Abdelkader said. "It's our second mothers' trip. It's always special to share it with your mom. A lot of times they do a lot of the work behind the scenes, whether it's cooking the meals, helping with homework. A lot of times the dads are the ones driving to the rink. They are as big a part as anyone, and as big a reason as anyone for us getting to the NHL level.

"A lot of times their work goes unnoticed. As sons, we notice it. We know how big a part of our lives they are, not only professional but just as people. I think they had a great time. It's fun to see them grow as a group of moms and all start hanging out together, laughing and joking around. I think it'll be great for all the moms as they see each other down the road, because they had a lot of great experiences together over the four days."

WORLD JUNIOR WINNERS: The Wings had some rooting interest in the IIHF 2020 World Junior Championship in Ostrava, Czech Republic.

Detroit prospects Joe Veleno and Jared McIsaac won the gold medal with Team Canada, Jonatan Berggren and Jesper Eliasson won bronze with Team Sweden and Moritz Seider captained Team Germany.

Tweet from @DetroitRedWings: Veleno, McIsaac and Team Canada take home the gold!

"Everybody is a little different," Blashill said. "I think their role on the team matters. What they gain from it matters. At the end of the day, it's what they learn from it as an individual. Do they take those lessons and apply them later on? So it can be a good thing. It doesn't automatically make it a good thing. It just depends on how they take those lessons and apply them later on."

Tweet from @JokkeNevalainen: Here are some additional angles of the big hit by Moritz Seider (DET).

Abdelkader said while they weren't always able to watch the games, the Wings were paying attention to the results.

"You're aware of it but obviously we're not following them as closely," Abdelkader said. "We're busy, we got games going on but we follow from afar. It's always good to see those -- I should say our players -- be successful, especially on a big level like that."

Veleno had one goal and five assists in six games and led Team Canada in face-offs, winning 57.73 percent; McIsaac had one goal and three assists in seven games; Seider had six assists in seven games; and Berggren had one goal and four assists in seven games.

Tweet from @DetroitRedWings: Congrats to @Jberggren48 and @Jespereliassonn on their 2020 IIHF #WorldJunior Bronze! 🇸🇪 x #LGRW

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