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Notes: DeKeyser could return to lineup against Anaheim

Blashill not pleased with Monday's practice; Bertuzzi gets lots of texts after hat trick

by Dana Wakiji @Dwakiji /

DETROIT -- There's so little room for error with the parity in today's NHL that teams can't afford to let up, even for a second.

Fresh off a 5-2 victory in Minnesota Saturday and a day off Sunday, the Detroit Red Wings were back on the ice Monday for practice at BELFOR Training Center.

Asked how they could build on Saturday's victory, Wings coach Jeff Blashill was blunt.

"You make sure you play great hockey tomorrow and it better be better than the hockey we played in practice today," Blashill said. "We better be way better than that. That's the only way. Now you can play great hockey and not win. So what we really need is to play great hockey and find a way to win. But we got to make sure we're ready to go."

Tweet from @DetroitRedWings: Work day. #LGRW

Although he did say it was a rarity this season, Blashill was not pleased with the way practice went.

"Yeah, totally not good enough attention to detail, totally not good enough effort, not ready to battle," Blashill said. "You can't be good every once in a while, you got to be good every day."

Tweet from @DetroitRedWings: Blashill wraps up today's practice day. | Ducks, #RedWings tomorrow night, 7:30PM, at Little Caesars Arena. #LGRW

The Anaheim Ducks are coming to town Tuesday having lost 11 in a row, including a 4-3 overtime loss in Winnipeg Sunday.

"I watched a decent amount of the Winnipeg game," Blashill said. "I listened to the comments from Winnipeg. It looked and sounded like Anaheim played a hard game where there was tons of desperation. I know we're going to get that from them and I would ask we should have the exact same type of urgency level, given where we're been over the last three-to-four weeks. They should be getting a tiger by the tail. And I'm sure vice versa is true."

DE LA ROSE LIKELY, DEKEYSER PROBABLE: Center Jacob de la Rose did not participate in Monday's practice.

Martin Frk took de la Rose's spot on a line with Christoffer Ehn and Justin Abdelkader.

"We're expecting him to be ready tomorrow but we'll know for sure tomorrow," Blashill said.

One player who was skating with the team was defenseman Danny DeKeyser.

DeKeyser has missed the last 19 games with a left hand injury, separate from the right hand injury he had earlier in the season.

"I felt good in the play today, so as long as it's fine with the med staff and Blash, yeah, I'll be back in," DeKeyser said.

DeKeyser participated in the battle drills during practice, building on some of the work he did in Saturday's optional morning skate in Minnesota.

"We got to be confident that he can make the plays with the puck that he's going to have to be able to make," Blashill said. "I would have bet on Saturday that he wouldn't play tomorrow. If I was betting today, I'd say it's a way better chance but we'll see. Got to talk to our training staff, talk to the doctors and then also make sure that he can take the puck and zip it into the net, he can take the puck and zip it out of our end, those types of things."

When DeKeyser got hurt Dec. 4 against the Tampa Bay Lightning, he was playing some of his best hockey and the team was doing well.

"I thought I was playing well before I got hurt," DeKeyser said. "Stuff like this happens. The only thing you can try to do is get back in there and get back up to speed. Obviously, missing six weeks in the middle of a season isn't ideal. The pace picks up toward the second half of the season, so I'm just going to try to get in there and get my feet wet and get playing again."

DeKeyser remains third on the team in plus-minus at plus-4, tied with Tyler Bertuzzi and Niklas Kronwall. Mike Green leads the team at plus-9 and Luke Glendening is second at plus-5.

Green returned to the lineup in Winnipeg and getting another veteran defenseman back can only help.

"It's a huge boost," Dylan Larkin said. "He's a great shutdown defenseman, great skater. As we get closer, he's it for what we look at as our full roster, except for Trevor (Daley). It hasn't been like that much this year. The more we can get our guys back, the better we're going to be as a team."

Tweet from @DetroitRedWings: "When you do the simple things and play together as a unit and team out there, good things happen," Mike Green following today's practice day.

BERTUZZI BASKS: Tyler Bertuzzi spent some of his off day Sunday fielding congratulatory text messages after his first career NHL hat trick in Minnesota.

"They were very supportive of it and a lot of good texts," Bertuzzi said. "It was a big win for us. We can build from that win and keep moving forward."

Tweet from @DetroitRedWings: Tyler Bertuzzi talks his first career hat trick and what it meant to get the win Saturday night in Minnesota.

Bertuzzi is now third on the team in goals with 13, behind Larkin's 18 and Andreas Athanasiou's 17.

"I think it's a good step for our team, that in our organization, he can have those types of games," Bertuzzi said. "He's a guy who I think is a real good player, but we'd like him to be a real good player who can score 20 and 20-plus, and to do that, you got to have nights where you're really tipping tons of pucks in. I think the biggest thing with Bert is just finding that level of consistency.

"I thought he was excellent in Winnipeg, one of our best forwards, and I think he followed up with an excellent game on Saturday. As I talked to him today after practice, to be an elite player in this league or an upper-echelon player in this league or a real good player in this league, you got to be great every single day and so it'll be another challenge for him tomorrow. There's a lot of pretty good players that have good nights. The great players are great every night."

Bertuzzi's outburst came as he skated on the top line with Larkin and Gustav Nyquist.

"I love playing with them," Bertuzzi said. "I think we have some good chemistry. We've played a lot of good games that we've been together and we're building off each other and we're still learning."

Tweet from @DetroitRedWings: We asked, you voted! With his first career hat trick on Saturday in Minnesota, Tyler Bertuzzi is our @Xfinity Player of the Week! || #LGRW

In addition to Bertuzzi getting three goals, Thomas Vanek had two against one of his former teams, which should help the confidence of both players.

"I think it's huge," Larkin said. "You look at every great team, there's a lot of guys scoring and scoring from all lines. It is nice that Vanny had two and Bert had three and other guys are chipping in. I thought Christoffer Ehn played one of his best games. That line's starting to click so we're getting comfortable with our lines and we look like a dangerous team up front ever since Anthony's (Mantha) come back and Andreas has been on a roll."

Tweet from @DetroitRedWings: "I'm proud of our guys for the way we played in Minnesota after a tough back-to-back," Dylan Larkin. || #LGRW

RASMUSSEN SKATES: Michael Rasmussen did not skate with the team Monday but he did skate on his own after practice.

"I don't know if there was a setback," Blashill said. "I don't know if there was a schedule. He's got a bit of a tweaked hamstring and it's just a thing where we were trying to keep going with it and it just wasn't recovering so then we've held him off. I would say that I didn't know how long he would be and it certainly has lingered a little bit. He was able to skate on his own today after practice a little bit so that's a good step in the right direction. It's a hard thing as a young player when you're out, you start to feel not a part of it and certainly we'd like to get him back as soon as possible."

Rasmussen has missed the last four games.

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