DETROIT - The Red Wings have had a challenging season in terms of injuries but had gotten much healthier of late.
But that doesn't mean players are at 100 percent at this time of the year and some might be at the point where they can't play, so the team recalled Tomas Nosek from the AHL's Grand Rapids Griffins just in case.
"We got some injury questions marks so it's an emergency right now," Wings coach Jeff Blashill said. "If we're healthy then he won't play so we'll see on that. He's been down there, he's coming back from an injury, but Ken (general manager Ken Holland) and (assistant general manager) Ryan Martin were at the game last night and they both felt like he's playing back to the form he was at before he got hurt, which was one of the best players on the team."
Nosek, 24, has played in six NHL games and made his debut on Dec. 26, 2015 at Nashville.
"First of all, to me Nosie is a guy who can play in the NHL 100 percent," Blashill said. "I thought when he played last year he did very well. He's a guy who can be a good penalty killer, he's got skill level but he plays a two-way game, he's strong on the puck, just a guy who can manage his minutes real well and still produce offensively."
Nosek has 15 goals and 24 assists in 48 games with the Griffins this season.
Blashill said the team will take warmups and then they'll determine who is fit to play against the Colorado Avalanche.
The Wings recalled defenseman Brian Lashoff from Grand Rapids before Thursday's game but ended up not needing him so they sent him back.
POWER-PLAY IMPROVEMENT: After scoring two power-play goals Thursday night in Arizona, the Wings are officially out of the basement.
At 13.1 percent, they moved ahead of today's opponent, the Avalanche, who are at 13 percent.
"Confidence, No. 1," Blashill said. "Chemistry a little bit as well. Guys are excelling in the areas, in the spots on the ice. It's easy to say 'just throw guys on the power play' but you got to get them in the right spots. Guys seem to be excelling in those spots. But I do think the chemistry within each unit, when you're able to have success it's easier to keep the units together and when you're able to keep the units together it's easier to maintain chemistry.
"Willie Desjardins of Vancouver, when he was in Texas, told me he thinks the best power plays really think for themselves. They almost don't need a coach at times and I think both units are getting that type of chemistry where they can kind of think for themselves a little bit."
Frans Nielsen leads the Wings with 12 points on the power play, followed by Henri Zetterberg's 10.
RIVALRY AFTERNOON: It's not a Wednesday night game on NBC Sports but the memory of the storied rivalry lives on.
Blashill grew up in Detroit watching the Wings-Avalanche rivalry at its peak.
"I was in my early 20s at that time or late teens. I lived on this rivalry," Blashill said. "It was unreal. It was great for the NHL, as good for the NHL as any rivalry as we've had here in the last 30 years. It was incredible. The emotions involved. The emotions are still like that. We played an alumni game two years ago and there was probably still some emotion involved in that. So I think it's awesome. It will be a good chance for the fans to be able to enjoy that part of it but for us we've got to go win a hockey game."
Avalanche coach Jared Bednar, in his first season with the Avalanche, also remembers watching the Colorado-Detroit rivalry.
"I loved the competitive fire that those teams played with," Bednar said. "I think it's one of the best rivalries in the game. The passion, the intensity that they brought to every game they faced each other, I think is so good for the game. That's why I like that Wednesday night rivalry night on TV. Those bring so much passion, not just to the players but to the fan bases as well. I think it's great for the game."