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Tatar hoping to build on strong World Cup performance

Forward had three goals in tournament and looks to keep that momentum

by Dana Wakiji @Dwakiji / DetroitRedWings.com

GROSSE POINTE WOODS, Mich. - The Red Wings are hoping that Tomas Tatar gets a World Cup boost.

Tatar had three goals in six games for Team Europe, which reached the World Cup Finals against Team Canada.

"I had a lot of fun," Tatar said. "It was an amazing experience. We did pretty good. Nobody was expecting us to do that well. It was just fun."

Wings coach Jeff Blashill watched the tournament and was happy for Tatar's success.

"Tats is somebody that, he played with (Marian) Hossa and (Anze) Kopitar, played against everybody's best and did a great job," Blashill said.

Although he did miss all of training camp in Traverse City and will only play in one preseason game, Tatar feels prepared for the season because of the World Cup.

"It'll give you a lift, for sure," Tatar said. "You play at the highest level. You play really fast hockey. I think it was a good preseason camp for us, for whoever played in that tournament. So it was a fun part for sure."

Playing on Team Europe also gave Tatar a chance to get to know two of his new Wings teammates, Frans Nielsen and Thomas Vanek.

"They're both great players," Tatar said. "Niel is an all-around player, we need a guy like that for sure. And Vanek can score from pretty much anywhere. So both great additions, and hopefully they'll play well."

Although Tatar was second on the team last season in goals with 21 to Dylan Larkin's 23, and tied for third in points with 45, he was not satisfied.

In the 2014-15 season, Tatar had 29 goals and 27 assists. 

"You always want to be better," Tatar said. "Even if you max, you still want to at least match it or be better. Obviously, I wasn't real happy with last year, so I would like to be better than I was last year for sure."

Blashill is still finalizing the forward lines so Tatar is not sure where he will end up.

"I'm not really looking for my expectations, I'm thinking about the team and how I can help the team," Tatar said. "Every season is different for you. Sometimes you slump, sometimes you're doing good. We'll see how it starts, this one. I'm ready, I did everything I could to become more mental stronger, better, so I'm ready to play."

Tatar knows that the team will be different without Pavel Datsyuk, but he expects the Wings to hit the ground running.

"We did some changes," Tatar said. "We're working on a new system a little bit. It's going to be different. The NHL is really tight right now so it's going to be a battle as soon as the start. We're ready. Guys are here getting ready during the camp and you know the season is coming."

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