TAYLOR, Mich. – Mike Green has already missed five games with a shoulder injury, so sitting out one more – for good measure – wouldn’t hurt the Red Wings’ defenseman.
Green participated in every aspect of Thursday’s practice at the Taylor SportsPlex before the team departed for Toronto, where they will face the Maple Leafs at Air Canada Centre on Friday night.
Green and coach Jeff Blashill were both non-committal about the defenseman’s availability for Friday’s game, though he is closer to a return than Pavel Datsyuk (ankle), Brad Richards (back), Kyle Quincey (ankle) and Johan Franzen (concussion).
Blashill said a determination on Green for Friday's game would be made following the morning skate at ACC.
“I’d rather be (out) one more game than put yourself in a bad situation and be out for seven,” Green said. “I’ll hopefully be back in a day or two.”
Thursday was Green’s first full practice with the team since his Oct. 23 injury at Calgary, though he sounded much more hopeful for a return in Sunday’s matinee when the Red Wings will host the Dallas Stars at Joe Louis Arena.
“That was a good test, kind of do a little battling,” he said. “Then you can really gage where you’re at as far as strength. That’s sort of where I’m at right now, making sure I’m strong enough to compete. Battling in the corners, battling in front and once I’m there I’ll be ready.”
Prior to his injury, Green had produced two points, both assists, in seven games. He was hurt while retrieving a puck behind the Wings’ net when he absorbed a heavy hit along the boards from the Flames’ Josh Jooris.
The Western Conference-leading Stars (10-3-0) finish a four-game Eastern Conference road trip with a Sunday afternoon matchup against the Red Wings. It is the Stars’ only stop in Detroit this season.
Through Wednesday’s games, the Stars boost three of the NHL’s top 10 scorers, including Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin, who are tied for the league lead. Each has 20 points in 13 games. John Klingberg leads all league defensemen in scoring with two goals and 13 points for Dallas.
The Red Wings certainly could use a lift from having a skilled veteran like Green back in the lineup against a Dallas squad that is currently ranked third in scoring (3.54 goals per game) with a power play that is equally as lethal on the road and converting at 40 percent (8-for-20).
“We were just starting to see how good he really was and then he got injured,” captain Henrik Zetterberg said. “He skates well, he plays well; on the power play, it’s going to be huge for us, and also just joining the play. The way you want to play, with defensemen joining the rush and he’s perfect for that.”
PLAYER TO WATCH
LW JAMIE BENN
Left Wing - DAL
Goals: 10 | Assists: 10 | Pts: 20
Shots: 32 | +/-: 4
– One of the hottest players in the league, Benn scored nine goals and led the NHL with 17 points in October, helping propel the Stars to their best 11-game start to a season in franchise history. He recorded at least one point in 11 of his 13 games, including a six-game point streak to open the season. Benn has also registered seven multi-point outings, highlighted by a pair of three-point games and two game-winning goals. Last February, the league’s reigning Art Ross Trophy winner was involved in a skirmish with Henrik Zetterberg
that resulted in the Red Wings’ captain missing four games with a concussion. At the time, Benn received a two-minute roughing minor for landing two punches to the back of Zetterberg’s head.
SEASON SERIES: 0-0-0
2014-15 SEASON SERIES: 2-0-0
ALL-TIME SERIES: 110-97-34-6 (W-L-T-OTL)
DALLAS’ 2015-16 RECORD: 10-3-0
TOP SCORERS VS. RED WINGS: Trevor Daley (1 goal, 2 assists in 2 games) and Jordie Benn (3 assists in 2 games).
TOP SCORER VS. DALLAS: Pavel Datsyuk (3 goals, 3 assists in 2 games).
Tickets to this game and all remaining home games at The Joe are currently available for purchase at the JLA box office (313-396-7575), all Ticketmaster (800-745-3000) outlets, and online at DetroitRedWings.com.