The big guy is back.
Forward Michael Rasmussen, all 6-6 of him, returned to Detroit on Thursday morning and will be in the lineup as the Red Wings play host to the Vegas Golden Knights at Little Caesars Arena.
Rasmussen, out the past 10 games due to a lower-body injury, completed a conditioning stint with the Grand Rapids Griffins, Detroit’s AHL farm club, on Tuesday.
“I had a chance to watch him play last night,” Detroit coach Jeff Blashill said. “I thought he was excellent.
“I thought he did a really good job. I thought as the game went along he controlled the puck really well. I would think that would put him in a position to come back with lots of confidence.”
Rasmussen, who has posted 6-7-13 totals in 41 games so far during his rookie NHL campaign, last suited up for the Wings on Jan. 4 against the Nashville Predators and welcomed the chance to tune himself up in the minors before returning to the show.
“It’s good,” Rasmussen said. “It’s definitely some of the reason why it’s there. You can just go down there and kind of get some conditioning and get some reps and play some really good hockey.
“I’m glad I did that. It was good hockey. There’s great competition down there.”
The odds are leaning more toward center Dylan Larkin (strained oblique muscle) not playing on Thursday.
“I don’t know yet,” Larkin said
He’s already missed one game due to the injury and while it may still be a game-time decision, Blashill both sounded like his mind was already made up.
“I would call him questionable,” Blashill said. “He was going to try it here today, see how he feels.
“We’re just measuring where he’s at, what his body feels from a risk management standpoint. So we’ll see tonight.”
While in Grand Rapids, Rasmussen got the chance to skate on the same line with Filip Zadina, Detroit’s top pick in the 2018 NHL entry draft.
He was good,” Rasmussen said. “His game’s definitely progressed. He’s playing really well and playing both ends of the rink. Definitely he’s a great player.”
Rasmussen witnessed more of a 200-foot game from Zadina, who has already displayed he has a knack for producing offense.
“I think that goes for us all that are developing and adjusting to the new level,” Rasmussen said. “You see him blocking shots and making hard plays on the walls. Ten his offensive side of the game obviously comes pretty naturally for him and comes easy.
“It’s good to see.”
Zadina shows 11-12-23 totals in 39 games with the Griffins.
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