The Malik Report
by Paul on 10/03/13 at 03:29 PM ET
from Bill Roose of RewWings.com,
Joakim Andersson has more on his plate in his second full NHL season.
The third-line center may lack natural goal-scoring instincts, however, he’ll play a bigger role this season has a penalty-killer.
“It’s interesting, when you’re smart and you do things right you earn trust, and when you earn trust you get to go out on the ice all of the time,” coach Mike Babcock said. “That’s what he’s done. He’s come here and he’s found a way to be a regular guy, an important guy on our team, and we trust him.”
By gaining the trust of his team and coaches, Andersson managed to play nearly 4 ½ minutes on the penalty kill in Wednesday’s 2-1 win over the Buffalo Sabres. He averaged a little more than a minute of short-handed ice time last season, but logged 4:21 in a season-opener where the Wings had to kill off seven penalties, including a few questionable calls.
“A lot times especially in the beginning of the year the refs are even harder, so you really have to think about what you are doing with your stick and with your hands so you don’t grab hold of anything, or hook anyone,” Andersson said. “You have to think a little extra for the first couple of games.”
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