Abel to Yzerman

Abel to Yzerman

Filip Zadina On The First Line

02/09/2022 at 6:28am EST

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

Filip Zadina might be getting his best opportunity to produce during what has been a tough season.

Zadina skated on a line with Dylan Larkin and Lucas Raymond Tuesday in practice. Coach Jeff Blashill didn’t commit to starting Wednesday’s game at Philadelphia (7 p.m. Bally Sports Detroit) that way, but it sounded like he will.

“There’s multiple guys that have an opportunity to get a spot on Larkin’s line and I wanted to see Filip Zadina today there,” Blashill said. “We’ll look at the practice tape and see if we want to stay with it or not. It might be something that we give different guys chances during games.”

Zadina was slated to start the season with Larkin and Tyler Bertuzzi, but Raymond earned that spot out of training camp. While Raymond has flourished (11 goals, 35 points), Zadina has struggled (five goals, 14 points).

“He’s hard on himself, so sometimes that eats away at your confidence,” Blashill said. “You don’t probably look as good as you should because your confidence is down. In the last four games or so he’s played a couple good games where I thought his confidence looked higher.

“In order to play on that line, he can’t give up chances. You got to be good defensively and then you got to help the offense in a lot of different ways, and one way is going to the net. I think that’s an area he didn’t grow up doing. I think a lot of guys have to learn how important it is to get to the net, in front of people’s eyes. I don’t know if Viktor Arvidsson (of Los Angeles) always did that, but he does it. He’s a small guy and he’s good at the net front. That can add a huge element. I’m not saying that would be Z’s job, but I think that’s an area he has to get to if he’s going to play on that line.”

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