Abel to Yzerman

Abel to Yzerman

Thomas Vanek Finding His Groove

11/29/2018 at 3:52pm EST

from Ted Kulfan of the Detroit News,

There were still moments when Vanek was laboring on a knee that was injured on a knee-on-knee collision Oct. 30, forcing him to miss eight games.

But there were also the ability to slow the game down like few players can, make a pinpoint pass where other players wouldn’t dare try, and the ability to put the puck in the net.

“It was his best game since he’s been back,” Blashill said after the victory. “When you’re not a natural skater, when you spend time out (of the lineup), it’s hard to get back. Then when you get back, you’re not necessarily playing a ton of minutes,”

Blashill decided to go with 11 forwards and seven defensemen Wednesday, partly to ease defenseman Jonathan Ericsson back into the lineup in his return, but also to get a few extra shifts for Vanek.

“Part of the reason we dressed 11 forwards was so I could put Double-A (Andreas Athanasiou) with him (Vanek), put (Gustav) Nyquist with him, so now you go Vanek, (Jacob) de la Rose, and Double-A. That could be a second line at times.

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