Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 10/26/13
Tomas Tatar has waited patiently for the opportunity to play on one of the top two lines, which the confident young forward believes he deserves. His time has come. The Detroit Red Wings need more offense, and one of the changes they made Friday was placing Tatar among their top six forwards for Saturday’s game against the New York Rangers at Joe Louis Arena (7 p.m., Fox Sports Detroit). “Hopefully, this is going to be the turning point and I can help the first two lines produce,’’ Tatar, 22, said. Coach Mike Babcock has split up Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg, looking for more balance, hoping the chance to play with one or the other sparks more players. The Red Wings have scored only three goals in three games (0-2-1) and are averaging just 2.24 per game. Tatar will be playing on a line with Zetterberg and Johan Franzen. It will be the third game in a row for Tatar, after he was a healthy scratch in seven of the first eight. “I think I started a game once with Pav and Danny (Cleary), but besides that, this is a big opportunity to play with those guys,’’ Tatar said. “It’s basically like a dream. All those guys are really good players. They’re leaders on the team. It’s going to be fun and hopefully we can build some chemistry and score a couple of goals.’’ Tatar is small (5-foot-10, 186) but tenacious. He skates well, goes to the hard areas and has good hands around the net. He had four goals and seven points during a 20-game stint with the Red Wings last season, before being sent down to Grand Rapids, replaced by Gustav Nyquist. “Just play the way he’s been playing all the way up to how he got here,’’ Zetterberg said. “He’s skilled, he sees the ice very well, he’s got a good shot. Me and Mule like to have the puck a lot. I think (Tatar) will be good at finding an open spot and be the sniper.’’ Tatar’s play without the puck, concern about turnovers and his defensive ability, have prevented him from securing a regular spot in the lineup. But the Red Wings need an offensive spark and are hoping the 2013 AHL playoff MVP (16 goals, 22 points in 24 postseason games) can provide it.
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