As MLive’s Ansar Khan notes, Joe Hicketts made a very positive impression during the Red Wings’ 4-2 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins last night, registering 2 assists…
But Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill used his post-game remarks to challenge Hicketts to continue improving his skill sets:
“Joe has got lots of swagger, lots of confidence,” Red Wing coach Jeff Blashill said. “With that kind of swagger, he’ll have to manage his turnovers, he’ll have to manage certain mistakes, but he plays to win hockey games. That’s why he’s had success at the Canadian world junior level, that’s why he had success in the WHL, that’s why he had success in the American League.
“He doesn’t look like a normal NHL defenseman with his size, skating combo. He’s been able to defy odds. Can he keep defying odds? We’ll see. Careers certainly aren’t defined in one game or two games. They’re defined time after time after time.”
Some of the Red Wings’ more prominent players are pulling for Hicketts.
“Hicketts comes in and plays really good again,” Henrik Zetterberg said. “I thought he was one of the best defenseman the last time we played him (his NHL debut Jan. 22 at New Jersey) and he got sent him down. I told him hopefully he’ll stick around this time.”
Niklas Kronwall, who recorded his 400th point (a goal) on the night Hicketts got his first, said: “He’s just a big smile that comes in, brings a lot of energy. That stuff’s contagious. That’s something we definitely need right now.”
Khan continues, and here’s Hicketts’ on-the-bench interview with Fox Sports Detroit’s Trevor Thompson: