Once you get beyond the fact that the fragile forward is actually playing, the initial thought when hearing that Mikael Samuelsson is returning to action for the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday is, “That should help them if it’s another 5-4 game.”
The Swedish winger brings a valuable right-handed shot and creativity to Detroit’s thinning lineup, yet he told the Detroit News that he expects to keep things basic in Game 3 against the Anaheim Ducks.
“I can’t go out there and do what I usually do,” Samuelsson said. “Just play a simple game. Skate hard and hit guys … That’s how I’m going to start and hopefully I get the feel for the puck, once in a while.”
The 36-year-old played in just four regular season games in 2013 after being limited to 48 in 2012.
Even so, he doesn’t expect to shy away from contact.
“I’m still going to fight for every puck,” Samuelsson said. “I’m going to hit guys and try to play hard, play hard around the puck. You can always do that. It doesn’t matter how much you miss of the game.”
“That’s a key element that goes a long way.”