Alexei Marchenko

Babcock: Despite acquisition of Zidlicky, Wings are ‘going to make sure’ Marchenko keeps playing

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Mike Babcock is excited at the potential for trade-deadline acquisition Marek Zidlicky to improve his Detroit Red Wings.

“Zidlicky’s going to play on the power play and play a regular shift, starting with [Brendan] Smith, and he’s going to run our power play with [Pavel] Datsyuk, and we’ll see kind of where it goes from there,” the coach said Tuesday, per CBS Detroit.

“Zidlicky, he’s a competitor, he can shoot the puck, he can make plays, he’s got good offensive skill. I think he’ll be a real addition. He made some plays in practice today that make you smile, which is positive.”

At the same time, Babcock wants to keep rookie Alexei Marchenko, the Wings’ only other right-shooting d-man, involved.

“We really like Marchenko,” Babcock said, per NHL.com. “Marchenko is a real good player and he has played very well for us. You can never have too many d-men at this time of the year. We wanted to make sure we had enough hands on deck. We’re going to make sure he’s playing.”

Marchenko is currently on injured reserve with an oblique strain, but shouldn’t be out too long.

His injury leaves the Wings with seven d-men on their active roster. Tonight versus the Rangers, Jakub Kindl is expected to be the healthy scratch.