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The Wings won a rare victory thanks to Bernier and Athanasiou. Filmed March 16, 2019 in Detroit.
Helene St. James, Detroit Free Press

It's ten years ago Detroit 30 wings had a wing on Red Wings . , it is good for the future of the organization that two men may meet out of the last 10 games. Little Caesars Arena. It took a remarkable performance from Jonathan Bernier to achieve victory, but Athanasiou stood out of the way he was at both ends of the ice.

<img itemprop = "url" src = "https://www.gannett-cdn.com/presto/2019/03/16/PDTF/67747ae6-baf3-4e69-b64b-9181cc4982f2-SI_20190316_ads_ai5_051.jpg?crop = 2086,1600, x0, y0 & width = auto = webp "alt =" The Red Wings center, Andreas Athanasiou, looks at the puck in the first period on Saturday, 16 March, 2019, at Little Caesars Arena , at the Little Caesars Arena. (Photo: Raj Mehta USA TODAY Sports)

“He should get that mark on the way he is playing now,” said Dylan Larkin. It is an explosive scanner, the way it skates, many people cannot defend it, it played the right way, well done, it is very important to our staff – if possible produce at the center of ice in the middle, it will be more difficult for other teams.There will be two men who can skating well at the center. The Wings did not have a 30-goal scorer since Henrik Zetterberg, Pavel Datsyuk, Johan Franzen and Marian Hossa reached the marker in 2008-09.

“It's definitely a good milestone,” said Athanasiou. “If I could do that, you would feel good. It was better if it emerges. ”

Athanasiou was the eighth and best game since it was moved from wing to center, which is also exciting. Athanasiou was soon struggling with the defense responsibilities of the playing center; it was especially in March 9 at Tampa Bay, when Nikita Kucherov failed to cover him, leading his goal.

“I am becoming more comfortable with each game,” said Athanasiou. “All maturity and all other aspects I take, you mature as a player and you grow into the site a little more.

“When you play in the center, you need to be much more aware of the zone, as that third defendant is coming into the play with speed. That is something that complements my skating game.

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When they were about a February 25 trading deadline, the Athanasiou Wings placed in the middle to find out if he can behave his own line. It is a major responsibility. Before Saturday's match, the coach Jeff Blashill spent time with Athanasiou going over the game in Tampa Bay. Athanasiou's reply was a great pleasure.

“It was very difficult,” said Blashill. “It was really well protected in its zone d. He did the things that he will be a center – and I do not know long term what is the best thing – but if it is to be, he will play as he did.

“You must stop your own zone and compete as crazy. And you have to delay yourself on a break out and you have to be under the puck. If you do not do these things, you cannot be a long-term center. He did a better job in that regard. ”

Larkin, 22, presented his trial at the end of the 2016-17 season and is the best venue for staff. Is Athanasiou's success, 24, as man No. 2? It is also a dynamic player, combining incredible acceleration with soft hands. There were six shots on net against the Islands.

<img itemprop = "url" src = "https://www.gannett-cdn.com/presto/2019/03/16/PDTF/2873dfe8-e058-4a69-99bc-3507f400cb3b-AP_Islanders_Red_Wings_Hocke2.jpg?width Andreas Athanasiou, the center of the Red Wing, from left, celebrates his goal with Tyler Bertuzzi and Luke Glendening in the second period of the Wings win '2-1 Saturday, t March 16, 2019, at Little Caesars Arena, the center of wing Andreas Athanasiou, from the left, celebrates his goal with Tyler Bertuzzi and Luke Glendening in the second period of Wings' 2-1 win on Saturday, 16 March, 2019, at Little Caesars Arena. (Photo: Paul Sancya, AP)

“I keep him practicing that he must delay some goals as he's going so fast,” Bernier said “He gets as many scoring chances as he is sure to be one of the fastest skaters in the series. It 's a great player. ”

The Wings could succeed in a draft draw on 9 April and win the right to choose Jack Hughes. At both sides – wing, center – Athanasiou has used this season to show that it will be an integral part of the reconstruction process. His maturity showed that he is consistent. It was a threat to most of the games. He scored his first goal Saturday when his shot changed from Ryan Pulock, the Islander defender, but as Athanasiou earned the chance of scoring that impressed him. guys can do that and control the puck that comes into the zone, ”Larkin said. “That's the place that ice men make and he threw it clean and good things happened. It was the play he got there. It is a dangerous player when he skates. ”

Larkin and Athanasiou said that more 30-target potential seasons would mean if the Wings were in charge of the play games, not the draft lottery. But that path may come earlier if the 30-goal scorers change again the lineup.

Contact Helene St. James at hstjames@freepress.com. Follow her on Twitter @helenestjames . Read more about Detroit Red Wings and sign up for our Red Wings newsletter.