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Wings D Marchenko in, Smith (maybe) out for playoffs
12 апреля 2015 года.  Helene St. James, Detroit Free Press

Mike Babcock has been very open about how much he prefers defense pairings between right-handed shots and left-handed shots.

He plans to have two such pairs when the Detroit Red Wings open their first-round series Thursday at Tampa Bay.

Alexey Marchenko did well enough in a 13-game audition that included Saturday's season finale that Babcock said he'll use the 23-year-old in the playoffs.

"He's big, he's smart, he makes good plays, he doesn't make tons of mistakes," Babcock said after the 2-0 victory at Carolina. The Wings took today off.

Marchenko also shoots right, a rarity on the left-leaning Wings. Along with Marek Zidlicky, a terrific trade-deadline acquisition, that will give the Wings two right-handed shots on the back end. Zidlicky has played nearly every game opposite Brendan Smith, who found himself benched Saturday after an egregious penalty in Montreal. Barring injuries, the back end would be Niklas Kronwall, Jonathan Ericsson, Danny DeKeyser, Zidlicky, Marchenko, and, if Smith's banishment continues, Kyle Quincey. That would leave Smith and Jakub Kindl as reserves.

Marchenko's assets include a 6-3, 200-plus pound frame, and smart decision making.

"He's solid," captain Henrik Zetterberg said. "We saw that when he was up here before. It was good to see him up again. I think he played a good game."

Marchenko, Detroit's seventh-round pick from 2011, left a favorable impression during a 12-game stint spanning late January through February. He scored his first NHL goal Feb. 28 at Nashville, but also left that game injured. By the time he healed, the Wings had Zidlicky, and Marchenko went back to the minors.

Now it sounds like he's back for the duration, eager to gain as much experience as possible.

"For me, every game is big," Marchenko said. "Every time you hit the ice in the NHL, you get something from the game, like the speed of the game. I try to be better every game and learn and communicate with partner. It's great to be back here."

Страничка Алексея Марченко на сайте "Звёзды с Востока"


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