It had been two months since former Victoria Royals captain Joe Hicketts had been called up for his first and only game with the Detroit Red Wings.
The small, but gritty defenceman made the most of his second callup from the Grand Rapids Griffins on Tuesday night, recording his first two NHL points in the Wings’ 5-2 home win against Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Hicketts assisted on Frans Nielsen’s power play goal later in the second period, then added another helper on Darren Helm’s goal 6:21 into the third period. Hicketts, a compact 5-8, 180 pounds, also led Detroit with six blocked shots on the night.
He told detroitredwings.com that he was a bit starstruck at first playing against Crosby, but felt he improved as the game went on. “… in the third I thought I really brought what I wanted to bring. Now it’s going to be about continuing that and bringing it every day,” he said. “I know that if I want to leave the impression I want to leave, you got to go out there and do what the coaching staff wants.”
Red Wings head coach Jeff Blashill told Hicketts that he would see time on the power play and get a healthy amount of ice time as the team looks to get a better feel for his talents and abilities.