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DeKeyser reaches 'impressive' milestone with Wings

DeKeyser reaches 'impressive' milestone with Wings
Published On: Mon, Dec 03
Feb 23, 2016; Detroit, MI, USA; Columbus Blue Jackets center Boone Jenner (38) skates with the puck defended by Detroit Red Wings defenseman Danny DeKeyser (65) in the second period at Joe Louis Arena. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Danny DeKeyser played in his 400th game on Sunday, skating 20 minutes, 46 seconds, the second most time on ice among Red Wings defensemen (Mike Green, 24:06), while collecting two hits and blocking a shot.

DeKeyser contributed to holding one of the top lines in the NHL a€” Colorado's Nathan MacKinnon, Gabriel Landeskog and Mikko Rantanen a€” to one goal, before Landeskog added an empty net tally at 19:01 of theA third period in a 2-0 loss.

DeKeyser has played in 19 of the Wings' 27 games this season.

a€œI had him on the ice as a junior hockey player, and didna€™t draft him in the next draft,a€ coach Jeff Blashill said. a€œThata€™s the reality in the USHL.

a€œHe went to Sioux City, and then I got him at Western (Michigan). I didna€™t know that he was going to be this great freshman until I saw him on the ice.

a€œThe very first time I saw him on the ice, I was like, 'Holy smokes, hea€™s got some great attributes.' Hea€™s just carried that forward.a€

While the Wings have addedA Trevor Daley and Green, and Niklas Kronwall has persisted despite knee problems, the Red Wingsa€™ defense is largely reliant on DeKeyser for shutting down the opponentsa€™ best players, as the team continues to rebuild the lineup.

a€œWhen he came to the NHL, I thought hea€™d be a good player,a€ Blashill said. a€œHea€™s been even better than I thought.

a€œI think this year Dannya€™s played really, really good.

a€œHea€™s been one of the guys I think has really brought his game up to another level. I think his physicality has been real good. His consistencya€™s been good.

Read the complete news article here...

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