DETROIT – Andreas Athanasiou leads all Detroit Red Wings players with 9 goals through 17 games played this season.
That's good, because he's on this team to score goals, nothing more and nothing less. He scored two on Wednesday night against the Boston Bruins -- first to tie the game at 2-2 in the 3rd period and then again in overtime to win the game.
Detroit coach Jeff Blashill spoke to reporters after the game and explained Athanasiou has been finding ways to score even if he's not on his A game.
Athanasiou signed a two-year contract with Detroit this past summer. That was after he held out briefly at the start of the 2017-18 season and signed a one-year contract late in October 2017. He scored 16 goals through 71 games played this past season and is on pace to surpass that total this season.
Athanasiou is the type of forward who will flourish if the team is playing better as a whole. That's what we saw Wednesday night -- his teammates were creating opportunities for him, and he finished. Ideally, if everything goes well for this team he'll score 25-35 goals this season.
He's now playing on Detroit's 2nd line with center Frans Nielsen and Gustav Nyquist on the other wing. Nyquist, by the way, is leading the team with 14 assists. He had several chances to score Wednesday night, but had to settle for an assist on Athanasiou's first goal. As long as he's creating chances, the goals will follow.
The Red Wings are now 9-2-0 in their past 11 games. They play Friday afternoon against the Washington Capitals in Washington.