At age 28, Nick Jensen has not played 200 or 250 games that traditionally mark the end of an NHL defenseman’s apprenticeship.
But, with Jensen set to play in his 160th Monday night, he is establishing himself as one of the Red Wings’ more reliable defensive assets.
Jensen ranked third among the defensemen in time on ice heading into the Kings game, at 20:03 per game, behind Mike Green (22:20) and Danny DeKeyser (21:17).
He led the team in blocked shots with 48, 10 more than Niklas Kronwall and Luke Glendening.
His rating was minus-3.
Jensen is part of the Wings' penalty killing efforts that ranked second on the road at 90.2 percent (79.4 percent overall).
Trevor Daley would likely return to the lineup against the Kings Monday, Jeff Blashill said. But, with DeKeyser injured, Jensen is arguably one of the top two defensive defensemen on the team.
“It’s a game of ups and downs, obviously,” Jensen said. “You see that a lot.
“You saw that at the beginning of the year, with me. I was on a downer.”
After a tough training camp, Jeff Blashill sat Jensen the first game. But, Jensen has played in every one since.
He leads the Red Wings defensemen with 30 games played.