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Trio could return this week

Monday, 03.26.2012 / 7:00 PM ET
By Bill Roose - Managing Editor | DetroitRedWings.com / The Wheel Deal
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Jimmy Howard suffered a broken right index finger in early February. He hopes to return from a groin injury this week. (Photo by Getty Images)
Finally!

The Red Wings may likely see three more key players come off of the injury list this week with goalie Jimmy Howard, defenseman Jonathan Ericsson and forward Johan Franzen returning to the lineup, hopefully, by Friday.

Ericsson and Franzen both said Monday that they haven’t ruled out Wednesday’s game at Columbus, though Friday’s home game against Nashville is more likely for all three players.

After Monday’s morning skate, coach Mike Babcock was surprised to learn that Ericsson, who has missed 13 games with a fractured left wrist, wasn’t ready to return tonight.

“He was shooting the puck through the end of the rink today,” Babcock said. “But they (team medical staff) keep telling me he's not, so I don't know.”

If the Wings’ injured trio returns no later than Friday it would give them five tune-up games to prepare for the Stanley Cup playoffs, which begin April 11.

Howard said that his strained groin is feeling better and a return Friday against the Predators is “on the right track.”

“I’ve been working here pretty hard, doing a lot of treatment,” Howard said. “Felt like I can do everything. Now let's see if it holds up. Now continue to keep practicing for a couple of days and we'll see.”

The third piece to the injury puzzle is Franzen, who has had back spasms since he left practice early on March 16.

Franzen had an MRI that was negative, or as he said, “Just looked like an old hockey player's back. Yeah, a 32-year-old hockey player's back.”

Injuries have been a mounting problem for the Wings in the last month with 12 different players missing a total of 85 games due to injury or illness since Feb. 21.



SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - NYR 82 53 22 7 248 187 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 214 184 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 259 206 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 237 199 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 245 224 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 231 211 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 232 208 99
8 x - PIT 82 43 27 12 217 204 98
9 BOS 82 41 27 14 209 201 96
10 FLA 82 38 29 15 198 213 91
11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 227 248 89
12 PHI 82 33 31 18 212 223 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 176 209 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 183 219 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 206 257 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 153 269 54

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
H. Zetterberg 77 17 49 -6 66
P. Datsyuk 63 26 39 12 65
T. Tatar 82 29 27 6 56
G. Nyquist 82 27 27 -11 54
J. Abdelkader 71 23 21 3 44
N. Kronwall 80 9 35 -4 44
R. Sheahan 79 13 23 -3 36
D. Helm 75 15 18 7 33
D. DeKeyser 80 2 29 11 31
S. Weiss 52 9 16 -2 25
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Howard 23 13 11 .910 2.44
P. Mrazek 16 9 2 .918 2.38

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