DETROIT – This week hasn’t been the kindest to Kyle Quincey.
The Red Wings’ defenseman suffered a cut to his face followed by a sprained ankle that could hold him out this weekend, and all while becoming an anomaly in the NHL.
Quincey is the only defenseman in the league – with at least 10 games played – who owns a plus rating and no points.
“I wish I had an answer,” said Quincey, who’s a plus-10 in 17 games. “I’m getting a few third assists, but all I can do is keep going. I can’t think about it, I guess.
“Plus-10 is a good measuring stick for me because good things are happening when I’m out there. My first job is to keep it out of our net, which we’re doing. That part of my job is good.”
A reliable puck-mover, Quincey has shown offensive glimpses in the past. But since he arrived back in Detroit late last season, Quincey has two goals and one assist in 35 games with the team that made him a fourth-round draft pick in 2003.
He equated his strange statistic to a popular idiom about a blind squirrel who eventually finds a nut.
“At the end of the day I do want to and should try to get some offensive stuff going,” Quincey said. “I feel like we are. We’re making good plays, keeping pucks in, but I’m just not getting rewarded for them on the sheet.”
Quincey had a similar start to the 2010-11 season in Colorado. But this time around, he said he feels much better on the ice then he did with the Avalanche.
“It was really frustrating. It was kind of the same thing and I was trying way too hard,” Quincey said. “But I don’t feel like that this year. I had the rough start in the first couple of games. Things were going way too fast. Now I feel settled down. I’m feeling good on the ice and then this thing (sprained ankle) happens, but I shouldn’t be out too long.”
Quincey, who still has 20-plus stitches in his chin as the result of a cross-check he received Sunday in Minnesota, is day-to-day after suffering a sprained left ankle in a collision with Columbus center Artem Anisimov on Thursday.
“I didn’t see a replay, but I’m guessing when (Anisimov) went down he landed on my ankle,” said Quincey, who isn't expected to play Saturday against Nashville. “I was trying to turn and torqued it in a way that wasn’t very good, rolled it pretty much.”
The Red Wings definitely need Quincey in the lineup, especially with defensemen Brendan Smith and Carlo Colaiacovo still on injured reserve with shoulder sprains. Smith hopes to be back in time for the start of the Red Wings’ two-game California trip, beginning Wednesday in Los Angeles.
With the exception of the first few games, Quincey has been a very reliable contributor on the Red Wings’ blue line, especially with rash of injuries incurred throughout the team’s lineup. Quincey and Niklas Kronwall are the only defensemen to play in every Wings’ game this season.
INJURY UPDATES: Johan Franzen had hoped to return from a hip flexor injury in time to play in this weekend’s games against Nashville (Saturday) and Vancouver (Sunday). But now the Red Wings’ forward, and net-front presence on the first power play unit, is shooting for next week’s two-game road trip to L.A. and San Jose.
“Playing it smart,” Franzen said. “It sucks being out, especially when we’re losing. It hasn't been easy sitting on the side.”
Smith, who has one point in eight games, also hopes to be back for the California games. But he still wants to experience some full-contract drills in practice before he gets clearance to return.
“I haven't done any contact or anything,” Smith said. “Just got to be careful with it. Every day it's getting better, but I just have to wait and see.”
Mikael Samuelsson, who was injured during Tuesday’s morning skate in Nashville, said Friday that he fractured his left index finger when he was struck by an Ian White slap shot. Samuelsson played in two games before a groin injury forced him out of the lineup last month.
The Swedish winger returned last Sunday, only to suffer the finger injury, which will hold him out for another two weeks.
“It’s just a finger, can still work out,” he said. “But I want to play, that's the most frustrating part.”
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