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Three Questions: Wings-Coyotes's Michael Caples analyzes the Wings 46th game

Tuesday, 01.20.2009 / 11:45 PM ET / News
By Michael Caples  - Detroit Red Wings Staff Writer
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Three Questions: Wings-Coyotes
Who was the Wings’ player of the game?

Tomas Holmstrom had an impressive showing in front of the Phoenix goal Tuesday night.  Homer set up shop in front of goaltender Ilja Bryzgalov and made sure he wasn’t going to be able to see any pucks coming his way.  Captain Nicklas Lidstrom tallied two goals on the night, but it was because of Holmstrom’s willingness to take a beating that the shots found the back of the net.  Bryzgalov wasn’t shy about voicing his displeasure, as he whacked Holmstrom’s right ankle after Lidstrom’s first goal midway through the second period.  It didn’t keep him away from the crease for long, however, as Holmstrom went right back in front to screen so Lidstrom could score again with six seconds left in the second.  Holmstrom also ate up a lot of ice time for an injury-depleted Wings line-up, playing 16:00

What happened to Brad Stuart?

Only nine minutes into the first period, defenseman Brad Stuart crashed hard into the Detroit end boards and had to be helped off the ice.  In a race to the puck in the corner, Stuart was checked by forward Steven Goertzen about six feet from the boards.  The Wings’ steady defenseman lost his balance, and went head-first into the boards.  Stuart was motionless on the ice for a short time, but was moving by the time the Wings’ medical staff arrived to help.  Stuart did not return to the game, but it was a good sign that he was moving and able to skate off to the Detroit bench.  

What went wrong?

Already down Johan Franzen, coach Mike Babcock had to juggle his lines for the game against Phoenix.  He didn’t get much help, either, when Brad Stuart went down.  Pavel Datsyuk did not take the ice in the final minutes of the third period, as well.  It’s Game 46 of an 82-game schedule, and over the course of such a long season all teams will face injury problems.  Babcock had to rotate so much that it is too hard to sum up here, which doesn’t help when a team is trying to come back in the third period.  The good news in this situation?  The Red Wings have an entire week to rest, due to the all-star game this weekend.  Hopefully they will be able to heal and be ready for the Blues next Tuesday.


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