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Three Questions: Wings-Jackets

DRW.com's Michael Caples analyzes the Wings' 47th game

Tuesday, 01.27.2009 / 9:49 PM ET / News
By Michael Caples  - Detroit Red Wings Staff Writer
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Three Questions: Wings-Jackets
No Lidstrom, no Datsyuk, no Stuart…what else could go wrong?

The Wings were short a few skaters for their first game after the All-Star break, and it only got worse Tuesday night.  Coach Mike Babcock had to make due without his two all-stars, captain Nicklas Lidstrom and center Pavel Datsyuk, who were both suspended for tonight’s game for not appearing at the NHL All-Star game last weekend.  Defenseman Brad Stuart wasn’t available either, out with a rib injury he suffered before the break.  The Wings were only able to dress 17 players due to the injuries, because they are unable to call anyone up from Grand Rapids due to salary cap restrictions.  That meant that Babcock was working with only 11 forwards, with the plan to cycle someone into the fourth line center spot between Kirk Maltby and Tomas Kopecky.

The line-up got even scarier for the Hockeytown faithful, however, when Henrik Zetterberg left during the first period.  Hank played 5:58 in the first period, and picked up an assist on the first Wings’ goal, but then headed to the Detroit dressing room after taking a few hard hits along the boards.  After he failed to return to the ice, it was announced that the Wings’ assistant captain was suffering from back spasms. 

Knocking off the rust after an extended break became even more difficult for a short-handed roster.  Babcock was down to 16 usable skaters, which is only three lines and one extra skater.  Hopefully Lidstrom and Datsyuk will be able to shake off their lingering injuries and return to the line-up for the Wings’ home game Thursday night.

Who picked up the slack?


Chris Chelios played a great game to help fill Lidstrom’s void on the blue line Tuesday night.  The future hall-of-fame defenseman skated for 17:08, the most action he’s seen all year due to his recovery from a broken leg sustained during the preseason.  He killed penalties, he played well even-strength, and he even did his part to get the Wings onto the power play.  At the 8:12 mark of the first period, Chelios drew a holding call on Derek Dorsett behind the Detroit goal, and the Wings were able to capitalize on the power play, with Marian Hossa adding his 23rd goal of the season.  Then, in the second period, he drew another penalty – a high-sticking call on Jared Boll.  Along to help were Brian Rafalski, who led the defense in ice time with 27:43, and Johan Franzen, who led the forwards with 23:22.

What went wrong?

To make matters worse, the Wings ran into some bad bounces, which led to Columbus captain Rick Nash’s hat trick.  Nash’s second goal hit Rafalski’s stick and managed to sneak into the short-side top shelf area right above goaltender Chris Osgood.  Then, in overtime, an errant puck off of two or three players out front found its way to Nash’s stick, allowing him to put it into an empty net for the game-winner.  It was an unfair ending for Osgood, who played well in goal for Detroit.  He turned away 20 shots and got caught in bad situations with the bounces and a shorthanded breakway for Nash in the second period.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 WSH 50 37 9 4 163 112 78
2 FLA 52 31 15 6 143 115 68
3 NYR 52 29 18 5 148 134 63
4 TBL 51 29 18 4 137 118 62
5 BOS 52 28 18 6 151 137 62
6 DET 52 26 18 8 130 131 60
7 PIT 51 26 18 7 132 130 59
8 NJD 53 26 20 7 119 120 59
9 NYI 50 26 18 6 135 126 58
10 CAR 53 24 21 8 129 141 56
11 PHI 50 23 18 9 119 130 55
12 MTL 53 25 24 4 142 142 54
13 OTT 53 24 23 6 148 165 54
14 BUF 53 21 26 6 120 139 48
15 TOR 51 19 23 9 117 140 47
16 CBJ 54 21 28 5 135 168 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
D. Larkin 51 18 19 25 37
H. Zetterberg 52 9 25 2 34
T. Tatar 51 15 17 -2 32
G. Nyquist 52 14 15 -2 29
J. Abdelkader 52 14 12 -4 26
P. Datsyuk 37 6 20 11 26
M. Green 46 4 17 -7 21
N. Kronwall 45 3 14 -10 17
B. Richards 38 5 10 6 15
D. DeKeyser 48 6 8 12 14
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Mrazek 19 10 4 .932 2.03
J. Howard 7 8 4 .904 2.89