Detroit Red Wings
2015-16 Ticket Plans Available Follow @DetroitRedWings on Twitter! Follow the Red Wings on Facebook! Follow @DetroitRedWings on Instagram! Follow OfficialDRW on Snapchat! Get Red Wings Email Updates Get Red Wings Text Updates Get the Detroit Red Wings Official Mobile App
 

 
  • PRINT
  • RSS

Eaves may play in season opener

Wings' veteran forward has been out since Nov. 2011

Friday, 01.18.2013 / 6:07 PM ET / News
By Bill Roose  - Managing Editor | DetroitRedWings.com
X
Share with your Friends


Eaves may play in season opener

Patrick Eaves
Right Wing - DET
GOALS: 0 | ASST: 1 | PTS: 1
SOG: 24 | +/-: 0
ST. LOUIS – It’s been a long time, but Patrick Eaves was astounded by just how long it’s been since he’s played in an NHL game.

Four hundred and nineteen days!

“That’s what it was?” Eaves asked. “I didn’t know it was that long. That’s a long road.”

After 419 days on injured reserve, Eaves got the best news of all this week: He’s been cleared by team doctors and will likely be in the lineup for Saturday’s season-opener against the Blues at Scottrade Center.

“I knew I’d be back,” he said. “I didn’t know when or how, but I knew I would come back and play. I had no timeline to be honest with you. I just knew I’d be back.”

It’s been an arduous journey for the Wings’ forward who was forced to endure months of rehabilitation – making four trips a week to Ann Arbor sometimes – for reoccurring concussion-like symptoms after he was struck in the head by a puck nearly 14 months ago.

Eaves last played on Nov. 26, 2011, when late in the third period of a game against Central Division rival Nashville, he attempted to block a shot by Predators defenseman Roman Josi. The rookie’s high-rising shot struck Eaves on the right side of the head just above the ear flap of his helmet.

It was immediately apparent to everyone that he was seriously injured. As Eaves lay motionless on the ice, teammates, team doctors and training staff from both the Wings and Predators rushed to his side. He was taken off the ice on a stretcher and rushed by ambulance to Detroit Medical Center.

Two days later, he underwent surgery to repair a fractured jaw. Doctors thought Eaves might miss 6-8 weeks, but then came the debilitating headaches, which he had nearly every day for months.

“It was rough. It was really rough,” said Eaves, who had a goal in 10 games prior to the injury. “I had a great support staff with my wife and family and doctors and teammates and I wouldn’t have made it without them. It was a long rough road. To be back cleared is a great thing. I’m very fortunate to be back playing.”

Forward Drew Miller, who was Eaves’ roommate on the road before his injury, saw what Eaves went through to return to the game.

“I don’t think a lot of people realize the extent of what was going on and how much it affected him,” Miller said. “For him to recover and be able to play is great news.”

Following the lockout, Eaves joined his teammates during the final week of informal player workouts, and he says that he felt better physically at this week’s shortened training camp.

While he doesn’t remember the last time he’s had a headache or any of the other symptoms, Tuesday’s intra-squad scrimmage was a huge hurdle in his recovery.

“I had a feeling that was a big part of it,” said Eaves, of passing Tuesday’s test. “I didn’t know that was the final (step) or that big of a step. But it was a big step for me personally to be back playing.”

During Friday’s practice, Eaves worked with the third line, joining Daniel Cleary and center Justin Abdelkader. But afterwards, Wings coach Mike Babcock said he was undecided on Saturday’s lineup.

With Darren Helm (back) on IR, and Todd Bertuzzi back home sick, that leaves Eaves and Jan Mursak to fill the void on the third line.

“Good thing about it is I don’t have to tell you,” Babcock said, “because I don’t know and I still haven’t decided.”

Either way, Eaves said he’s prepared to return to action.

“I feel good out there. I feel up to speed and ready to go,” he said. “This week was great, practice and then the scrimmage it gave me the ability to get up to speed.”

Follow Bill Roose on Twitter | @Bill_Roose

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

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

DetroitRedWings.com is the official Web site of the Detroit Red Wings. Detroit Red Wings and DetroitRedWings.com are trademarks of the Detroit Red Wings. NHL, the NHL Shield and the word mark NHL Winter Classic are registered trademarks and Original Six is a trademark of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks as well as all other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. Copyright © 1999-2015 Detroit Red Wings and the National Hockey League. All Rights Reserved.
© NHL 2015. All Rights Reserved.

 
Advertise/SponsorshipsOlympia Entertainment | Code of Conduct | Privacy Policy | AdChoices | Employment | Contact Us | NHL.com Terms of Use | Site Map