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Mononucleosis sidelines Bertuzzi

Babcock says Wings' forward will miss weeks, not days

Saturday, 01.19.2013 / 3:04 PM ET / News
By Bill Roose  - Managing Editor | DetroitRedWings.com
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Mononucleosis sidelines Bertuzzi

Todd Bertuzzi
Right Wing - DET
GOALS: 14 | ASST: 24 | PTS: 38
SOG: 118 | +/-: 23
ST. LOUIS – The Red Wings received a bit of bad news prior to starting the 2013 season against the Blues on Saturday when they learned that forward Todd Bertuzzi will miss weeks after he contracted mononucleosis.

Bertuzzi’s extended absence is a devastating blow to the Wings’ third forward line, which already enters this compressed season without speedy center Darren Helm, who is on injured reserve with a bad back.

Coach Mike Babcock has decided to press Jan Mursak into service on the third line over Patrick Eaves, who, just this week, was cleared to return by the team’s medical staff after missing 14 months with concussion-like symptoms.

“One guy hasn’t played hockey in a year,” Babcock said, Saturday afternoon. “I’m going to be like you, I’m going to watch (Mursak) play tonight and if you play good, you play more. I don’t know how much ‘more’ is at this time of the year when you haven’t had any training camp, but is more 18-minutes? I hope to God when I look at the sheet after the game that no one’s at 22 (minutes) as far as a forward goes. I hope that I’ve used everybody and everybody was important. That’s sure my plan.”

Colloquially refer to as the ‘kissing disease’, mononucleosis is a viral infection that causes fever, sore throat, and swollen lymph glands, especially in the neck. Red Wings defenseman Brendan Smith and goalie Jimmy Howard have had the infection in the past, which wasn’t fun.

“There's no beating around the bush, it sucks,” Howard said. “You're constantly fatigued; all you want to do is sleep. I was out pretty much the whole summer going into my junior year (in college).

“All I remember is being extremely tired and my throat just swelling up. You're extremely tired; it doesn't take much to leave you extremely drained. No appetite. Just slept.”

However, Smith, who said he had the disease when he was a teenager, wasn’t immediately diagnosed.

“I kept playing with it, so I didn't know I had it until later,” he said. “I was just tired. I got checked up and they said my spleen was enlarged, so I'm lucky nothing ever happened.”

As for Helm, he skated by himself after the team’s morning skate at Scottrade Center. He said he felt could, but was precautious.

“I glided for a good half-hour, pushed off strongly a few times,” he said. “It felt good, though. It didn't hurt at all skating. I guess we'll see what happens this afternoon, tomorrow morning.”

Follow Bill Roose on Twitter | @Bill_Roose

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
H. Zetterberg 82 13 37 -15 50
P. Datsyuk 66 16 33 7 49
D. Larkin 80 23 22 11 45
T. Tatar 81 21 24 4 45
G. Nyquist 82 17 26 -2 43
J. Abdelkader 82 19 23 -16 42
M. Green 74 7 28 -6 35
B. Richards 68 10 18 4 28
D. Helm 77 13 13 -2 26
N. Kronwall 64 3 23 -21 26
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Mrazek 27 16 6 .921 2.33
J. Howard 14 14 5 .906 2.80