Detroit Red Wings
RedWingsSeasonTickets.com 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

Healthy team, new dilemma for Wings

Players coming off of IR has Babcock juggling lineup vs. Kings

Wednesday, 02.27.2013 / 5:57 PM ET / News
By Bill Roose  - Managing Editor | DetroitRedWings.com
X
Share with your Friends


Healthy team, new dilemma for Wings
Brendan Smith has missed the last 11 games with a shoulder injury. But he'll be back in the lineup against the Kings. (Photo by Dave Reginek)

LOS ANGELES – The Red Wings knew Tuesday they were getting the Mule back for tonight’s game against the reigning Stanley Cup champions.

This morning, coach Mike Babcock received a double dose of good news when he learned that defensemen Brendan Smith and Kyle Quincey were also available to play against the Los Angeles Kings at Staples Center.

But with the good news comes another roster dilemma for the Red Wings.

With eight healthy defensemen – and Carlo Colaiacovo possibly ready to return Sunday – Babcock has a different problem. Who to play? With Smith and Quincey in the lineup, Babcock said that Ian White and Kent Huskins are healthy scratches for the first of back-to-back games in California.

The Wings play the San Jose Sharks at HP Pavilion on Thursday night before returning home where they will host the Chicago Blackhawks in a Sunday matinee.

Babcock’s decision didn’t sit well with White, who missed five games earlier in the season with a leg injury.

“It's really frustrating,” said White, who has a goal and two points with a minus-2 rating. “I've played almost 500 games at this level and I've played the same way, so suddenly I guess it's not working.”

Babcock said he wishes he had the same predicament with the forwards as he now has with the blue-liners. The Wings are still without the services of forwards Darren Helm (back), Todd Bertuzzi (back), Mikael Samuelsson (fractured finger) and Valtteri Filppula (shoulder).

“We need way more options up front,” Babcock said. “We’d like to have them back, but the way I look at it is I didn’t plan on Fil coming out and Mule coming in. It would have been better, obviously, to have them both. But that’s part of it. The same for Mule. When you’ve missed time you got to come back and skate. You have to keep your shifts short. You always think you’re ready, but normally when you haven’t played a bunch game-shape is a different thing.”

Smith hasn’t played since Feb. 2 when he suffered a shoulder injury at Columbus. Quincey missed the last two games with a sprained ankle sustained last week against the Blue Jackets. Babcock wants to see both players play simple against the Kings.

“Don’t get overzealous. Don’t be trying to make up for your time away all in one game,” Babcock said. “You can recover from little mistakes. You can’t recover from big mistakes … Just let the game come to you.”

Smith has missed nearly a month and he said that stamina could be a concern for the first few games.

“Just be good defensively, make good, quick plays and don't try to do too much or you're get yourself in trouble, he said. “Short shifts, make the first pass you see. Don't try to make it too complicated because that's when you're going to get yourself in trouble.”

The Wings hope that they can build on their impressive back-to-back wins over Nashville and Vancouver last weekend. However, the Kings have won four in a row and six of seven entering tonight’s game. Los Angeles has given up seven goals in their six wins and even though they’re without key defensemen – Alec Martinez, Willie Mitchell and Matt Greene – the Kings have been moving the puck better than they did in their first 10 games.

“They’ve got good depth, even without three of their big D they’re still rolling right along,” Babcock said. “Obviously they present a challenge for you and we’re looking forward to it. It should be a lot of fun.”

Follow Bill Roose on Twitter | @Bill_Roose

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

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