Osgood Injures Groin in Practice; Howard, Ericsson to Play Wednesday

Detroit Red Wings goaltender Chris Osgood left practice early on Monday, suffering from a sore groin.

Osgood went to the hospital for tests. His status for the team’s three-game Western Canada road trip is unknown.

“Groin soreness and he’s being evaluated, so when I talk about groins normally that means day-to-day and then two weeks later we talk about it again,” head coach Mike Babcock said. “And for a goalie, it usually means day-to-day and three weeks later we talk about it.”

Jimmy Howard will return to the Detroit crease as the Red Wings visit the Calgary Flames on Wednesday and could play back-to-back in Edmonton and Vancouver over the weekend.

“Howie’s a young guy,” Babcock said, “he can probably play back-to-back, but we’ll see.”

Defenseman Jonathan Ericsson will also return to the Red Wings’ lineup on Wednesday. Doug Janik was sent back to the Grand Rapids Griffins to make room in the lineup.

Tuesday in Review

It’s been a busy day for the Red Wings, with a retirement, an injury and a loss in about a six-hour span. Let’s get going then…

Veteran forward Kirk Maltby announced his retirement at a 5:30 press conference at Joe Louis Arena. Rather than accept assignment to the Grand Rapids Griffins, he’ll move into the Detroit front office to replace Pat Verbeek as one of the team’s three pro scouts.

I haven’t exactly hidden the fact that I think Maltby could have retired a year or two ago but I think you have to respect everything he’s done for this team. Four Stanley Cups is not something to take lightly. Best of luck to Malts in his new career.

Where the hell did this come from? Brian Rafalski leaves practice early on Monday and now he’s out for a month?

Rafalski had his knee scoped this afternoon and will miss three to four weeks. The timeline seems to be the only bad news, thankfully, as the procedure went off without a hitch and, as GM Ken Holland put it, “They cleaned out some loose particles.”

With Jonathan Ericsson still nursing his injured back, Doug Janik was called up to play against Colorado. Kris Draper was placed on short-term injured reserve to make room for Janik; I’m not entirely certain why Rafalski wasn’t.

Colorado 5, Detroit 4 (SO)
We get to tonight’s game, in which the Red Wings played like a team that had a lot going on off the ice.

On the plus side, it looks like every forward line is clicking. There’s some great passing going on out there and it’s leading to goals. Datsyuk’s goal, one of Franzen’s, Eaves’… All preceded by at least one nice pass.

On the negative side, several things. The team looked sloppy and tired. They did a bad job of breaking up Avalanche passes, leading to Colorado getting a ton of scoring chances. The exception being the five-minute OT period, where I thought the Wings dominated.

I’m not going to throw him under the bus for the loss but Jimmy Howard did not look fantastic to me. He was great in the shootout but I think one or two of the regulation goals he might want back.

Detroit’s shooters in the shootout put on some nice moves but couldn’t finish. Lots of posts, but if you can’t score a single goal on six shots it’s gonna be embarrassing.

Red Wings Recall Janik, Place Draper on IR

It appears that defenseman Doug Janik will make his Red Wings season debut tonight as Detroit hosts the Colorado Avalanche.

Janik was recalled from the Grand Rapids Griffins today and is expected that he will play in place of Brian Rafalski tonight. Rafalski left Monday’s practice early.

With Jonathan Ericsson also out, the Red Wings needed to call up Janik to have six defensemen. To make room on the roster, injured forward Kris Draper was put on the short-term injured reserve. Draper will be eligible to return on Saturday.

Ericsson to Return Tonight

For the first time in quite awhile, the Red Wings will be facing a team with more players out to injury than Detroit has as they host the Carolina Hurricanes tonight.

The Red Wings will get Jonathan Ericsson back into the lineup, with Doug Janik being sent back to Grand Rapids.

This gives Detroit only five injuries – Andreas Lilja, Johan Franzen, Jason Williams, Niklas Kronwall and Tomas Holmstrom.

The Hurricanes, meanwhile, have six regulars out of the lineup – Chad Larose, Scott Walker, Joe Corvo, Sergei Samsonov, Tuomo Ruutu and Erik Cole.

Jimmy Howard gets the start in net for the Wings, likely going up against Carolina’s Cam Ward as former Red Wing Manny Legace is not expected to start.

Red Wings End West Coast Swing with Win over Sharks

The Detroit Red Wings finished off a four-game West Coast road trip with 4-1 win over the San Jose Sharks Saturday night.

With the win, the Red Wings earned six of a possible eight points on the trip, all against teams ahead of them in the standings. The lone loss came to the Anaheim Ducks.

Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard allowed a single goal for the second consecutive game, stopping 26 of 27 San Jose shots.

The Sharks scored their lone goal with 8:58 left in the first period. Joe Thornton won a draw in the right faceoff circle back to Dan Boyle, who threw it at Howard. Howard stopped the initial shot and made a diving save on the first rebound but Patrick Marleau was there to flip the third chance past him.

Pavel Datsyuk tied the game 6:37 into the second period, stealing the puck from Ryane Clowe and snapping a wrister over the shoulder of San Jose netminder Evgeni Nabokov.

Patrick Eaves put Detroit in front with 5:07 left in the second, deflecting a Doug Janik shot from the blue line past Nabokov. The Sharks complained that the puck was hit with a high stick but the goal stood after video review.

Dan Cleary put the Red Wings up by a pair just 69 seconds later, beating Nabokov with a wrister from the left faceoff circle on a rush with Valtteri Filppula.

Darren Helm wrapped up the game’s scoring at 4:34 of the third period, driving to the net to slide the puck around a sprawling Nabokov.

Nabokov finished the night with 17 saves on 21 Detroit chances.

Neither team scored on the power play. Detroit had one chance with the extra attacker while San Jose had two.

With the West Coast portion of their five-game road trip wrapped up, the Red Wings head to Long Island to take on the New York Islanders on Tuesday night.

Zetterberg Joins Wings’ Walking Wounded

So Henrik Zetterberg is set to have an MRI on his injured shoulder. I’m not a doctor or anything but I can’t recall any time when someone was sent bad enough to have tests done only for them to turn around and say “All clear, he’ll be back tomorrow.”

In short, Zata’s gonna miss some time even if he’s just sore.

Let’s do this math. NHL teams dress twenty players for every game. Two of those are goalies, leaving eighteen skaters.

Andreas Lilja. Johan Franzen. Valtteri Filppula. Jason Williams. Niklas Kronwall. Dan Cleary. Darren Helm. Jonathan Ericsson. Henrik Zetterberg.

That’s nine skaters right there. Nine. Going into Saturday’s game in Dallas you can expect the Red Wings to be playing with a roster half made up of players who weren’t even supposed to be on this team.

Justin Abdelkader was supposed to spend the season in Grand Rapids. Kris Newbury and Doug Janik have spent most of the season there. Brad May wasn’t even signed to an NHL contract when the Red Wings opened the season in Stockholm. Drew Miller – who scored a beautiful goal Thursday night against Tampa Bay – was playing for the Lightning when the season kicked off.

And yet the Red Wings sit six points ouf of first place in the Western Conference with three games in hand.

How insane is that?

Ericsson’s Injury a Bone Bruise

Chris McCosky of the Detroit News reports that Jonathan Ericsson is expected to miss at least two weeks with a deep bone bruise.

“What I’ve been told is that he’ll be out a minimum of two weeks, but we will know a lot more in a week or so,” Red Wings general manager Ken Holland said.

The Red Wings have called up Doug Janik from the Grand Rapids Griffins to fill in for Ericsson.

Given that the alternative to a bone bruise seemed to be damage to Ericsson’s ACL or MCL, this is about the best outcome anyone could hope for.

Update, 4:30 PM: The Red Wings are saying that Ericsson is out indefinitely, which could just be a more cautious way of saying “a minimum of two weeks.”

Shorthanded Red Wings Blank Bruins

Missing two of their top five defensemen and returning from season-long five-game road trip, the Detroit Red Wings shutout the Boston Bruins Tuesday night with a strong performance by goalie Chris Osgood.

Osgood stopped 29 shots to earn the fiftieth shutout of his career. He is currently in second place among active goaltenders in career shutouts.

Brian Rafalski and Jonathan Ericsson missed the game with the flu. Doug Janik was called up from the Grand Rapids Griffins to join Derek Meetch filling in on the blueline.

All of the game’s scoring came in the first period.

Henrik Zetterberg got Detroit on the board with 5:39 left in the period, just two seconds into a power play. Pavel Datsyuk lost the faceoff but Zetterberg jumped up to snap the loose puck past Boston netminder Tim Thomas from the left faceoff circle.

Tomas Holmstrom put the Red Wings up by a pair 3:22 later. Todd Bertuzzi sent a breakout pass to Datsyuk, who cruised into the Bruins’ zone before sending a blind backhand pass to Holmstrom in the slot. Holmstrom shoveled the puck away from the Boston defense and past Thomas to make it 2-0.

Thomas finished the night with 24 saves on 26 Detroit chances.

The Bruins finished the night without a power play goal on three chances. Detroit went one-for-four with the extra attacker.

The Red Wings are back in action on Thursday when they host the San Jose Sharks.

Detroit was without Brad May, who suffered an eye injury during Saturday’s win in Calgary. Ville Leino returned to the lineup to take his place.

Red Wings Wrap Up North American Exhibitions, Set Lineup for Sweden

The Detroit Red Wings finished off their North American exhibition schedule Sunday night with a 4-1 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins in a game that saw both teams rest many of their star players.

Detroit was without Nicklas Lidstrom, Henrik Zetterberg, Chris Osgood, Dan Cleary, Valtteri Filppula, Brad Stuart, Todd Bertuzzi and Niklas Kronwall. Pittsburgh sat Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Sergei Gonchar.

Pascal Dupuis scored the lone goal for the Penguins while Johan Franzen, Pavel Datsyuk, Jason Williams and Ville Leino all scored for Detroit. Jimmy Howard stopped 25 shots on the night, including a Jordan Staal penalty shot.

After the game the Red Wings made their final preseason roster cuts. Johan Ryno, Mattias Ritola, Andy Delmore, Francis Pare, Logan Pyett, Jakub Kindl and Evan McGrath were all assigned to the AHL’s Grand Rapids Griffins. Brad May was released from his pro tryout but he is expected to join the Griffins. Earlier in the day the Wings had assigned Jeremy Williams, Doug Janik, Thomas McCollum, Kris Newbery and Jan Mursak to the Griffins.

The Red Wings now head to Sweden, where they will open up the regular season with a pair of games against the St. Louis Blues at Stockholm’s Globe Arena.

On Wednesday Detroit will play their final exhibition game of the season in Karlstad against Farjestads BK.

Zetterberg Out Against Rangers

The New York Rangers visit Joe Louis Arena tonight as the Red Wings host their second exhibition matchup of the season.

Detroit will be playing using their “White Team” lineup, with Chris Osgood and Thomas McCollum splitting time in goal.

Henrik Zetterberg, who was expected to lead the White Team, will miss the game while resting a groin injury that flared up before training camp. He will be kept out of the next two games.

The lines announced before Zetterberg was removed from the lineup were as follows:

Todd Bertuzzi-Henrik Zetterberg-Dan Cleary
Ville LeinoValtteri FilppulaJason Williams
Johan Ryno-Justin AbdelkaderKirk Maltby
Mattias RitolaCory EmmertonJan Mursak

Niklas KronwallDoug Janik
Brett LebdaBrad Stuart
Derek MeechJakub Kindl

Chris Osgood
Thomas McCollum

The game will be televised in New York on MSG. It will not be on TV or radio in Detroit.

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