Thanks to the excellent work done by MLive’s Ansar Khan and The Detroit News’ Ted Kulfan at today’s morning skate, we have a clearer picture of the injury situation as the season very quickly winds down.
First, the good news. It sounds like Jakub Kindl is ready to return to active duty tomorrow night against Carolina. He practiced on a pairing with Brendan Smith. Doug Janik was returned to Grand Rapids, so the team was confident that one of Kindl or Nicklas Lidstrom would be ready to play against the Hurricanes. Coach Mike Babcock was “under the impression” that Lidstrom would be playing, but reports out of Detroit seem to indicate that Nick is unsure and still wary of the pain.
Jimmy Howard won’t play the next two games, as he’s yet to take pucks in practice. On Wednesday, the goaltender said that he would have been able to backup Jordan Pearce if Ty Conklin was claimed on re-entry waivers, but now it sounds like he’s going to take his time getting back into the lineup, choosing instead to rehab slowly rather than rush back and risk another tweaking of the groin.
Joey MacDonald has a “slightly bulging disc” that he doesn’t think will need surgery (and he would know — having had that surgery once before). Nevertheless, it sounds like he may be shut down for the remainder of the regular season, but he remains hopeful that he’d be able to return for the playoffs. The playoffs, of course, where we would hope not to need a backup goaltender.
So for the next few days, it looks like your goaltending tandem is Ty Conklin and Jordan Pearce — a pair of guys who, three short weeks ago, were the tandem for the Griffins.
Johan Franzen missed practice again, but took a spin on his own prior to drills. Each day that goes by delays his return since he’ll have to get back into “game shape” after missing all of this practice time. Jonathan Ericsson is scheduled to return next week, as well — perhaps he and Howard will both be ready for next Wednesday’s Columbus game or next Friday’s Nashville game.
Former Red Wing great Sergei Fedorov may finally be hanging up his skates. The 42-year-old Russian has played the last two seasons in the KHL after an NHL career spanning 1,248 regular season games and three Stanley Cup championships. While he may have had a tumultuous exit from Detroit, there’s no denying how special a player he was for the Red Wings and it’ll be a sad day to see such a dominant player from your youth ride off into the sunset. In a few short years, he’s a shoo-in for the Hall of Fame.
Likewise, former Wings goaltender Dominik Hasek may find himself on the golf course more often. The 47-YEAR-OLD netminder told a Czech newspaper that if he doesn’t receive a contract offer by June, it’ll likely officially spell the end of an unbelievable hockey career that spanned four different decades and includes several retirements, a stint overseas, and a pair of Cups won with Detroit.
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