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Red Wings-Ducks quick take: injuries are an explanation but not an excuse

Update: Wings coach Mike Babcock told the media that Pavel Datsyuk has a shoulder bruise in his post-game press conference: The Detroit Red Wings' 5-2 loss to the Anaheim Ducks did indeed involve some broken Wings sticks and a gaggle of broken Wings in Pavel Datsyuk (shoulder? wrist?), Todd Bertuzzi (back), Johan Franzen (hip flexor), Darren Helm (back), Mikael Samuelsson (groin), Jan Mursak (shoulder), Brendan Smith (shoulder), Carlo Colaiacovo (shoulder) and Grand Rapids-bound Jonas Gustavsson (groin)...

But, in the words of Mickey Redmond, "The bottom line is that you've got to play with what you've got and try to survive."

True words for hockey, life and probably some other activities, and with the Red Wings having dropped both of their games in front of Nicklas Lidstrom, and having split their 4-game home stand thanks to all of one good game's worth of play against Edmonton, rope-a-dope hockey against Los Angeles and then losses to St. Louis and now Anaheim--with the latter two losses yielding a turnover-prone Wings team bitten by poor line changes, poor decisions on set plays, and efforts in which the team fired more pucks into opposing players or wide of the net than they did at the opposing goalie...

Injuries can only explain the poor decision-making, the lack of confidence with which the Wings have played and their plain old inefficient, self-defeating style of play against teams whose check-and-trap styles can be defeated by playing smarter than one's opponent.

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Red Wings will play without Pavel Datsyuk tonight

Ass barns. Now we know why the Red Wings recalled Gustav Nyquist, and the Wings did so because one of their most important players is "banged-up":

Update: Khan knew who was hurt, and he had an article fired up and ready to go (via RedWingsFeed)...

Datsyuk is out for tonight's game against the Anaheim Ducks at Joe Louis Arena due to an unspecified injury. General manager Ken Holland said Datsyuk is day-to-day.

That is why the club recalled Gustav Nyquist from the Grand Rapids Griffins.

Valtteri Filppula will move to center, on a line with Nyquist and Justin Abdelkader. The other top line features Henrik Zetterberg centering Damien Brunner and Daniel Cleary.

Datsyuk played 20:08 in Wednesday's 4-3 overtime loss to St. Louis. He practiced on Thursday but did not take part in Friday's optional morning skate.

And the Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness confirms:

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Red Wings send a ‘Gus’ down, but it’s not the one you’re thinking of

Per MLive's Ansar Khan, good news for one of the Red Wings' players who's nicknamed "Gus":
 

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Khan, Pleiness offer Red Wings injury updates, report that Nyquist will play tonight

Not good, not good. MLive's Ansar Khan wasn't able to get Red Wings GM Ken Holland name of the player who won't be able to play tonight against the Anaheim Ducks (it's on at 7:30 PM on FSD and Prime Ticket, but all of a sudden, there's confusion as to whether it will air on the NHL Network or not, so we don't know if it's gonna be blacked out for GCL and Center Ice subscribers!), necessitating the recall of Gustav Nyquist from the Grand Rapids Griffins--who the Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness reports will play this evening...

But Khan and Pleiness were able speak to Holland about the rest of the Wings' injuries, and the news on Todd Bertuzzi is particularly distressing. It sounds like he's going to be gone for a month or more:

 

Todd Bertuzzi (back): “His lower back is bothering him. I got to believe he's out indefinitely, probably a minimum of a couple weeks. Even when he gets back, it's going to take a week or two to get up and running. Trying to the the flare-up to go down.''

Bertuzzi is in a lot of pain, but tests revealed no significant damage, just inflammation.

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Ten minutes with former Red Wings captain Nicklas Lidstrom

Updated w/ text at 4:13 PM: The Detroit Red Wings' morning skate ahead of tonight's game against the Anaheim Ducks (7:30 PM, FSD/Prime Ticket/97.1 FM) was somewhat quiet...Until we learned that the Wings have recalled Gustav Nyquist as someone Ken Holland won't name is injured up front, we found out that today's game marks Jordin Tootoo's 500th NHL appearance, that this weekend will be the "Fathers' Trip," and we found out that Nicklas Lidstrom spoke to the Red Wings' media corps.

Thankfully, the Windsor Star's Bob Duff posted a video of the entirety of the time that Lidstrom took out of his day to speak with the media.  Lidstrom's very happily retired  for good, and he sounds incredibly content with his post-hockey-playing life:

Duff posted Wings coach Mike Babcock's game-day presser, too:

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Red Wings-Ducks game-day updates: Lidstrom talking, Nyquist recalled

Updated 12x at 4:20 PM: Gustav Nyquist has been recalled, Khan says another Wings forward is banged-up: The Detroit Red Wings are preparing to face off against the Anaheim Ducks tonight (7:30 PM, FSD/Prime Ticket/and as noted by @eyesris on Twitter, the NHL Network will no longer cover tonight's game, so yay, no Center Ice/GameCenter Live blackout!/97.1 FM) , and the Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness reports that the Wings are doing so under some noticeably watchful eyes (who will be signing autographs from 12-1:30 PM at 97.1 FM's SportsFest tomorrow in Novi):

So no gnus is no gnus on the injury front, as we were told to expect yesterday...

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Red Wings-Ducks set-up and overnight report: still banged-up, and Howard talks contract turkey

The Detroit Red Wings face off against the Anaheim Ducks tonight (7:30 PM, FSD/Prime Ticke/NHL Network U.S.--so that means that Center Ice and GameCenter Live Online users are screwed via an NHL Net blackout yet again!/97.1 FM, and tonight is a Niklas Kronwall "Fathead Friday") facing a stiff test in more ways than one.

The 9-2-and-1 Ducks are coming off a pair of shootout wins and possess a 6-and-1 February record, they're relatively (Jonas Hiller ["lower body"] and Cam Fowler ["upper body"] are out), they haven't played since Tuesday's 3-2 shootout win over Chicago, and their interim goalie, 30-year-old rookie Viktor Fasth, boasts a 6-and-0 record, a 1.74 goals-against average and a .933 save percentage.

The Red Wings, as you already know, are coming off a disappointing and distressing 4-3 overtime loss to St. Louis on Wednesday, and the Wings will wrap up their four-game home stand minus some significant size and strength in Todd Bertuzzi (back) and Johan Franzen (back), in addition to the usual injury parade.

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Red Wings Thursday practice post, part 2: the status is quo on the injury front; on Kevlar socks

Updated 2x at 4:44 PM: I headed out of the office during the middle of the Red Wings' Thursday practice at Joe Louis Arena, and having come home from my doctor's appointment (okay, technically, I went to see my case manager at CMH), there just isn't much new to report on the personnel front. The Wings will employ their same lineup, same goaltender and probably their same lines from Wednesday's 4-3 OT loss to St. Louis, and no news is not good news regarding Johan Franzen, as MLive's Ansar Khan reports:

Detroit Red Wings forward Johan Franzen didn't practice today and will remain sidelined for Friday's game against the Anaheim Ducks at Joe Louis Arena (7:30 p.m., Fox Sports Detroit) and perhaps longer. Franzen missed Thursday's 4-3 overtime loss to St. Louis due to a sore hip flexor.

Asked if Franzen is day-to-day, coach Mike Babcock said "day-to-day is usually 10. I don't know.''

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Red Wings Thursday practice post in progress: no changes on the injury front

The Detroit Red Wings are back on the ice at Joe Louis Arena, hoping to rebound from a 4-3 OT loss to St. Louis despite facing a very, very tough task on Friday in battling the 9-2-and-1 Anaheim Ducks, who haven't played since defeating the Blackhawks 3-2 in a shootout on Tuesday. I'm going to be out of the office from about 12:30-2, so if there's big breaking injury news, Paul will fill in, but thus far, it sounds like more of the same at the Joe in terms of injury issues:

I've preached patience galore regarding Wings fans' near-foaming-at-the-mouth-declarations that the team must, must, must recall Gustav Nyquist, but it's worth noting that the Grand Rapids Griffins called up Andrej Nestrasil from Toledo today...

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Red Wings coach Mike Babcock’s preaching a new puck possession mantra

Perhaps the most interesting  "sidebar" story to emerge from the Red Wings' 4-3 OT loss to the St. Louis blues involved Red Wings coach Mike Babcock's declaration that his team's personnel changes (see; no Nicklas Lidstrom, Brad Stuart or Brian Rafalski, with no real replacements found) and injuries on defense (see: Brendan Smith, Carlo Colaiacovo, and at times this season, Jonathan Ericsson and Ian White) has required the Red Wings to adapt their puck possession system to accommodate a less-skilled puck-moving defensive corps.

Babcock doesn't believe that the team needs to abandon the system of puck possession hockey that's worked for almost twenty years and eighteen-and-a-half seasons, but Babcock told the Windsor Star's Bob Duff that his team plays a slightly different brand of "Red Wings hockey" now:

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About The Malik Report

The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.

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