The Malik Report
by George Malik on 11/20/13 at 12:15 AM ET
Updated 3x at 12:10 AM: The Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness was the first to the punch with bad news about Red Wings defenseman Danny DeKeyser, who suffered a shoulder injury on a hit from Patric Hornqvist during Tuesday night's loss to Nashville:
The Wings have lost defenseman Danny DeKeyser for up to 1-2 weeks with a left shoulder separation according to general manager Ken Holland.
DeKeyser will have further tests done Wednesday to determine the severity of the injury.
DeKeyser was hit into the boards by Nashville’s Patric Hornqvist on just his second shift of Tuesday’s 2-0 loss to the Predators.
DeKeyser has two goals and six assists in his last 11 games.
For whatever reason, NHL.com chose to post a video of the hit, so here it is:
MLive's Ansar Khan and the Free Press's Helene St. James confirm:
Update: DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose confirms:
Rookie Danny DeKeyser is the latest after leaving Tuesday’s game early in obvious pain following a collision with Nashville forward Patric Hornqvist.
“He's out for a bit,” coach Mike Babcock said following the Wings’ 2-0 loss to the Predators. “I don't know the total details. I don't know if anybody has come out and decided anything or if they're going to wait ‘til tomorrow to tell you exactly how long it'll be. But he's definitely not playing this week.”
Wings GM Ken Holland said that DeKeyser will have tests on Wednesday to determine the severity of the injury, though speculation is that the Warren, Mich., native will miss 1-2 weeks with some type of separation.
DeKeyser was hurt at 3:41 of the opening period when he was driven hard into the end boards behind the Red Wings’ net. He skated off under his own strength but clearly appeared to favor his left shoulder.
Update #2: MLive's Ansar Khan also confirms:
“He’s going to go for tests (Wednesday),’’ Holland said. “(Team doctors) looked at it and said he needs further assessment. He’s out at least 1-2 weeks, depending on what they see. It’s some type of separation, but we don’t know the severity.’’
Missing DeKeyser for any length of time is a significant loss.
“Obviously, he's a real good player for us, he gets the puck going, he's a good transitional (defenseman),’’ coach Mike Babcock said. “If you watched (Seth) Jones for (Nashville) tonight, you see what a transitional D can do to get the puck going fast. He's out for a bit. I don't know the total details. I don't know if anybody has come out and decided anything or if they're going to wait 'til tomorrow to tell you exactly how long it'll be. But he's definitely not playing this week.’’
DeKeyser had eight points (two goals, six assists) in his past 10 games before Tuesday, after picking up just one point in his first 11 games. Overall, he has nine points and a plus-5 rating, while averaging 21:46 in ice time.
Among rookie defensemen, DeKeyser ranked second in the NHL in points to Boston’s Torey Krug (12 points), second in plus-minus rating to Anaheim’s Hampus Lindholm (plus-14) and second in average ice time to Jones (24:04) prior to Tuesday.
Khan also posted a video of Babcock discussing DeKeyser's absence:
Update #3: The Free Press's Helene St. James spoke with the Wings' players about DeKeyser's likely absence:
"It's tough," Henrik Zetterberg said. "Danny is a good defenseman, has been playing well for us. Seeing him go down - I don't know how bad it is or how long he's going to be gone, but obviously it's a piece of time that we're not going to have him."
DeKeyser, 23, has shown impressive growth since joining the Wings straight out of Western Michigan last spring, leapfrogging guys like Kyle Quincey and Brendan Smith on the depth chart. While Jonathan Ericsson nursed a shoulder injury for a good month, DeKeyser used the time to show how much help he can be in getting the puck to the forwards.
"He's a real good player for us, really gets the puck going, is good at transitional D," Babcock said. " If you watch (Seth) Jones for them tonight, you just see what transitional D do to get the puck going so fast."
Babcock included DeKeyser in some heady company while talking after the morning skate, saying that just as with Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg, DeKeyser makes whoever he plays with a better player. That's how highly the Wings have come to rate DeKeyser. The Wings are left with six healthy defensemen in Kronwall, Ericsson, Quincey, Smith, Jakub Kindl and Brian Lashoff.
"DK has been great for us all season long," Kronwall said. "He's been huge for us ever since he came in here last season. Obviously, a blow to the team. But at the same time, gives other guys more opportunity to show what they can do."
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