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Red Wings evening news: Jurco out 2 weeks; Weiss still out; Mickey weighs in on the playoff climb

Updated 4x at 2:51 AM: I was just listening to Mickey Redmond's interview with Detroit Sports 105.1's Drew Lane, and Mickey--who you will be able to hear in a moment--suggested that Columbus Blue Jackets forward Blake Comeau in fact broke Red Wings forward Tomas Tatar's ribs with that unpunished and vicious cross-check that was lost in the shuffle of Comeau's 2-game suspension (it appears that Teemu Pulkkinen, possibly preferred in an either-or situation given Kirk Maltby's analysis of the David Legwand trade, will get half a dozen games to show what he can do at the NHL level):

That certainly seems to be the case given this Tweet from the Free Press's Helene St. James...

And here's Mickey speaking with Lane, discussing the Wings' awful third-period goal differential, their uphill climb in terms of making the playoffs and Comeau's shenanigans during the 4-1 loss:

The Detroit News's Ted Kulfan also outlined the playoff picture in specific detail while recounting the Wings' comments after last night's setback:

The Red Wings have nine home games left. But with a 12-11-9 record at Joe Louis Arena, home ice hasn’t been as comforting as years past. But the Red Wings also need to find a way to score goals.

They’ve scored one goal in the last two games, both losses, and are beginning to show the full effects of not having Pavel Datsyuk (knee) and Henrik Zetterberg (back surgery). Without the two stars, along with the loss of Darren Helm (concussion symptoms) and Stephen Weiss (sports hernia), the Red Wings are lacking offense.

In Tuesday’s first period, the Red Wings had 18 shots on net, three power plays, yet came away with only one goal.

“We had a couple of good looks, but we have to be able to score and take advantage of those opportunities,” [Niklas] Kronwall said.

The Wings still believe that they can get the job done, but it's going to be very difficult...

“They always say these are four-pointers (in the standings), but when I look at the standings it’s always two points,” Babcock said. “We have a game (Friday against Edmonton), and we have to get back at it the next game. It’s disappointing but there’s no sense dwelling on that. As excited as they (Blue Jackets) are, the emotions are the other way for us. But it’ll be over for them in a few minutes, the same with us.”

After Friday’s game against Edmonton, the Red Wings play 10 consecutive games against teams who are currently in playoff position. Overall, they only have four games (of the 17 left) against teams out of the playoffs.

“We still believe in what we have in here, but we have to do it for 60 minutes and put ourselves in good position and stay positive,” defenseman Niklas Kronwall said.

Again, Kulfan outlines the situation in detail, but if the Wings are to make the playoffs for the 23rd straight season, we can't see another game where Jonathan Ericsson finishes at -4 and everybody on the roster looks intimidated by their opponent.

Many of you have talked about the Wings' need to fight back in a literal sense given what Comeau did to Brendan Smith and Jurco, but the Wings have to take their game to their opponent and win to earn a measure of vengeance by the time Columbus and Detroit tangle again on the 25th.

Update: Just as I hit "submit entry"...

Update #2: In text form, from the Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness, on Jurco...

Jurco is suffering from a rib injury that occurred in Tuesday’s 4-1 loss at Columbus. According to Wings general manager Ken Holland he’ll miss 10-14 days and then be re-evaluated.

Pulkkinen leads Grand Rapids with 51 points (26 goals) in 60 games this season, taking full advantage of being the ‘go-to player’ with the departures of the likes of Gustav Nyquist, Tomas Tatar, Juro and Riley Sheahan.

“He’s got a very dangerous shot and he’s got a lot of confidence to shoot the puck,” said Jiri Fischer, who’s the Wings’ director of player development. “Off the rush, he’s not afraid to challenge defensemen one-on-one. He just wants to play well. He just wants to be better than the other guy.”

That wasn’t the case early on in Pulkkinen’s development, where he found himself a healthy scratch quite often with the Griffins last season.

“He didn’t take the next step after being the rookie of the year,” Fischer said. “I believe he thought it was going to be easier for him to get better. I think he snoozed a little bit. When he got called up to Grand Rapids, he didn’t earn the trust of (Griffins coach) Jeff Blashill to put him consistently in the lineup. He was basically watching in the press box for almost the entire playoffs.”

That’s when the light clicked on.

“Last year he started to work a little bit harder,” Fischer said. “He showed up in our development camp and he won the treadmill test. He showed up in great shape.”

And Weiss, etc.:

Wings general manager Ken Holland said that Stephen Weiss went back to see the doctor who performed his sports hernia surgery in Philadelphia and learned that the pain was from scar tissue and was normal. They hope to get more news in 7-10 days.

Jimmy Howard (flu) and Jonas Gustavsson (groin) are expected at practice Thursday.

Holland didn’t have an update on Darren Helm (concussion-like symptoms) and Daniel Cleary (knee).

Update #3: Here's the Free Press's St. James in article form:

Pulkkinen was called up from the minors Wednesday to offset the loss of Tomas Jurco, who general manager Ken Holland told the Free Press is out at least 10-14 days because of a rib injury.

Pulkkinen, 22, has 14 goals and 20 assists in 59 games this season with the Grand Rapids Griffins. He's a fourth-round draft pick of Detroit's dating to 2010.

Jurco said after Tuesday's 4-1 loss at Columbus, which dropped Detroit to 29-23-13, that he was hurt on a cross-check from Blake Comeau in the second period. The Wings don't play again until Friday when they host the Edmonton Oilers, which is why Wednesday was used as a day off. Normally injured guys would still go to Joe Louis Arena for treatment, but like many institutions in southeast Michigan, the Wings declared Wednesday a snow day and told everyone to stay home.

Jurco's injury is the latest to beset a team seemingly unable to go a game without losing someone — those sidelined in sick bay already include Henrik Zetterberg, Pavel Datsyuk, Darren Helm, Joakim Andersson and Stephen Weiss. Weiss has been told to keep pushing through pain that's set in as he seeks to come back from sports hernia surgery, indicating a return this season is still possible. Helm has been out since last week with concussion-like symptoms, but has at least started riding a bike.

Again:

Update #3.5: From MLive's Ansar Khan:

After experiencing a setback, Stephen Weiss went to Philadelphia to see Dr. Will Myers, who performed his sports hernia surgery on Dec. 23.

“The pain he’s feeling has more to do with scar tissue and normal rehab,” Holland said. “We’re hoping in the next 7-10 days we’ll get good news.”

Holland expected to have updates on Darren Helm (concussion symptoms), Daniel Cleary (knee) and Jonas Gustavsson (groin) Thursday, when the team returns to practice.

Helm has not skated since March 4, so his return isn’t imminent. He is riding the exercise bike. Gustavsson practiced on Tuesday and said doesn’t expect to be out much longer.

Update #4: This quip via DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose is...weird:

Jurco was injured during the second period of the Wings’ 4-1 loss at Columbus when he was deliberately cross-checked in the midsection by Blue Jackets forward Blake Comeau. Jurco did not play the third period of Tuesday’s game at Nationwide Arena.

On Wednesday, the league's department of player safety levied a two-game suspension on Comeau for his first-period illegal hit from behind on Red Wings defenseman Brendan Smith.

“He just hit me kind of hard. It was really sore,” Jurco said. “I didn’t think it would be good idea to skate around the ice, play at 50 percent. I couldn’t battle anymore for pucks, so I decided it would help team more (to sit out) than me just skating around and not doing anything. It’s been fun. I was here (Grand Rapids) last year, I got to know the guys and the coaches, what the game is, what it’s all about. It’s been great time. I’ve enjoyed it.”

Jurco joins a growing list of injured Red Wings that includes forwards Pavel Datsyuk (knee), Darren Helm (upper body), Daniel Cleary (knee) and Stephen Weiss (groin) and goalie Jonas Gustavsson (groin) whose status is day to day. Captain Henrik Zetterberg (back), center Joakim Andersson (broken foot) and forward Mikael Samuelsson (shoulder) are out.

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Comments

Primis's avatar

Interesting assertion by Maltby then, that the demand was one of Jarnkrok or Pulkkinen.  That means given the choice, DET kept the pure scorer over the more all-around player.

Posted by Primis on 03/12/14 at 08:14 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

Again, the Wings were apparently worried about Jarnkrok going back to Sweden, especially as someone who may have a) felt pigeonholed and b) has his hometown team to go back to and c) was more than a little uncooperative during the, “Let’s try to make you bigger and stronger” process over the past couple of years.

I’m not defending the trade—it still makes me cringe—but that appears to be the team’s rationale, and they know Jarnkrok better than we do.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 03/12/14 at 08:27 PM ET

Vladimir16's avatar

Is it October yet?

Posted by Vladimir16 from Grand River Valley on 03/12/14 at 09:24 PM ET

Vladimir16's avatar

This Jurco injury really gets me fired up. I really hate the fact Detroit is a team that gets pushed around at will. You see, I spent my youth defending people who were picked on and bullied. My cousin who was mentally retarted and my little brother was learning disabled and I would have to “police” these little dickheads that would pick on them. Anyhoo, its engrained in me to not put up with that kind of nonsense and ever since McCarty retired teams have taken liberties with our players. Despite the fact we’re getting to see the youth get serious ice time I’m having a real hard time watching this team. My liver is taking a serious beating

Posted by Vladimir16 from Grand River Valley on 03/12/14 at 09:36 PM ET

Hootinani's avatar

I had double hernia surgery about 3 years ago, and i still have pain from scar tissue when I work out.  If Weiss is waiting to be pain free, hes got a long wait ahead of him.

Still say Weiss is a headcase.

Posted by Hootinani on 03/12/14 at 10:46 PM ET

Avatar

When the doctor is telling you its normal that means suck it up. I know this from experience. He is going to be dealing with discomfort for at least another year. The fact that he went all the way back to the specialist to be told basically “you are fine"also means someone wasnt trusting our own medical staffs opinion?

Posted by brians neck on 03/12/14 at 11:39 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

The Red Wings pay doctors too much money to be spoken to in parlance. They’re paying top dollar for the truth, and Weiss needs to hear whatever the truth is.

He went back to *his surgeon.* Dr. Meyers performed the operation. Dr. Meyers has also worked on Draper, Chelios, Osgood and several other Wings who’ve had various types of sports hernias. He’s one of the best surgeons in the country. The Wings don’t retain someone to bullshit them.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 03/13/14 at 02:55 AM ET

alwaysaurie's avatar

George, I was curious about something & I was wondering if you know the answer.

(year) (team name) (league) GP G. A. Pt PiM
2010-11 Jokerit Helsinki SM-liiga 55 18 36 54 32
2011-12 Jokerit Helsinki SM-liiga 56 16 21 37 41
2012-13 Jokerit Helsinki SM-liiga 59 14 20 34 49

*I hope my spacing up above there worked.*

These are Pulkkinen’s stats in the 3 years after he was drafted in the Spring of 2010. Do you know(or can you ask someone who knows) why he had such a dramatic “apparent” regression in his play?

I’m not suggesting that this is a reason for concern. I’d like to be clear that my defining trait is “ignorance” and when I looked at these numbers I merely became curious.

Is the reason something like one of these?

* The 2010-11 team was phenomenal, the next two years the team wasn’t.
* The 2010-11 team was in such-and-such division/league/level but the next two seasons Jokerit-Helsinki played in a higher division/league/level.
* The 2010-11 team had so-and-so coaching working with such-and-such a system. Then the coach and the system both changed and Teemu struggled mightily to adjust his game. That’s actually why he came to N.Amer after that 2nd year, to get away from so-and-so.
* In 2010-11 he was placed on a line centered by so-and-so in order to make his transition easiest. In the next two years he was expected to be the “mentor” and his game didn’t follow him to that role very well. We don’t think this will be a problem going forward because his role with us isn’t going to be as “master mentor.”

P.S. I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned this, but I think you’ve got a great blog here. It’s a kiock to read the stuff you write. I hope your recovery has been going as smooth as can be expected.

Posted by alwaysaurie on 03/13/14 at 05:56 AM ET

alwaysaurie's avatar

Responding to myself:

Is this the answer, from the Director of Player Development?

“He didn’t take the next step after being the rookie of the year,” Fischer said. “I believe he thought it was going to be easier for him to get better. I think he snoozed a little bit.”

I take it Jiri Fischer is referring to his 2009-10 year(“rookie of the year”) and the two next years in Sweden(he snoozed”).

Posted by alwaysaurie on 03/13/14 at 06:07 AM ET

Avatar

This Jurco injury really gets me fired up. I really hate the fact Detroit is a team that gets pushed around at will. You see, I spent my youth defending people who were picked on and bullied. My cousin who was mentally retarted and my little brother was learning disabled and I would have to “police” these little dickheads that would pick on them. Anyhoo, its engrained in me to not put up with that kind of nonsense and ever since McCarty retired teams have taken liberties with our players. Despite the fact we’re getting to see the youth get serious ice time I’m having a real hard time watching this team. My liver is taking a serious beating

Posted by Vladimir16 from Grand River Valley on 03/12/14 at 09:36 PM ET

Do you really think Comeau would have fought anyone if we had a McCarty again? Probably not, guys like Comeau usually don’t fight, they are cheap shot artists.

Posted by George0211 on 03/13/14 at 08:06 AM ET

Vladimir16's avatar

Do you really think Comeau would have fought anyone if we had a McCarty again? Probably not, guys like Comeau usually don’t fight, they are cheap shot artists.

Posted by George0211 on 03/13/14 at 08:06 AM ET

Intimidation goes a long way out there. The Wings used to intimidate with their power play and toughness. They haven’t had either for a couple years. How’s that working out for them?

Posted by Vladimir16 from Grand River Valley on 03/13/14 at 10:30 AM ET

Avatar

Intimidation goes a long way out there. The Wings used to intimidate with their power play and toughness. They haven’t had either for a couple years. How’s that working out for them?

Posted by Vladimir16 from Grand River Valley on 03/13/14 at 10:30 AM ET

Everyone has always taken runs at the Wings. This same exact conversation has been going on for years between Wings’ fans. Wings are not intimidated by anyone, they’ve proven it over and over again. What exactly isn’t working out for them? They are losing games because they don’t have a good team right now, not because they are intimidated.

Posted by George0211 on 03/13/14 at 10:38 AM ET

Avatar

Everyone has always taken runs at the Wings. This same exact conversation has been going on for years between Wings’ fans. Wings are not intimidated by anyone, they’ve proven it over and over again. What exactly isn’t working out for them? They are losing games because they don’t have a good team right now, not because they are intimidated.

They are losing games because we have an entire *#$%@& first and 2nd line on the injured list. Get these piece of shit cheap shot artists out of here. Or we need to start drafting McCarty’s to shell out some damage.

Posted by Pasha1277 on 03/13/14 at 12:18 PM ET

Avatar

The Wings have more injuries than any other team in the league and it is not getting any better. I don’t think they are overly intimidated by gooney like that shown by Comeau.

However, they allowed the BJ’s to intimidate them into playing on the fringes for much of the game and are scared to take a penalty by retaliation, from my perspective. Other teams injure Wings’ players with impunity, often with no calls on blatant hits. They know that nobody on their own team is willing to go after guys who deliberately run at their team mates. That can’t be a comforting situation, especially in games where guys are taking these cheap shots. It does take them off their game.

Posted by NewfieWing on 03/13/14 at 03:58 PM ET

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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.