The Malik Report
by George Malik on 03/01/13 at 06:18 PM ET
Via RedWingsFeed, MLive's Brendan Savage spoke to Red Wings GM Ken Holland about the fact that the Red Wings continue to lead the NHL in man-games lost to injuries, and Holland delivered a more nuanced version of Wings coach Mike Babcock's, "Well, injuries give other guys opportunity, and help us see what we've got":
"We're obviously leading the National Hockey League in man games lost due to injury," Holland said Friday afternoon. "My feeling is a lot of good is going to come out of it. Tomas Tatar got a chance to play. Joakim Andersson's had a chance to play. Petr Mrazek had a chance to play. Brian Lashoff has had a chance to play. Justin Abdelkader is playing (with) more responsibilities.
"I'm hoping and believing we're developing a team. We're developing a lot more depth than if we were trotting out the same team every night. Now, saying all that, it's probably cost us some points in the standings but injuries are a part of sports. Last year, somebody else led the league in man games lost to injuries. The year before, somebody else led the league in man games lost to injuries. This year, it's our turn. I think a lot of good can come out of it. Adversity is team building. We all deal with our injuries. We happened to get ours early on."
Holland told Savage that there's nothing new to report regarding Darren Helm or Todd Bertuzzi's backs, Valtteri Filppula's sore shoulder or Mikael Samuelsson's shoulder, but Savage reports that Filppula or Carlo Colaiacovo may return to the lineup on Sunday...Barring developments from tomorrow's practice at the Joe (the Wings didn't get back from San Jose until 6:55 AM this morning):
"I asked Piet (Van Zant, the Red Wings' trainer) on the plane last night if (Filppula) could skate in practice tomorrow and play on Sunday and he doubled it," Holland said. "I would say right now he's doubtful for Sunday. But again, you get to the rink tomorrow, he says he feels good and wants to practice, he practices and feel good, then we engage in a conversion if should play or not. Right now, I would say based on my conversation, Filppula is doubtful."
Holland, in his 16th year as the Red Wings general manager, isn't panicking because of the all the injuries. He's been down this road before and with 27 games to play, anything can still happen. Back in 2009-10, the Red Wings were hit hard by injuries yet rebounded to post a 44-24-14 record. They finished second in the Central Division and their 102 points ranked fifth in the Western Conference and seventh in the overall standings.
"We got to the Olympic break, we were in ninth place, a point out" of the playoffs, Holland said. "We got everybody together, we went on a 13-2-2 run or something and made the playoffs, played Phoenix and then lost to San Jose. If you get hit with a lot of injuries and you're not able to win, you're probably not as deep as you think you are.
"We're doing a lot of good things. We're not even at the halfway point in the season. We're with the pack at the end of the day. Chicago is going to run away and hide. Chicago has the No. 1 seed. The best anybody in our division can do is have the No. 4 seed."
Is it just me, or are, "In saying that," "We've got more depth than we did last year" and "We're doing good things" this year's version of, "It's getting better and better" or "Day to day to day?"
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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.