The Malik Report
by George Malik on 03/26/11 at 03:06 PM ET
As the Detroit Red Wings prepare to face off against the Toronto Maple Leafs tonight (7 PM, FSD/CBC/NHL Network/WXYT), the Wings received good news on the injury front, as the Detroit News’s Chris McCosky reports:
The Red Wings will have Todd Bertuzzi in the lineup tonight against the Maple Leafs after he missed one game with a sore back.
“It feels a lot better than before,” he said, after the team’s optional morning skate today. “I will have another treatment here in a bit, and I plan on playing.”
Defenseman Jonathan Ericsson (flu) also will be in the lineup. Still out are forwards Pavel Datsyuk (lower body) and Johan Franzen (groin); both skated this morning. Franzen could return Monday against Chicago, but Datsyuk said he didn’t think he’d be ready.
He said he was hoping to play at least the last four or five regular season games heading into the playoffs. If he holds to that, he would return in time to face Nashville on April 2.
Defenseman Ruslan Salei will be a healthy scratch tonight; Jakub Kindl will take his spot.
McCosky reports that the Wings sent Jan Mursak back to Grand Rapids, and MLive’s Ansar Khan spoke to Bertuzzi about his return...
“It feels a lot better than what it was,’’ Bertuzzi said.
As well as attempting to break a three-game losing streak against the Leafs:
“Playing in the Western Conference and playing the same teams over and over again it gets kind of repetitive,’’ Bertuzzi said. “So it’ll be nice to (play Toronto). It’ll enhance the enthusiasm in this room. We want to make sure our game’s at its best in all different areas—PK, PP, defensively, our shot totals. Those are things we got to build upon.’‘
Khan believes that the Wings will ice the following lineup…
And he believes the Leafs will ice the following lines—and Wings coach Mike Babcock’s very wary of the “unknown goalie factor” regarding Jame Reimer:
Nikolai Kulemin-Mikhail Grabovski-Clarke MacArthur
Joffrey Lupul-Tyler Bozak-Phil Kessel
Darryl Boyce-Nazem Kadri-Joey Crabb
Fredrik Sjostrom-Tim Brent-Mike Brown
Keith Aulie-Dion Phaneuf
Carl Gunnarsson-Luke Schenn
Mike Komisarek-Brett Lebda
James Reimer (starting)
My apologies for my one-day absence. I’ve been battling the same sinus infection for a month and it kicked me while I was down.
Update: The Free Press’s George Sipple reports that Chris Osgood has good news of his own to report…
Chris Osgood had a smile on his face today as he talked to reporters for the first time since wife Jenna gave birth to their third child and first son, Max.
“It was great,” Osgood said. “I can’t say I was hoping for a boy or girl. Didn’t matter to me, either way would have been great. Healthy was the main thing.”
And he discussed his delayed recovery in battling back from extensive surgery to repair much more than a sports hernia:
“I wasn’t even sure if I was going to play because of the standings and they’re worried I haven’t played in a while,” Osgood said. “I thought it was better to back off and rest it. When I went in the doctor did say it was eight to twelve weeks, that’s how long I was going to be out. Obviously I was hoping that it would be earlier, that I’d recover faster or something would happen. But it hasn’t ended up happening like that. It’s been 10 weeks now.”
Osgood said he’s hoping to get a good week of practice in and then “hopefully maybe I can get into a game before the season ends.”
Osgood said it was tough to know “when to back off and when to go hard” in the recovery from the sports hernia surgery.
“The fact that I had so much done at one time has taken a lot longer,” Osgood said. “My goal is just to get healthy and feel real good and then take it from there.”
“Me thinking that would be the extreme to this point, because I don’t know what’s going to happen in the future, even this season,” he said. “Just get healthy and take it from there.”
Updated again: Per the Macomb Daily’s Chuck Pleiness:
Todd Bertuzzi (back) and Jonathan Ericsson (sickness) will both play tonight against the Toronto Maple Leafs.
“It feels a lot better than what it was,” Bertuzzi said after the morning skate.
Pavel Datsyuk (lower body) and Johan Franzen (groin) won’t play.
The Wings also sent Jan Mursak back to Grand Rapids. He won’t join the team tonight since the Griffins are on the road.
Jakub Kindl will replace Ruslan Salei on defense tonight.
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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.