The Malik Report
by George Malik on 02/26/12 at 03:02 AM ET
As noted earlier this evening, the Detroit Red Wings will have to give Jakub Kindl and Mike Commodore at least a few weeks’ worth of attempts to regain their jobs—alongside the newly-acquired Kyle Quincey—as Jonathan Ericsson was lost to a broken wrist, as reported by MLive’s Ansar Khan...
Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said defenseman Jonathan Ericsson will be out one month with a chipped fracture in his left wrist.
Ericsson was injured early in the second period, apparently when he was hit by the puck while killing a penalty. It apparently happened before his right wrist was hit by Gabriel Landeskog’s stick on the follow-through of a shot in front of the Detroit net.
And NHL.com’s Brian Hedger:
Defenseman Jonathan Ericsson, who’d been paired with Quincey since his arrival on Thursday, fractured his left wrist less than a minute into the second period of a 4-3 loss to the Colorado Avalanche on Saturday night at Joe Louis Arena and will miss at least the next four weeks.
“He’s going to be out a month,” coach Mike Babcock said. “Bit of a chipped fracture in his wrist, so he’ll be about a month.”
Ericsson was on the ice to start the second period as part of a penalty-killing unit trying to thwart the remaining 33 seconds of a Colorado power play that began at the end of the first. After taking a spill in the left circle of the defensive zone off the opening faceoff, he started playing one-handed for the rest of his shift.
He finished the shift, the Wings killed off the penalty and he left the ice without returning. Detroit will now likely use Quincey as its every-game fifth defenseman and go back to picking his partner—either rookie Jakub Kindl or veteran Mike Commodore—on a game-to-game basis until Ericsson returns.
Ericsson has one goal and nine assists, but is plus-18 and his 6-foot-4, 221-pound frame will be missed in front of the net defensively.
“It gave me a chance to play with everybody, that’s for sure,” said Quincey, who played with different partners throughout the third period with only five active defensemen left. “Big E is a big loss for us. Hopefully it’s not too serious and we can get him back soon.”
Khan believes that the Wings may have to acquire yet another depth defenseman, but given the going rate for said players and the Wings’ pretty clear need for some reinforcements up front as Pavel Datsyuk won’t be skating until Monday—meaning that he’s anywhere between 4 and 7 days away from returning from knee surgery—I’m guessing that Holland will see what Kindl and Commodore can do when given secnod chances.
Update: Here’s what Ken Holland had to say about Ericsson’s injury to DetroitRedWings.com’s Bill Roose:
Ericsson was injured during his first shift of the second period when he was struck by a puck above the glove from a Gabriel Landeskog shot in the slot.
“Everybody wants depth at this time of year,” Holland said. “It’s the NHL, it’s a physical game, there’s going to be injuries.”
Fortunately for the Wings, they have a surplus of defensemen with Jakub Kindl and Mike Commodore in town, and veteran Doug Janik and rookie Brendan Smith down in Grand Rapids. The Wings can expand the roster without restrictions beginning Monday once the NHL trade deadline passes.
The Griffins are in desperate playoff straits themselves, so I don’t expect them to be donating defensemen to the Wings for the sake of an extra body, but I do believe that if Kindl and Commodore falter, we’ll see Janik and Smith rotated in in short order.
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