The Malik Report
by George Malik on 02/22/11 at 10:34 PM ET
This isn’t necessarily news to Red Wings fans in Metro Detroit, but Wings forward Mike Modano confirmed to NHL.com’s Brian Hedger that he will indeed return from a three-month absence due to torn tendons and nerve damage in his right wrist when the Wings play against the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday:
“There was a chance (to return against Dallas), but ... of all games to come back after such a long lay-off, I think the expectations are a little too high for that one,” said Modano, who had severed tendons in his wrist after a skate blade cut him during a Nov. 26 game against the Columbus Blue Jackets. “(I’ll) just start in Buffalo and it’s going to be five games in eight days on that trip. So it’ll be some crucial games here coming down the stretch.”
“There’s still some nerve issues there,” Modano, who will center Detroit’s third line and man one of the points on the second power-play, said of his wrist and hand. “That total sensation isn’t back, and that’s going to be a long time, but the strength is there. It feels good shooting. As far as getting involved in traffic and guys pushing on it, it feels good. The big test is Saturday.”
Modano hinted at at least considering to continue to play next season, if all goes well, for the Wings (who’d be happy to have him back):
“I think (this season) really will determine how I feel (about) coming back,” Modano said. “(I’m) just trying to do anything possible to try and get in the best shape I can and get prepared mentally and physically, and see if I can make a real big push here and be an impact (player) they’re hoping for me to be in the spring.”
Hedger also confirms that Valtteri Filppula (sprained left MCL) is hoping to return at the end of this week, either when the Wings host the Stars or on Saturday against Buffalo, and Chris Osgood (sports hernia and other fun stuff involving muscles and ligaments torn and shorn off bone) hopes to return to the Wings’ lineup by the end of next week:
“(I’m) pretty fired up about it,” he said. “(I’ve) been out long enough. When you sit and watch, everybody jokes around about your (400th win) ceremony, saying that I was retiring—and that wasn’t the case. So I’m pretty fired up about getting back on the ice to play again.”
Also: in the developmental realm: the Grand Rapids Griffins demoted Thomas McCollum to the Toledo Walleye because Griffins coach Curt Fraser has chosen to run with Jordan Pearce in the Griffins’ net for the time being;
And don’t forget that Jimmy Howard will take part in a “shootout challenge” at Clark Park in Detroit to benefit Metro Detroit hockey programs on Wednesday at 6 PM.
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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.