The Malik Report
by George Malik on 04/07/11 at 01:41 PM ET
Updated repeatedly, most recently at 4:11 PM: Rut roh, per MLive’s Ansar Khan:
Detroit Red Wings forward Henrik Zetterberg is having an MRI this afternoon on his injured leg/ankle. General manager Ken Holland said this morning that the club will know more later this afternoon.
Update: Via the Red Wings’ Twitter account:
Draper: We aren’t sure how long Z will be out, but we are prepared to play without him this weekend.
And via 97.1 The Ticket’s Jeff Riger:
Draper sounding like Zetterberg is going to be out for a while but when I asked him how long he claimed he has no clue. Bizarre tone though
Zetterberg is in the building, hasn’t spoke yet though
Update #2 via the Macomb Daily’s Chuck Pleiness:
As expected Henrik Zetterberg is not on the ice at Joe Louis Arena after sustaining a lower-body injury in Wednesday’s 3-0 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes.
Zetterberg is having an MRI done to determine how bad the injury is and results will be known later today.
Update #3 12:57 PM: Per the Detroit News’s Ted Kulfan:
Red Wings star Henrik Zetterberg was to have an MRI exam Thursday for a leg injury, general manager Ken Holland told The Detroit News.
Holland said the team would have more information about the extent of Zetterberg’s injury later Thursday.
Zetterberg was hit by Carolina defenseman Bryan Allen and appeared to turn an ankle during Detroit’s 3-0 loss Wednesday night in Raleigh, N.C. Zetterberg was limping heading into the locker room.
Update #4 1 PM: Per DetroitRedWings.com’s Rick Bouwness:
The Central Division champion Red Wings will be looking to wrap up their 2010-11 home schedule in winning fashion on Friday, April 8, when they welcome the Chicago Blackhawks to the Motor City for a 7:30 p.m. EDT showdown at Joe Louis Arena. This contest will serve as the opening match of a regular season-ending home-and-home series between the regional adversaries.
Designated Fan Appreciation Night, several exciting giveaway items will be distributed to arena patrons throughout Friday’s game. Free squishy pucks compliments of Antonio’s Cucina Italiana will be given to the first 10,000 fans in attendance, as will Upper Deck ‘Original Six Rivalry’ trading card sets profiling past and present members of the Red Wings and Blackhawks. Cards featuring Detroit’s Mike Modano, Todd Bertuzzi and Steve Yzerman in addition to Chicago’s Duncan Keith, Patrick Kane and Stan Mikita will all be included in Friday’s set.
Meanwhile, every fan attending Friday’s game will receive:
* A free Red Wings poster compliments of Meijer and Coca-Cola
* A coupon redeemable for a free hair cut compliments of Great Clips
* A voucher for a complimentary game of bowling courtesy of SEMBCA
* A coupon for $5-off selected menu items courtesy of TGI Friday’s Restaurants
Furthermore, multiple lucky seat and row giveaways will be announced throughout the night on Friday, with fans of fortune set to win prizes courtesy of Fathead, Buffalo Wild Wings, Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram, AT&T, the University of Toledo, Carhartt, Andiamo’s Restaurants, Olympia Entertainment, Detroit Red Wings Authentics and the Detroit Tigers. The latest Carhartt Hardest Working Player of the Month will also be revealed prior to puck drop on Friday, while Red Wings players and management will acknowledge the NHL’s best fans during a series of pre-taped video segments.
Update 1:04 PM: Per the Detroit News’s John Niyo:
Wings’ Henrik Zetterberg working out off-ice with brace on his left knee. Expected to talk to media shortly.
And WXYZ’s Tom Leyden:
Waiting on Zetterberg to step into locker room and give us update. He’s lifting right now.
Update 1:06 PM: Per the Wings...
Babcock: Hank won’t play the next two games. He’s got a lower body injury and he’ll be day-to-day after that.
Babcock said he expects to have Zetterberg back for the playoffs. Won’t say at what point that would be.
And WXYT’s Riger:
Babcock says zetterberg wont play this weekend then after that he is “day to day”
Update 1:08 PM: From the Wings:
Babcock: Jimmy is starting tomorrow. No decision on Sunday.
Update 1:11 PM: From Tom Leyden:
Babcock: Zetterberg wont play this weekend. Day to day after that. Oh yeah, he’ll play in playoffs. #RedWings
Update 1:14 PM: From Leyden…
No boot or anything on Zetterberg’s leg - he did have MRI today. Limping, but as much as you’d expect with a tweaked ankle/foot
And the Sporting News’s Craig Custance:
Henrik Zetterberg out final two games of the season but Mike Babcock expects him back for the playoffs. Says he’s day to day.
And DetroitRedWings.com’s Bill Roose:
Waiting on #HenrikZetterberg in @DetroitRedWings locker room. Won’t play in last 2 games; but back for playoffs. Story to follow.
And now Zetterberg, via the Wings:
Zetterberg speaking to the media right now. No surgery needed. Injury isn’t as bad as he first feared it would be.
Update 1:18 PM: Per Leyden:
Zetterberg: Felt worse today than yesterday as expected but the news was good. Had this before, the pain was worse this time…
I will definitely play in the playoffs, delicate balance of rushing back and being able to play at level they need me to.” #RedWings
Update 1:22 PM: Per Riger:
Zetterberg says he is day to day as well after this weekend. He thinks he will absolutly play sometime during the playoffs
Update 1:24 PM: Niyo again:
Zetterberg was asked if he was sure no surgery & no tear, he said, “Well, there’s no surgery, that’s for sure. That was the good news.”
Update 1:29 PM: Per Kulfan:
It all depends on what “day to day” means.
Coach Mike Babcock just told reporters at practice Henrik Zetterberg (leg) will not play this weekend in the season’s final two games against Chicago.
Afer that? With the playoffs beginning next week?
Babcock said Zetterberg is day to day after that, which in the playoffs, in hockey, could mean any number of things.
Zetterberg could be back soon. Or he could be out for a long time.
The mystery of playoff injuries begins.
And Niyo again:
Zetterberg said knee was “a little worse today, as expected” and “next few days will be critical to see how fast I turn it around”
Update 1:33 PM: Here’s Pleiness:
Henrik Zetterberg will miss the final two regular season games against the Chicago Blackhawks.
After that his status will be listed as day-to-day.
Zetterberg had an MRI done on his leg Thursday and missed practice.
Zetterberg was hit at the Carolina blue line by Bryan Allen midway through the first period of the Wings’ 3-0 loss to the Hurricanes Wednesday night.
Zetterberg leads the Wings with 80 points.
Update 1:36 PM: Niyo again:
And to be clear, Zetterberg declined to diagnose injury, sticking with “lower-body injury” despite the new knee brace
Update 1:38 PM: The Wings’ website also posted a “thank you fans” video:
Update 1:40 PM: Here’s Khan’s update:
The playoffs start next week, but Detroit may have caught its biggest break of the post-season already. Henrik Zetterberg will miss the Red Wings’ last two games of the regular season, but the forward will be day-to-day after that, according to coach Mike Babcock.
Zetterberg had an MRI today, but the Red Wings would only describe the result as an unspecified lower body injury. He was working out in the training room, lifting weights with a brace on his left knee.
Zetterberg left Wednesday’s 3-0 loss to Carolina in the first period and did not return. The 30-year-old has appeared in all 80 of Detroit’s games so far this season, scoring 24 goals and 56 assists.
Via Lindsay on Twitter, the Wings are painting the steps outside the Joe with lists of the team’s 20 straight seasons of playoff qualification. No word as to whether the paint might make the steps less slippery.
Update 1:56 PM: Here’s Babcock’s presser…
Update 2:04 PM: Khan’s report now has quotes From Z:
“I will say it’s better than I thought,’’ Zetterberg said this afternoon following an off-ice workout at Joe Louis Arena. “The only thing I know is I won’t play this weekend. We’ll go day by day and see how much better it gets.’‘
“Feel a little worse today, as expected,’’ Zetterberg said. “It stiffened up a little bit. I think the next few days will be critical to see how fast I turn around and hopefully it will come sooner than later.’‘
He said no surgery is required.
“That was the good news,’’ Zetterberg said.
Asked if he could be out an extended period, he said, “Depends. Could be day by day by day by day by day. I did this before once. It’s definitely more pain this time than last time, so that kind of scared me at first. You just have to deal with it and hopefully it’ll heal fast.’‘
Asked how long he was out the last time he suffered this kind of injury, Zetterberg said, “Not that long.’‘
Is he sure he’ll be back for the playoff?
“Absolutely,’’ Zetterberg said.
The Red Wings will be without forward Henrik Zetterberg for the final two games of the regular season but coach Mike Babcock said he expects Zetterberg back for the playoffs.
“Oh yeah,” Babcock said. “He won’t play the next two games; he’s got a lower body injury. He’ll be day to day after that.”
Zetterberg was injured during Detroit’s loss to the Hurricanes on Wednesday night and the star Swede was expected to have an MRI exam today on his leg according to the Detroit News. That’s a bit of good news for fans who feared the worst when Zetterberg left the game against the Hurricanes.
It’s also a break for the Chicago Blackhawks who face the Red Wings in the final two games of their season, while fighting to make the playoffs. Babcock expects a desperate Chicago team in those two games but said there’s plenty on the line for Detroit too, despite clinching the division.
“I’d like to finish ahead of San Jose,” he said. “They’re going to be tough games for us.”
Update 2:21 PM: Per the Free Press’s Carlos Monarrez:
Zetterberg is the team’s leading scorer and has not missed a game this season. Babcock said Zetterberg had an MRI exam but gave few other details.
“I expect him to be day to day,” Babcock said when asked whether he expected Zetterberg to be ready for the playoff opener. “He’s not playing the next two games, and he’s day-to-day after that.”
Zetterberg wore a brace on his left knee when he spoke with reporters after the Wings’ practice today at Joe Louis Arena. Like Babcock, Zetterberg gave few specifics but indicated he was somewhat relieved by the medical test results.
“I did an MRI, so it’s definitely—I will say it was better than I thought,” Zetterberg said.
And DetroitRedWings.com’s Bill Roose:
“We didn’t really know the severity of it; we just had to wait today and get the MRI,” Zetterberg said. “I will say it was better than I thought. The only thing we know is that I won’t play this weekend, and then we will go day-by-day and see the progress and see how much better it gets.”
Zetterberg would not elaborate on the nature of the injury, but also didn’t think that the injury will hold him out of the lineup for a prolonged length of time.
“It may be day by day by day by day by day by day by day and still not be better,” said Zetterberg with a grin. “I’m not a doctor.”
For the first time in his NHL career, Zetterberg was poised to play in all 82 games of a season, making the injury even more frustrating.
“This is when the fun time starts. You want to be healthy; you want to be ready to go,” he said. “I will say you’re never 100 percent this time of year, but you want to be able to help the team. It did feel a little worse today, which was expected and it feels a little stiff, but the next few days will be critical.”
“I think the worst part is just the timing,” veteran center Kris Draper said. “We’re two games out from the playoffs starting and that’s what we kept saying about getting healthy down the stretch and going into the playoffs. We lost one of our top players and that’s tough, but we’re going to have to deal with that. We’ve played without top players before and guys are going to have to elevate their game.”
Update 2:26 PM: Per Tom Leyden:
Red Wings forward Henrik Zetterberg will miss the final two regular season games and will officially be listed as day-to-day when Detroit starts its first playoff series.
Zetterberg did not take part in the Red Wings practice today at Joe Louis Arena, but he was in the locker room lifting weights with his teammates afterwards. He was wearing a brace on his knee and walking with a limp, but did say he was encouraged after learning the results of the MRI that was taken on his leg earlier in the day.
Head coach Mike Babcock said clearly, many times, “He’s out for the weekend with a lower-body injury. After that he’s day-to-day.” When asked if he thought Zetterberg would play in the playoffs, Babcock said, “Oh yeah.”
Zetterberg concurred that he will be on the ice as soon as possible and will be available for the playoffs.
Zetterberg did confirm no surgery was necessary, but refused to go into detail on the nature of the injury, saying, “I’m not a doctor.”
“I’ll definitely say its better than I thought,” Zetterberg said Thursday after an MRI exam. “The only thing I know is that I won’t play this weekend and starting Monday we’ll go day-by-day and see how much better it gets.”
The Wings’ regular season ends Sunday in Chicago; their first-round playoff series will start next Wednesday or Thursday. When asked if he’d return at some point in the playoffs, Zetterberg said, “Absolutely.”
Zetterberg didn’t practice Thursday and was wearing a brace while walking with a considerable limp. “The next few days will be critical to how fast it turns around,” he said.
Zetterberg said the injury would not require surgery but dodged questions regarding specifics of the injury. When asked if he’d be ready for the playoffs, Zetterberg said: “It depends. It could be day by day.”
Zetterberg said he’s had the same injury previously and didn’t miss too much time.
“I did this before once and it was more pain this time than last time, and that kind of scared me at first,” he said. “I just have to deal with it and hopefully it heals fast.”
Zetterberg, who had an MRI on Thursday morning and then lifted weights while his teammates practiced, said the injury wasn’t as bad as he originally feared.
“I did this before and it was more painful this time and that scared me,” said Zetterberg, who wore a brace on his left knee.
His upper left leg also appeared to be wrapped under a long sock and he walked with a limp.
The Red Wings’ two remaining regular-season games are both against the Chicago Blackhawks. Chicago visits Detroit at Joe Louis Arena on Friday night for a 7:30 contest and the Red Wings travel to the United Center for the regular-season finale at 12:30 on Sunday afternoon in a NBC nationally-televised game.
The defending Stanley Cup champion Blackhawks are fighting to make the playoffs and are currently in the eighth and final Western Conference playoff spot. Chicago beat Detroit 3-2 in overtime on March 28, at Joe Louis Arena.
“We’re playing a team next that’s going to do everything it can to get in the playoffs and move up,” Babcock said. “ … Chicago beat us in here last time and it was a good game. Both teams had opportunities. It will really be a good challenge for our team.”
Update 4:04 PM: WXYZ’s Tom Leyden filed a video report.
Update 4:07 PM: NHL.com’s Dan Rosen rehashed the story:
“We didn’t really know the severity of it; we just had to wait and get the MRI,” Zetterberg, who was hurt in the first period of Wednesday’s 3-0 loss, said according to DetroitRedWings.com. “I will say it was better than I thought. The only thing we know is that I won’t play this weekend, and then we will go day-by-day and see the progress and see how much better it gets.”
Zetterberg was hurt when he fell awkwardly to the ice following a hit by Carolina defenseman Bryan Allen. He played one more shift before limping into the dressing room. He did not return and did not practice with his teammates Thursday.
“I expect him to be day-to-day,” Wings coach Mike Babcock said according to the Detroit Free Press. “He’s not playing the next two games, and he’s day-to-day after that.”
Zetterberg was hoping to play in all 82 regular season games for the first time in his career. He’ll have to settle for 80, which is still one better than his previous career high of 79, a mark he hit as a rookie in 2002-03.
“This is when the fun time starts. You want to be healthy; you want to be ready to go,” Zetterberg said. “I will say you’re never 100 percent this time of year, but you want to be able to help the team. It did feel a little worse (Thursday), which was expected and it feels a little stiff, but the next few days will be critical.”
Update 4:11 PM: Via ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun:
Detroit Red Wings star center Henrik Zetterberg will be out at least the remaining two regular-season games, coach Mike Babcock told ESPN.com Thursday.
Babcock added that once the playoffs roll around next week, the team will re-evaluate Zetterberg’s lower-body injury.
The injury is to Zetterberg’s left knee, according to the Detroit News.
Zetterberg suffered the injury when he collided with Carolina defenseman Bryan Allen midway through the first period in a 3-0 loss to the Hurricanes.
Zetterberg was seen wearing a brace on his left knee and limping at practice Thursday.
“I’ll definitely say its better than I thought,” Zetterberg said Thursday after an MRI exam, according to the Detroit newspapers. “The only thing I know is that I won’t play this weekend and starting Monday we’ll go day-by-day and see how much better it gets.”
Zetterberg has a team-best 80 points and entered with 11 points in his previous 10 games.
“We’re hopeful and we’ll what happens,” Babcock told ESPN.com.
Also of Red Wings-related note: Nicklas Lidstrom is still up against Ryan Kesler in the semifinals of the fan voting portion of the Mark Messier Leadership Award’s selection, so give Nick a hand if you can;
• According to Marketingmag.ca, Danny Cleary will be the Wings’ resident “Beardathon” Chairman of the Beard;
• The Wings’ playoff moment of the day on its “Twenty Straight” website involves
• In the charitable news department, from the Southgate News-Herald’s Jim Kasuba:
A familiar face to Detroit Red Wings’ fans will be serving as a guest bartender to benefit a local group that cares for homeless animals.
Retired NHL star John Ogrodnick will be serve drinks from 6 p.m. to close tomorrow at Solero Cafe, 118 Sycamore, in an event to benefit the Wyandotte Animal Shelter’s Pound Pals Downriver.
Ogrodnick will lead a team of guest bartenders participating in the fund-raising event. Ten percent of all proceeds from the evening will be donated to the shelter, as well as all bartending tips.
Proceeds and donations support the nonprofit Pound Pals Downriver, which is a 501(c)3 organization that funds veterinary care for injured or ill animals that come into the shelter.
• And the Grand Rapids Griffins’ “Afternoon Shift” discusses the tough road the Griffins face in terms of attempting to make the playoffs:
Whether it was the first chapter in a historic playoff push or simply a delaying of the inevitable, the Griffins displayed their character on Wednesday night with a 2-1 win at Milwaukee. Not only did the victory keep Grand Rapids’ flickering postseason hopes from being extinguished, but it also prevented the Admirals from wrapping up the West Division title. It also marked just the 21st regulation loss of the season for Milwaukee, no small feat in that only regular season champion Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (20) has been held without a point fewer times this year.
In short, here is the mountain the Griffins still must scale in order to qualify for the Calder Cup Playoffs: Grand Rapids has to win its final three games, Oklahoma City has to lose its final three games, and several other results involving Chicago, San Antonio and Abbotsford have to fall the Griffins’ way.
It’s a fine line between hope and delusion, one that we’ve been toeing since Grand Rapids’ recent, crushing five-game losing streak began. But in regards to the baby steps of a Griffins playoff journey, only three of the AHL’s 13 games on Friday matter, and each necessary outcome involves a win by the home team.
Obviously, the Griffins must beat Abbotsford in their home finale. Second, Peoria must defeat Chicago in regulation. Third, San Antonio must beat Oklahoma City.
Miscellaneous update from the Wings’ Twitter account:
John Ogrodnick will be the alumni guest at our Official Viewing Party at @MotorCityCasino on Sunday!
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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.