The Malik Report
by George Malik on 03/12/14 at 05:34 PM ET
Columbus Blue Jackets Blake Comeau was suspended for 2 games because he boarded Red Wings defenseman Brendan Smith from behind--right into the view of the rink-side cameraman--and it certainly appears that the lack of a major penalty is the reason Comeau was suspended...
But the reason Red Wings fans like myself drew the ire of Blue Jackets fans (and staffers) by using words like "cheating" to describe Columbus's win (not that cheating in hockey is anything less than "part of the skill of the game," so preventing Petr Mrazek from making the save on the 1-1 goal and Matt Calvert pinning Jonathan Ericsson to the ice on the 3-1 goal, that stuff happens, and the reffing was dreadful on both sides) involves the reason that the Red Wings recalled Teemu Pulkkinen from Grand Rapids today:
Comeau very purposefully cross-checked Tomas Jurco above his hockey pants and below the chest-protecting part of his shoulder pads just under 5 minutes into the second period, and it is entirely possible that Comeau broke one or two of Jurco's ribs as a result:
MLive's Ansar Khan's report summarizes what we know about the situation as the Red Wings did not practice today
Forward Teemu Pulkkinen will make his NHL debut for the Detroit Red Wings Friday against the Edmonton Oilers at Joe Louis Arena (7:30 p.m., Fox Sports Detroit), after being recalled today from the Grand Rapids Griffins.
Pulkkinen will replace Tomas Jurco, who is out for at least that game due to a rib injury suffered in Tuesday's 4-1 loss at Columbus.
The fact that the Wings have already ruled Jurco out for a game taking place two evenings from today tells us that whatever happened wasn't a simple bump or bruise, and, as the Free Press's Helene St. James notes, Jurco joins a long list of injured Wings:
Jurco has been with the Wings since December, when he was called up to offset injuries. He has shown himself a capable top-six fill-in, with five goals and five assists in 26 games.
Jurco's injury is the latest to beset a team seemingly unable to go a game without losing someone — the injured already include Henrik Zetterberg, Pavel Datsyuk, Darren Helm, Joakim Andersson and Stephen Weiss.
In addition to Andersson (broken foot, out for at least 2 weeks), Datsyuk ('shut down" for three weeks due to a knee injury), Helm (concussion, hopefully back next week), Weiss (lingering pain after abdominal surgery, status unknown), and Zetterberg (out until at least the beginning of the playoffs due to surgery for a herniated disc), we don't know the status of Jonas Gustavsson, who was battling a groin injury on Tuesday, or Jimmy Howard, who had the flu, and while they haven't been playing in some time, Daniel Cleary (foot) and Mikael Samuelsson (???) are hurt as well.
I don't know if the Wings knew what happened to Jurco, but when the Wings and Blue Jackets renew acquaintances on Tuesday the 25th, it is entirely possible that the team may let Comeau know that the injury-inducing play the NHL didn't punish was also unacceptably dirty.
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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.