December 22 2014
Red Wings Battered & Bruised but Winning
Detroit, MI- The Red Wings won their fifth game in a row on Sunday night at home against the Penguins 4-1. Detroit has won five in a row coming off the heels of a tough losing streak and with the win they move into third place in the highly competitive Eastern Conference.
Surprising as this recent surge may be, the Wings have recently had to scramble to find healthy bodies to stick in the lineup thanks to a string of injuries.
Pavel Datsyuk, Brendan Smith, and Riley Sheahan all left the Wings game in Winnipeg on December 11th. Datsyuk, the team’s scoring leader was able to return soon after with extra face protection as he recovers from a broken nose. Top four defenseman Brendan Smith suffered a strained groin and was able to return at full capacity after two weeks off the ice. Riley Sheahan, the franchise’s top prospect, suffered a sprained MCL and is unlikely to return until mid-January.
More recently defenseman Kyle Quincey and winger Wojtek Wolski were unable to finish Detroit’s game at home versus Washington. Quincey is still being evaluated while Wolski has been diagnosed with concussion symptoms isn’t expected back until late March at the earliest.
The rash of injuries has some questioning the defending Stanley Cup Champions’ toughness. Criticized last season for being over stocked with skilled players and unable to stand toe to toe with more physical teams, the front office was either unable or unwilling to address these claims in the off season.
“We know people say we have a soft team but we won the cup last year with basically this same squad.” Captain Henrik Zetterberg stated post game on Monday “There is concern about this rash of injuries but we’ll adapt and bring guys up from the AHL who are very capable. This is the NHL, injuries happen and when they do you adapt.” General Manager Rick Watkins stated when reached for comment. “As for this team’s toughness… No, no concern there.”