Red Wings defenseman Niklas Kronwall has missed the last five games for Detroit with an upper body injury and he’s going to miss two more before the season is over with. With the Wings closing out their season with two games against the playoff hopeful Chicago Blackhawks, Kronwall will be sitting out those final two games so he’s ready to go at the start of the playoffs next week.
We’re not sure if that news is more upsetting for Red Wings fans or Dallas Stars fans as Kronwall’s presence on the ice is one that opponents must take note of lest they get physically crushed. For the Stars, they were hoping Detroit could have him out there to disrupt the Blackhawks and help the Stars attempt to get into the playoffs by knocking off Chicago.
Instead, Chicago gets to face off against an injury weary Detroit team that’s without Kronwall and likely without Henrik Zetterberg as well. While Detroit could still land the two seed in the Western Conference playoffs (they’re just one point behind San Jose), it’s clear their focus is just to get everyone healthy and ready for the playoffs.
This doesn’t mean that Detroit is going to roll over in their final two games with Chicago, rivalries have that way of making sure the blood pressure still runs high, but with Chicago having all the motivation in the world to win and Detroit trying to not get anyone else hurt you could see how a little heat might be off of tonight’s game in Detroit.
Flames keep showing life, Stars stumble once again
If you think the Dallas Stars are struggling because of defense more than anything else, then you’ll make sure to keep the video above “on file.”
There Kari Lehtonen was, helpless on a 2-on-0 rush for the Calgary Flames, which Johnny Gaudreau finished with calm and ease. For some, that goal is the symbol of the Stars’ season.
Either way, it was a painful goal in the Flames’ 2-1 win against the Stars. Calgary won despite Dallas firing 30 shots on goal versus the Flames’ 20.
One team climbing, the other stumbling
With that, the Flames are now on a four-game winning streak. Since falling to 5-10-1 on Nov. 12, the Flames have gone 9-3-1 in their last 13 games, pushing them to 14-13-2 overall. Gaudreau coming back is the icing on the cake after Chad Johnson really took charge of the Flames’ top job.
During a similar span, the Stars can’t seem to get it together. Dallas stood at 6-6-3 after beating the Oilers 3-2 on Nov. 11. They’re now 10-11-6, essentially standing in place as a .500 team.
Dallas can’t seem to get momentum going, a thought that might have left them envious of the team on the other end of the ice on Tuesday.
On Tuesday, it wasn’t just about Jack Eichel vs. Connor McDavid. Instead, it was a clash between a fleet of young scorers who were in their prime, with the Buffalo Sabres coming up on top against the Edmonton Oilers.