Detroit will start their playoff series against the Phoenix Coyotes this week without a vital member of their lineup. Henrik Zetterberg has missed the team’s last two games with a knee injury suffered against Carolina early last week and now they’ll be without him for at least the start of the playoffs against the Coyotes this week.
Without Zetterberg to start the series, the Wings will be without one of their top two-way forwards and in Zetterberg he’s their top point producer. With 24 goals and 56 assists, Zetterberg’s 80 points are a team best and cutting out that sort of production from the Wings lineup going into a series facing Coyotes goalie Ilya Bryzgalov and Dave Tippett’s defensive-minded team, the Wings have to feel good about starting at home to give them that advantage.
Expect Detroit to do what they did today against Chicago in their 4-3 win on NBC’s Game of the Week to try and handle Phoenix while Zetterberg is out. Lots of work from Pavel Datsyuk and getting guys like Todd Bertuzzi, Dan Cleary, and Tomas Holmstrom more involved as well as more looks for Johan Franzen. It’s tough to feel bad for Detroit with a lineup like that, but Zetterberg is key to their hopes of making it to the Stanley Cup final.
This hasn’t been the best night for St. Louis sports fans.
Obviously, the MLB’s Cardinals getting bounced from the playoffs is a bigger deal, but the Blues face bad news, too.
While they’re currently leading the Calgary Flames by a score of 4-3, they’ll need to hang on without Kevin Shattenkirk, whose night is over thanks to a lower-body injury.
There’s no word yet on how severe the issue might be.
Naturally, the Blues must hope that it’s minor, as Shattenkirk is one of the NHL’s truly underrated assets on the blueline.
Stephanie (@MyRegularFace) tracked down a moment when the injury may have happened:
It’s not all rosy for the Flames, either, as Lance Bouma suffered an injury as well.
In some ways, it really felt like their first-round series.
For all the talent on both ends of the rink with the Detroit Red Wings and Tampa Bay Lightning, each squad can really smother opponents defensively when things go that way.
Through two periods, the two teams were very quiet. Things really picked up when Justin Abdelkader unleashed a big hit, a moment that injected enough life into the proceedings for the Red Wings to eventually build a 3-1 win.
Maybe they’re slipping under the radar a bit compared to previous iterations of the team, but it’s interesting that the Red Wings are now undefeated in three games.
They’ve been impressive at times, too, outscoring opponents by a combined score of 11-4.
Call it a refreshing time after Mike Babcock or merely carryover from a subtly solid run last season, but either way, the Red Wings may just be able to keep up their end of a brewing rivalry.