Wondering when Niklas Lidstrom might return to the Detroit lineup? Well, you’re not alone — head coach Mike Babcock is wondering as well.
“It’s a good question,” Babcock told the Detroit News when asked about Lidstrom’s return date. “I don’t know the answer to that.”
Lidstrom was held out of Tuesday’s 5-2 win over Columbus after taking a puck off the foot during Saturday’s loss to Colorado. The Detroit captain hasn’t practiced since and seems in real danger of missing his second straight game, a rarity for one of the most durable players in league history — Lidstrom has missed only 36 out of a possible 1,848 games, regular season and playoffs, during his 20-year career.
“We sent him back for tests,” Babcock explained. “He’s still sore. We adjusted his skate so he could skate, and we’ll see what happens.”
Getting Lidstrom back would be huge for Detroit’s battered blueline. Kyle Quincey (groin) was also held out of the Columbus game — though he says he feels fine and ready to play Friday — while fellow defenseman Jonathan Ericsson will be out for another 4-5 weeks with a fractured wrist. The Red Wings are classifying it as a “chipped bone” and have cleared Ericsson to resume skating tomorrow.
UPDATE: The Red Wings official Twitter feed reports Lidstrom has a deep bone bruise and will miss both Friday’s game against Minnesota and Sunday’s game against Chicago.
Thomas Greiss will be between the pipes for the New York Islanders when they host the Blackhawks tonight in Brooklyn.
Greiss was signed this offseason to back up Jaroslav Halak, who skated this morning but remains day-to-day with an upper-body injury.
“Jaro’s not 100 percent right now, so it was an easy decision,” coach Jack Capuano told Newsday. “Jaro’s progressing well and we’ll see how he is moving forward.”
Greiss will be backed up by J-F Berube, who was claimed off waivers from Los Angeles earlier in the week.
Corey Crawford will be in goal for Chicago.
These two teams meet again tomorrow at United Center.
— Michael Hutchinson goes for the Jets in New Jersey after Ondrej Pavelec got the win last night in Boston. Cory Schneider for the Devils.
— Henrik Lundqvist for the Rangers. Sergei Bobrovsky for the Blue Jackets in their opener.
— Jonathan Bernier for the Leafs. Jimmy Howard for the Red Wings in their opener.
— Mike Smith for the Coyotes. Jonathan Quick likely for the Kings, who will need a better effort than the one they had Wednesday against San Jose.
Related: Mike Smith seeing benefit from sports psychologist
Winnipeg forward Alex Burmistrov isn’t in line for a disciplinary hearing for his elbow to the head of Boston’s Patrice Bergeron on Thursday night, an NHL spokesman confirmed to PHT.
Burmistrov was tagged with an illegal check to the head minor late in the first period. Bergeron received a minor roughing penalty for retaliating on the Russian forward, but was able to finish the contest.
Afterward, B’s head coach Claude Julien expressed frustration with the hit.
“It will be interesting how that is being reviewed, and especially to an elite player in the league who’s had some [concussion] issues in the past,” Julien said, per WEEI. “I hope they look at it seriously. In my mind, I don’t see why there wouldn’t be further consequences [for] that.”
Bergeron said that, while it was “definitely a hit to the head,” Burmistrov did come up to him afterward and apologized.
According to sources of CSNNE’s Joe Haggerty, Burmistrov received a warning from the Department of Player Safety.