While the Pittsburgh Penguins are getting healthier, their Wednesday opponents the Ottawa Senators are seeing their forward ranks dwindled by injuries.
The latest sidelined scorer is sniper Milan Michalek. He’ll miss at least tonight’s game with a lower-body injury. At first it seemed like he was a surprise healthy scratch, but instead he’s a late omission because of that ailment.
The Senators are stuck rolling with seven defensemen against the Penguins, as Patrick Wiercioch, 22, dresses instead.
Michalek, 28, joins Jason Spezza, Guillaume Latendresse and Peter Regin on the injured forwards list. (Defenseman Jared Cowen is also banged up.)
Michalek hasn’t had great shooting luck so far (two goals on 22 shots), but still has a respectable eight points in 13 games this season. Head coach Paul MacLean and go-to blueliner Erik Karlsson will be put to the test even more than usual if Michalek misses significant time.
Mike Babcock admitted that there might be a painful transformation as he tries to fix the Toronto Maple Leafs.
His old friends made that abundantly, painfully clear on Friday.
As of this writing, the Detroit Red Wings are up 4-0 on the Buds. Justin Abdelkader just completed a hat trick with James Reimer in net, so the subplot isn’t just about Jonathan Bernier having another tough start.
The big story might just be Detroit’s varied new line of Abdelkader, Dylan Larkin (who scored his first career goal) and Henrik Zetterberg. At the moment, they’ve combined for seven points.
This post will be updated if Detroit’s tribute video to Babcock surfaces.
Really, though, this beating has been about as ugly as this blanket so far.
It wouldn’t be a regular season game without a Columbus Blue Jackets injury, right?
OK, the Blue Jackets hope that 2015-16 looks different from the medically challenged mess of last season, but at least one player is banged up tonight.
Alexander Wennberg suffered an upper-body injury and won’t return on Friday, as the team noted.
There’s no word yet regarding how serious the issue might be. It looks like he might have suffered an injury thanks to a Chris Kreider check:
Naturally, the Blue Jackets must hope that this doesn’t begin another trend.