Ian White

Minus White, Babcock calls Wings defense ‘best group that we had all year’


It doesn’t sound like defenseman Ian White is on the verge of returning to the Red Wings’ lineup.

White has been a healthy scratch the past two Detroit games — a 2-1 loss Wednesday in Los Angeles, followed by a 2-1 shootout win last night in San Jose.

Meanwhile, Wings coach Mike Babcock is liking what he’s seeing from his blue-liners.

“I liked the fact that the D was big,” Babcock said, per MLive.com. “They could skate and they went back and got pucks and paid the price to move it and get it out. Did we make some mistakes? Absolutely. But I thought it was the best group that we had all year.”

That “best group” was as follows: Niklas Kronwall, Jonathan Ericsson, Kyle Quincey, Brendan Smith, Jakub Kindl and Brian Lashoff.

Even worse for White’s prospects of getting back into action, Carlo Colaiacovo (shoulder) could reportedly be cleared to play by Sunday.

White, 28, is in the final year of a two-year, $5.75 million contract.

Detroit hosts Chicago Sunday afternoon (on NBC).

Tough start: Lehner knocked out of Sabres debut, won’t return

Matt Puempel, Alex Chiasson, Robin Lehner
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Chances are Robin Lehner won’t look back fondly on his first game as a Sabre.

Midway through Buffalo’s season-opener against Ottawa, Lehner — facing his old team for the first time since getting traded this summer — suffered a lower-body injury, and was forced from the contest.

During the second intermission, the Sabres ruled out Lehner for the night.

It was a difficult turn of events for 24-year-old, who admitted he was keen to go up against the Sens. He had a bit of a chip on his shoulder about his time in the Canadian capital; Lehner felt he never got a full opportunity to run with the No. 1 gig, and probably wasn’t thrilled GM Bryan Murray opted to keep Craig Anderson and Andrew Hammond instead of him.

As for tonight’s injury, details are scarce. All that’s known is the ailment was serious enough for Lehner to leave and not return, forcing backup Chad Johnson into duty.

Prior to getting hurt, Lehner had stopped 11 of 12 shots faced.


‘Canes lose Wisniewski (lower body) 47 seconds into debut

Phil Kessel, James Wisniewski
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James Wisniewski‘s time as a Carolina Hurricane is off to a troubling start.

Wisniewski, acquired by the ‘Canes at this year’s draft, exited Thursday’s season-opener against Nashville early in the first period with a lower-body injury.

Shortly thereafter, the team ruled out his return.

Wisniewski, 31, was expected to play a fairly significant role on Carolina’s defense this year.

It’s unclear what the injury is or how severe it might be, but initial reports don’t sound good; Wisniewski appeared to be in significant pain and had to be helped off the ice.