No Franzen (concussion) for Winter Classic, Alfredsson (groin) misses Monday

The good news is that the Detroit Red Wings look to be a healthier team headed into the 2014 Winter Classic. The bad news is that they won’t be 100 percent, though.

Johan Franzen has already been ruled out after failing to make much progress with a concussion while it’s hard not to wonder about Daniel Alfredsson, who sat out Monday’s game against the Nashville Predators with groin problems. Both accounts come from’s Ansar Khan.

“Of course (it’s disappointing), but it is what it is,” Franzen said.

(“It is what it is” ranks up there as far as sad phrases go, probably alongside “I won’t be able to play in front of a gigantic crowd on an enormous stage.”)

It could just be that Alfredsson is playing it safe so that he can play on Wednesday, but either way, the Red Wings will be a little shorthanded against the Toronto Maple Leafs (who have problems of their own).

(H/T to The Score.)

Blues’ Shattenkirk suffers lower-body injury

Kevin Shattenkirk
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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.

Measure of revenge? Red Wings bottle Lightning


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.