According to a source of The Hockey News, Red Wings captain Henrik Zetterberg will return to the lineup tonight for Game 4 of their series against Boston.
Zetterberg has been cleared to play tonight, after missing the last 30 games (including playoffs) and all but one game of the Olympics with a back injury.
The source said Zetterberg will likely play only “limited minutes,” somewhere in the range of 10 to 12, but even that will be a massive upgrade for a Red Wings team that is reeling with injuries and has been outscored by the Bruins 7-1 in the past two games.
Zetterberg had returned to practice earlier this week and seemed to be steadily increasing his work load and skating intensity. Yesterday, he called practice a “good step” but said he still needed to jump some hurdles before drawing back into the lineup.
“The good thing is [the decision] is not in my corner, I’ve got to be cleared by the doctor,” Zetterberg said, per NHL.com. “I’ve got to do all those exams. I’m just preparing myself to get into better and better shape, try and get as much game-like situations as I can in practice. Today was a good day of that.
“As soon as I get the go-ahead that I’m healed and the disc is good, then I’ll think about coming back.”
Getting Zetterberg back would, obviously, be a huge boon for the Wings. The 33-year-old Swede had 48 points in 45 games prior to getting hurt, and could spark a Detroit power play that’s gone 0-for-9 over the first three games of the series.
Sometimes, the Nashville Predators were unlucky in November. Sometimes they were just bad.
Either way, they’re likely glad to step into December, and they’ve already gotten a big bounce. Watch how close this near-goal was into crossing the red line before Pekka Rinne barely stopped it with a well-placed goalie stick.
You can also see it up close via this GIF:
Here’s the NHL Situation Room Blog explanation for it remaining a no-goal:
At 13:06 of the first period in the Coyotes/Predators game, the Situation Room initiated a video review to further examine a play from 11:57. Video review confirmed the call on the ice that the puck did not cross the Nashville goal line. No goal Coyotes.
Alexei Emelin has been in and out of the Montreal Canadiens lineup, but this wasn’t the way they wanted him to keep his legs fresh.
The hard-hitting defenseman received a game misconduct and five-minute major penalty for a late hit on Columbus Blue Jackets forward Matt Calvert on Tuesday.
So far, it sounds like Calvert may be OK.
You can see video of that hit above, as well as a GIF of the infraction via My Regular Face.
Many believe that Emelin should not have been ejected.
Injuries have been a regular problem for Joffrey Lupul for much of his time with the Toronto Maple Leafs, and it doesn’t look like that’s changing in 2015-16.
The team placed him on injured reserve retroactive to Nov. 28, calling up Rich Clune in the process.
This IR stint means that Lupul will miss at least three games for Toronto.
From the sound of things, it’s a nagging issue, as NHL.com notes.
“He’s been having the same problem here for a bit,” Mike Babcock told media members on Sunday. “He doesn’t seem to be getting the power back that they thought, so we’re just trying to monitor it the best we can.”
Leafs Nation points out that Lupul has missed about one-third of Toronto’s contests since suffering a separated shoulder in April 2012.
At 32, there’s still time for Lupul to fight through this, although injuries generally accumulate with age.
Will Ryan Suter say something foolish during tonight’s game? Is Brent Burns‘ beard so long that it’s finally starting to scrape the ice?
We’ll find out the answer to those questions and more during Tuesday’s NBCSN doubleheader.
Need to follow the two games online? Never fear.
Game 1: Minnesota Wild at Chicago Blackhawks
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Game 2: Pittsburgh Penguins at San Jose Sharks
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