It’s time to start putting Henrik Zetterberg and Nicklas Lidstrom in bubble wrap. During tonight’s 3-2 shootout loss to Columbus the Red Wings not only lost Jimmy Howard during the game due to a bruised knee but now they’ll be without Tomas Holmstrom for an indefinite amount of time after breaking his hand during the game.
The soon-to-be 38 year-old Holmstrom has had a quiet year with 11 goals and 11 assists but with injuries to Pavel Datsyuk, Dan Cleary, and Mike Modano up front getting Holmstrom’s net presence and goal-scoring touch in the lineup was necessary to the Wings offense. Now, it’ll be up to Todd Bertuzzi and Jiri Hudler to increase their offensive output and for role players like Drew Miller and Justin Abdelkader to do a bit more than what they’re normally asked.
For Detroit, they’ve been through a brutal stretch like this with injuries before. Last season, the Wings spent most of the season playing without a full lineup only to finally get everyone healthy in late February and early March. The Wings stormed back to life to go from teetering on the brink of missing the playoffs to the fifth seed overall in the West. The Wings are currently in first place in the Central Division and second in the Western Conference. They’ll get their mettle tested once again with this host of injuries up front as well as with injuries to Brad Stuart and Chris Osgood.