Detroit will start their playoff series against the Phoenix Coyotes this week without a vital member of their lineup. Henrik Zetterberg has missed the team’s last two games with a knee injury suffered against Carolina early last week and now they’ll be without him for at least the start of the playoffs against the Coyotes this week.
Without Zetterberg to start the series, the Wings will be without one of their top two-way forwards and in Zetterberg he’s their top point producer. With 24 goals and 56 assists, Zetterberg’s 80 points are a team best and cutting out that sort of production from the Wings lineup going into a series facing Coyotes goalie Ilya Bryzgalov and Dave Tippett’s defensive-minded team, the Wings have to feel good about starting at home to give them that advantage.
Expect Detroit to do what they did today against Chicago in their 4-3 win on NBC’s Game of the Week to try and handle Phoenix while Zetterberg is out. Lots of work from Pavel Datsyuk and getting guys like Todd Bertuzzi, Dan Cleary, and Tomas Holmstrom more involved as well as more looks for Johan Franzen. It’s tough to feel bad for Detroit with a lineup like that, but Zetterberg is key to their hopes of making it to the Stanley Cup final.