Red Wings give Nicklas Lidstrom the weekend off

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“Consistent greatness” is probably the phrase that best describes Nicklas Lidstrom’s obvious Hall of Fame career. Still, another quality defines his great run: remarkable health.

As Ansar Khan points out, Lidstrom has already passed his previous career high for consecutive games missed (which was just four in 2008), but it’s looking like he’ll keep adding to that mark. The Red Wings sent him back to Detroit as his frustration builds and he won’t go back to skating until Monday – at the earliest.

We’re not talking about playing, mind you, just skating. Lidstrom is dealing with a deep bone bruise in his right ankle suffered on Feb. 25.

As of this writing, the St. Louis Blues have a seven-point lead in the Central Division (and, currently, the top spot in the league) with the same amount of games remaining. Much like the Chicago Blackhawks with Jonathan Toews, the Red Wings might want to change their aim. Rather than pushing Lidstrom to return as soon as possible and fight for seeding, Detroit may be better off letting him get as close to 100 percent as the playoffs approach.

Sure, the Red Wings’ home-road disparity is stark,* but sometimes it’s just best to err on the side of safety – even if Lidstrom probably seemed like more an indestructible hockey cyborg than a human on skates during the majority of his playing days.

* They’re 28-4-2 at home and just 16-20-1 on the road.