And now, Alexey Marchenko is on the shelf.
The 24-year-old blueliner will be out “weeks” with an upper-body ailment suffered in Sunday’s loss to Calgary, head coach Jeff Blashill told the Detroit News.
Marchenko’s loss will undoubtedly be felt. Tho he only averages around 18 minutes a night, he’s a key part of the penalty kill, where his 2:21 shorthanded TOI ranks second on the team. He’s also second on the club with 28 blocked shots.
The PK was already problematic prior to losing Marchenko, sitting 25th in the NHL (78.6 percent).
As mentioned above, health has been a major issue in the Motor City this year. Thomas Vanek and Niklas Kronwall have already missed extensive time, and Tomas Jurco hasn’t played at all while recovering from back surgery.