DETROIT >> Just when it looked like the Red Wings were getting close to being at full health, more injury news surfaced Monday.
– Pavel Datsyuk won’t play Tuesday in New Jersey because of a knee injury.
– Daniel Cleary will miss at least a week a week with a knee injury.
– Jakub Kindl won’t play Tuesday due to a sprained MCL that he suffered on Feb. 3.
– Stephen Weiss suffered a setback in his recovery from a sports hernia.
“I think we’re more concerned that we’ve got to win a game (Tuesday) and we’ve got to find 20 guys that are healthy and can give us a chance to win,” Wings general manager Ken Holland said when asked if he was concerned with the latest injury updates.
Datsyuk has had an issue with his knee the last two months, but was able to play for Russia at the Olympics. However, in just his second game back he sat the entire third period of a 6-1 win over Ottawa.
“(I) can’t play,” Datsyuk said. “(I have an) issue with my knee. We’re looking day-to-day, (but) hard to say anything.”
Datsyuk said he needs rest and treatment to recover.
“He’s been battling (this) since early January, (it) just won’t go away,” Holland said. “If Pav’s healthy and can help us win he’ll be in the lineup.”
Joakim Andersson will center the team’s top line Tuesday, with wingers Gustav Nyquist and Johan Franzen.
“Well he’s just got to be a guy who gets some pucks back, got to be a guy who wins faceoffs and plays well in detail and the rest will look after itself,” Wings coach Mike Babcock said. “Just play and do what he does.”
Weiss did practice Monday, but it ended with what Holland said was, “a bad day for him.”
“I kind of thought Stephen Weiss would be ready a week ago, but the body hasn’t responded the way we had hoped,” Holland said. “So you look at a timeline and you believe that’s the timeline (but) you never really know until you get there.”
The team is already without Henrik Zetterberg for the rest of the regular season.
Despite this recent rash of the injuries, Holland will continue his same approach when looking at possible deals with the trade deadline on Wednesday.
“There are very few players like Stephen Weiss and Pavel Datsyuk that are available,” Holland said. “I also think if we qualify for the playoffs, we believe somewhere in that time frame Zetterberg will be back.
“Because of where we are in the standings and because of the unknown with the number of our key players with regards to injury it’s pretty difficult to step up and trade high draft picks and real top prospects in order to get short-term players,” Holland continued. “We’ve got players as good as those guys or better so when you look at the way our young kids have played, we sit out some veterans every night so we’ve got veterans up front, we got some veterans on defense and we’ve got some kids in the American League. It’s a long-winded answer of saying if there’s a hockey trade we’ll look at it but we’re not looking at top-end rentals for those two reasons: because of our place in the standings and because of the unknown about some of our top players.”