DETROIT – The news on Brendan Smith isn’t as good as originally.
Smith suffered an AC joint sprain in his shoulder Saturday night in Columbus and said he could be out 3-4 weeks.
“Just bad luck, I mean any injury everybody says bad luck, but it’s unbelievable how it seems to be hitting the D side,” Smith said Monday at Joe Louis Arena. “It is bad luck, and in my case, for sure, I don’t even know how it even happened. He came and hit and he was the one who actually fell or whatever. I couldn’t believe that it actually happened, but these things happen. Just have to get better about it.”
Smith, Niklas Kronwall and Kyle Quincey were the only three defensemen to play every game thus far.
“That is frustrating, I mean, playing well and playing lots of minutes than going to not playing at all is very frustrating,” Smith said. “I mean being injured sucks to begin with, but just playing pretty well with lots of minutes than going to playing none is frustrating.”
Smith has just one assist on the season.
“He’s a good player, he moves the puck on the back end,” Wings coach Mike Babcock said. “We don’t have a lot of those type of guys. That’s life, someone else gets a chance. I just told (Brian Lashoff) two days ago he was going to Grand Rapids. Just shows you I lied to him. The truth in our game today and the truth tomorrow are different. Lash was on his way back but now he’s staying.”
The Wings expect to have Ian White (leg laceration) back in the lineup if he’s cleared by doctors.
“You’re just getting your legs under you and this happens,” White said. “I really didn’t do anything for a better part of 10 days so I’ll probably have a little bit of rust again. The only way to get that off is to get into game action.”
The Wings recalled forward Tomas Tatar and goalie Petr Mrazek from Grand Rapids.
Tatar skated on the second line with Pavel Datsyuk and Valtteri Filppula.
“We’re going to put Tats in the lineup, we’re going to see what he can do to help us,” Babcock said. “Our bottom six isn’t scoring. Maybe he can help with that. I had him on a line with Pav and Fil today, I don’t know what he’s going to do tomorrow. He’s got some ability, he’s scored some goals. He’s fearless. Maybe he can help us. We’re going to watch and see.”
Tatar, 22, has 19 goals and 20 assists this season with the Griffins.
“That’s a big chance for me to show that I can play,” Tatar said. “They are two really good players so I’m really excited and looking forward to the game.
“I’m that kind of guy that has been producing down there so I think this is the right spot for me,” Tatar added. “It’s really a big opportunity for me. I’ve never really played with big guys like that in the NHL. I used to play on the third line when I got called up. This is something new and I’m really excited.”
Babcock wasn’t pleased with his backup goalie situation.
“We can’t give away games, the league’s too tight to give away games because a guy’s injured, so we got to figure that out,” Babcock said.
Jimmy Howard is starting Tuesday against the Calgary Flames.
Mrazek, 20, is 16-7-1 in Grand Rapids with a 2.26 goal-against average and a .916 save percentage. He’s coming off a 53-save performance and a shutout over the weekend.
“I’m feeling great,” Mrazek said. “It’s a great experience to be here and I will try my best to practice and to show up. I got surprised when I got the call because that was my dream, to be in the NHL one day, and it went true and I’m so happy.”