Wings may have to dress 11 forwards, 7 defensemen against Predators

DETROIT — It appears the Wings will dress 11 forwards and seven defensemen against Nashville, Tuesday.

The status of forward Daniel Alfredsson (groin) won’t be known until game time.

Defenseman Brendan Smith returns to the lineup after missing the last six games with a shoulder injury.

“He can skate and he can pass the puck,” Wings coach Mike Babcock said. “He just has to be efficient without it and not force things. We’re rolling along and winning, Smitty got hurt and we didn’t win. Now you can say (Jonathan Ericsson) was out and (Johan Franzen) was out, but it just goes to show you your back end has to be able to move the puck for you. Smitty can move the puck.”

The Wings are winless in their last six games (0-1-5) and are 0-1-6 in their last seven at home.

“That’s what any guy tries to do when they get back in the lineup, help the team out in any aspect that needs help,” Smith said. “Right now, these losses are tough, they’re all overtime, anything can happen, where the puck finds a way to go in and you win the game.”

Smith has just an assist and is minus-7 in 11 games this season.

“I don’t think there’s one guy in the room that doesn’t think they have to get better,” Babcock said. “Howie’s one of the top goalies in the world. If you think he’s not trying to get better. Z’s one of the best players in the world, who’s trying to get better. Kronner is one of the best players in the world trying to get better. Pav is trying to get better. That’s what they do. That’s why they’re here. So Smitty’s no different and he’s a kid, and so those guys are really down in that area.”


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