Daily Archives: December 3, 2013

Kronwall: “Hank is our leader and he’s probably our best player on the ice every night.”

DETROIT – The Detroit Red Wings have done alright dealing without Pavel Datsyuk in the lineup.

Now they’re going to have to do it without Henrik Zetterberg as well.

Zetterberg, who leads the team in scoring with 30 points (11 goals, 19 assists), will be sidelined a minimum of two weeks with a herniated disc.

“I think we’ve got a good feel in our group,” Zetterberg said Tuesday at Joe Louis Arena. “We’re calmer on the ice, making better decisions and everyone is contributing and playing well. We’re getting goal scoring from everyone. If we keep doing that we’ll be fine.”

The Wings’ current four-game win streak, all played without Datsyuk (concussion-like symptoms), they’ve outscored their opponents 18-4.

“It’s getting a little sticky around here, but injuries are part of the game,” said Jimmy Howard, who will start in goal Wednesday night at home against the Philadelphia Flyers. “Sometimes it happens to your best players. You’ve got to go out there and find a way. It’s tough to fill their shoes but you got to find a way.”

“We’re a team, it’s a team sport,” Wings coach Mike Babcock said. “Are those guys important? No question. (Danny) DeKeyser’s a star for us as well. Those are three important pieces. We don’t have them. What are we going to do about it? Let’s get ready to play tomorrow. Philly doesn’t care if they’re playing or not.”

Zetterberg is off to his best offensive start to a season since 2007-08 when he had 35 points through 26 games.

“Of course it’s going to affect us, Hank is our leader and he’s probably our best player on the ice every night,” Niklas Kronwall said. “But at the same time, again anytime someone goes down it’s another opportunity for someone else to step up and get some more ice time, take upon some more responsibility and it’s just about doing the job every night, regardless of who’s in the lineup. If we can just stick to the process and keep believing in what we do, we should be fine.”

Kronwall also couldn’t remember a time the team had to play without both Datsyuk and Zetterberg.

Zetterberg began having issues with his back in 2008, which made him miss the All-Star break.

In 2007, he injured his vertebra and missed several weeks.

“Once you have issues with your back you always will and you learn to live with it and play with it,” Zetterberg said. “But at the same time you know when it’s worse than normal. That’s how it is right now. Sitting is the worst. I think anyone with back issues knows that. In a way I’m more mobile know than I was in ’08 so that’s a good sign.”

Datsyuk is still the team’s second leading scorer with 23 points (12 goals, 11 assists).

“We are missing our two best players,” Johan Franzen said. “The good thing is we’ve been playing a lot better lately and kind of got into the winning ways. Everyone is playing with a lot more confidence, so hopefully we can ride this out without him. We’re just going to keep playing the way we’ve been playing. We’ve got so many lines going right now, so I think we’ll be fine.”

Datsyuk did not practice Tuesday, which means he’ll be out at least another week or two since he needs a good week of practice before he can play according to Wings general manager Ken Holland.

“Anytime you take away a team’s two best players you’re obviously going to miss them, so that’s the situation right now,” Gustav Nyquist said. “We’re going to have to do the best we can without them.”

Todd Bertuzzi, who has missed the last five games with an upper-body injury, has also been ruled out for Wednesday’s game.

Cory Emmerton will be recalled from Grand Rapids and be in the lineup against the Flyers.


Zetterberg out at least two weeks with herniated disc

DETROIT — Just when the Wings have seemed to have solved their offensive woes they learned Tuesday that they’ll be without their top scorer for a minimum of two weeks.

Wings general manager Ken Holland said via text message that Henrik Zetterberg will be sideline a minimum two weeks with a herniated disc.

That news comes on top of Pavel Datsyuk missing the last four games with concussion-like symptoms.

Datsyuk did not practice Tuesday with the team, which means he’ll be out at least another week or two since he needs a good week of practice before he can play according to Holland.

Zetterberg leads the team with 30 points (11 goals, 19 assists), while Datsyuk is second with 23 points (12 goals, 11 assists).

Todd Bertuzzi appears ready to return to the lineup after missing the last five games with an upper-body injury.

The top two lines at practice had Johan Franzen centering Bertuzzi and Gustav Nyquist, while Darren Helm was between Daniel Alfredsson and Justin Abdelkader.

More updates to follow after practice.