DETROIT >> The only streak the Detroit Red Wings seem to keep intact of late is the amount of injured players that keep piling up.
Tuesday’s win over Toronto produced another injury, a broken finger for defenseman Jonathan Ericsson. It was the sixth consecutive game that a player has been injured.
“There’s been times when we’ve had guys out, but not like this,” said Darren Helm, who’s currently sidelined with a concussion. “To have almost every one of our centers from the start of the year be out right now and seeing Johnny go out (Tuesday) I don’t want to say it’s comical, but it’s unbelievable. You can’t really explain what’s happening with this team, but the guys that are in the lineup have been doing a good job so once everyone is back healthy we’ll make a good push.”
According to Wings general manager Ken Holland, Ericsson had successful surgery to stabilize his fractured finger and repair a partially torn tendon and will be out four-to-six weeks, sidelining him for at least the rest of regular season.
“We’ve had actually lucked out for a while on the blue line,” Brian Lashoff said. “Not having E is going to be tough. It’s just kind of strange how it’s been happening all year and now these last couple of games guys are just going down. We just have to rally as a group back there and makeup for the minutes that E won’t be playing.”
Jonas Gustavsson (groin) began the long list of injuries after leading the team to a win over the New Jersey Devils on March. 4. That was followed by Joakim Andersson (broken foot, March 9 against the New York Rangers), Tomas Jurco (broken rib, March 11 against Columbus), Todd Bertuzzi (lower-body injury, March 14 against Edmonton) and Justin Abdelkader (leg laceration, Sunday against Chicago.
Bertuzzi missed just one game.
The team is also without Pavel Datsyuk (knee), Henrik Zetterberg (back), Stephen Weiss (sports hernia), Mikael Samuelsson (shoulder) and Daniel Cleary (knee).
“I don’t think anyone has seen anything like this,” Lashoff said. “It’s been weird for sure. A lot of guys have had opportunities to come up from Grand Rapids and guys have played more minutes than they would have before and those guys have been playing well and they’ve kept us in the hunt.”
Wing coach Mike Babcock said that despite the rash of injuries this year it doesn’t wear on him emotionally.
“I do the same every day, get up and do the best I can,” Babcock said. “I’m not carrying around the weight of the world, I don’t do that.”