As if those players already sitting in the stands weren't enough, add forward Dan Cleary to that group. Cleary will join Johan Franzen, Niklas Kronwall, Jason Williams, Valtteri Filppula, and Andreas Lilja on the injured list. Cleary separated his shoulder in last night's 1-0 loss to the Blues and is expected to miss a month at the most of the season.
Here's pretty much what this will mean for the Red Wings until either Cleary or Filppula returns:
1. No call ups will be made (according to Babcock) so everyone available will play
1a. An injury to a forward within that time span will likely result in a call up but don't expect one for insurance
1b. If there is another injury not only will I assuredly curse, we could POSSIBLY see Tomas Tatar called up. Unlikely but he has shown in a short amount of time that he is an explosive scorer. Don't bank on it but don't be surprised either.
2. Dan Cleary is invaluable to this team. Sure he doesn't put up the offensive numbers to warrant the same respect of a Marian Gaborik or Evgeni Malkin but he's a huge part of this offense by positioning himself very well, passing at the right times, and having a pretty good shot. Along with the offense, he is a crucial defender and is probably the third best defending forward that the Wings have.
3. Cleary's 7 goals and 16 points will surely be missed but it may mean that Ville Leino will have to produce in the absence and can improve his game while playing on the second line in Cleary's spot.
Hopefully Cleary will be back sooner rather than later but that void is going to be hard to fill with the lack of production from a lot of guys that were expected to be big time secondary players on this team.