Brian Lashoff was sent down to Grand Rapids today. With Detroit finally having not only enough healthy defenseman, but a couple extras, the Wings sent Smash back to the Griffins so he can continue playing instead of sitting in the press box. Babcock made it clear that Lashoff has been excellent and he's been happy with his play. Lashoff has been a healthy scratch the last five games. Grand Rapids clinched their playoff spot last night, and, they have three games left in the regular season before beginning their first playoff appearance since 2009. Getting playoff experience, even at the AHL level will be goof for Lashoff., and he's happy with the opportunity to keep playing. It's also worth noting that the Wings won't be able to recall Lashoff or the rest of the regular season unless there's a roster emergency.
Zetterberg didn't practice this morning (groin) but we're told he will for sure be in the lineup tonight.
Quincey and White will be the scratches on defense today. Quincey has been struggling lately, but he's also still wearing a full cage because of his broken cheek bone, and I think that's negatively affecting his ability to find and control the puck.
Bertuzzi hasn't given up on playing this season and he's feeling he best he's felt since February. His back is better, but he's still dealing with knee pain that has been keeping him from playing. He went to another specialist and they "saw something different" and Bert said surgery isn't something he's thinking about. I don't have any details of his ailment (s) but I do know that an injury in your back can lead to serious issues not only in your back, but also hip, knee and leg and vice versa. Bert still hasn't been able to participate in full practices yet, but he has been skating more and increasing his practice with the team and hopes to return the final week of the regular season. His spirits seem to be higher than they have been in a while, and that's nice to see. Here's a little exchange between Bert and Sammy.
Bertuzzi is bothered more by pain in his leg than his back - this was where he got into it with Samuelsson; when Bertuzzi said it is "pretty much 80% the leg," Samuelsson laughed and suggested 20% of what's wrong with Bertuzzi "is in the head." Bertuzzi negotiated it down to 10%.
Speaking of Mikael Samuelsson, he's still bothered by "a chest muscle", which was originally reported as a bruise, but later said to be a torn pectoral muscle. He thinks he'll play again this season, but I'm not convinced. Holland thinks he may be ready in a week, but with how Sammy's season has gone so far and the continued delay of his progress, I'm not holding my breathe. When Sammy talks about his injury it sounds like he doesn't really know what he's talking about and if I play the Benny Hill theme song while reading the following quotes from him, it's actually entertaining.
Samuelsson isn't sure exactly what's wrong this time.
"It's a muscle tear," said Samuelsson, who took part in Friday's morning skate in Chicago. "Well, I don't know what you'd call it. It doesn't look like the other shoulder when you compare them. There's some tear in there, in the muscle. It takes some time.
"It's bruised, but the bruise is starting to go down. That goes hand in hand. When the bruise is going down, you start to feel better, more mobile and you can move it around more.
Samuelsson pointed to his arm pit when talking about the latest injury.
"I think it's the pec," he said. "It's like almost in the armpit. I've never seen any guy with that injury. I'll stick with it but it's been really frustrating."
Speaking of frustrating, Darren Helm skated with the team this morning, but he still doesn't sound like he's close to coming back. I'm sill not expecting him back this season.
Filip Forsberg will make his NHL debut tonight, filling in for Patric Hornqvist who has an "upper body injury". Gabriel Bourque, Mike Fisher, Brandon Yip, Paul Gaustad and Colin Wilson are also out with injuries. Pekka Rinne will start tonight after having the night off Friday against Dallas.
Wings vs Predators
Tonight's game is the 84th all-time meeting between DET and NSH
This is DET's 42nd all-time road game at NSH
DET's all-time record vs NSH: 47-24-4-8
DET's all-time road record at NSH: 19-17-2-3
DET is 1-0-1 in two games vs NSH this season
Last head-to-head game: DET 4, NSH 0 on Feb. 23 at Joe Louis Arena
DET is 5-4-1 in its last 10 regular season games vs NSH
DET is 2-2-1 in its last 5 regular season road games at NSH
DET's PP is 3-27 (11.1%) over the last 8 regular season games vs NSH
DET's PP is 1-4 (25.0%) in 2 games vs NSH this season
DET's PK is 27-33 (81.8%) over the last 8 regular season games at NSH
DET's PK is 7-8 (87.5%) in 2 games vs NSH this season
Cleary has 4 points (3-1-4) in 2 games vs NSH this season
Datsyuk has 4 points (1-3-4) in 2 games vs NSH this season
Kronwall has 3 points (0-3-3) in 2 games vs NSH this season
Datsyuk has 63 points (19-44-63) in 59 career games vs NSH
Zetterberg 43 points (16-27-43) in 54 career games vs NSH
Howard is 7-5-1 with a 2.36 GAA, .919 SV% and 2 shutouts in 15 career games vs NSH
Brad Watson is reffing tonight. You've been warned.
Wings man games lost to injury: 222 and counting.
The last time the Wings scored a short handed goal was Daniel Cleary against Rinne in Nashville on February 19, 2013
Apr. 14, 1955 - Gordie Howe scored the GWG in DET's 3-1 victory over MTL in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final. Howe collected 12 points (5-7-12) in the series setting a new Finals record
Franzen - 1 point to 300
Filppula - 2 goals to 100
Quincey - 3 points to 100
Samuelsson - 5 assists to 200
Todd Bertuzzi (Back)
Darren Helm (Back)
Mikael Samuelsson (Torn Pectoral Muscle)
In practice the 1st PP unit was
2nd PP unit was