Wings Lose Zetterberg, Win Game

No snarky caption could possibly trump the awesomeness of this photo.

Ouch. Zetterberg. A big win, though, four in a row for the first time all season. But if you asked me before the game “Zetterberg or a win,” I would have kept Z. Hopefully it’s not as bad as it looked (like Johnny Cakes) and he’s back soon.

TPL’S TAKE
1. First and foremost, the Henrik Zetterberg injury. He got wrecked. The injury situation is clearly beyond ridiculous, and if Zetterberg misses significant time, it’d be incredible if the Red Wings stay as afloat as they have. After the game, it was learned that it was Z’s shoulder being tested, and that he drove himself to the hospital (which is pretty encouraging). In the same press conference, Babcock shared that he thinks Flip is closer to returning to action than any of the others – including Helm. What what what what? He was a game-time decision yesterday, and now he’s out for three weeks? Anyway, I think we should all revisit the Malocchio post and offer up additional sacrifices.
2. Drew Miller’s goal was beautiful. Yes, the Bobby Orr pose was nifty as he avoided Mike Smith’s poke check, but the most incredible part was knocking the chest-high pass out of midair. I won’t take full credit for that goal, but I will remind you what was said in the pre-game: “Drew Miller is quietly becoming a very reliable point producer. He should feel a little extra motivation against the team that waived him earlier in the season.” Does that effort count as extra motivation? I’d say so.
3. Okay, I have to get something off my chest. I alluded to it in the podcast, but it needs to be said again. Jesus Christ, Brad May. That “fight” with Best Name Nominee Zenon Konopka was woeful, like most of them have been this season, but that’s forgivable I suppose. But, after Zetterberg gets ROCKED, it’s Patrick Eaves that takes exception and does something about it. I know May wasn’t on the ice for that hit, but come on man… invisible the rest of the game. Patrick Eaves? I mean… I guess it’s nice that SOMEONE does something. Earlier in the season, I gave Brad May the goal in the Stars game because he scored, dammit, and if the league wouldn’t recognize it, I sure as hell would. Now, May gets a new honor. He gets a TPL GTFO.
4. Speaking of Eaves following the Ohlund/Zetterberg hit, that’s one of those penalties you just let go. The Wings had a player injured on the play and the shoving match was nothing to get excited about. Let it go. Losing Z and then being shorthanded is shortsighted nonsense from the overcautious parents on the ice known as referees.
5. Look at Justin Abdelkader doing his best Dan Cleary impression, blocking shots on the kill, getting stung, and going back for more. Balls.
6. In the second period, Todd Bertuzzi made the cupcakest attempt to strip an opposing player of the puck that I’ve ever seen. He’s a goddamn mountain, and he waved his stick all “scuse me, mista” and ended up just skating away empty-handed. Later, he would somehow put himself five feet off-sides while carrying the puck. Then, a penalty, which was best argued in the following manner, courtesy of our friends at Hockeytown Static:

You should not be allowed to call high sticking on Martin St. Louis. Of course it hit his face. Keenan Draper could hit his face.

Brilliant.
7. Okay, now that I’ve purged my Bertuzzi Hate (for the night), time to discuss his goal. First of all, it was a beauty. Great re-direction and excellent use of a turnover. I was alerted of this phenomenon via Twitter from the following friends of TPL: @jennyquarx, @jennbikegirl, @FightNightatJoe, @chollis, @inhyung. Okay, so my “he won’t score again until March” was off by a few…months. Good thing I kept all those ProTuzzi shirts!
8. Anyone else think Kris Newbury looks like a Goonie?
9. Rob and I were having a discussion via email, and he mentioned that he can’t believe the Lightning aren’t better, and he couldn’t be more right. How the hell are they always bottom-feeders? Vinny Lecavalier, Marty St. Louis, Steven Stamkos, even Matthias Ohlund, Victor Hedman who will be good, Mike Smith who is very underrated and one of the best stickhandling goalies on the planet. Don’t make no sense, yo.
10. And then Patrick Eaves? Hell yes. Chalk another one up for Rob, who called it and may have just become an even bigger BUY on the Sobotka Index. He was thanked by Kurtis Foster with a boom behind Mike Smith.

REVISITING THE PRE-GAME QUICK THOUGHTS

1. Janik looked okay. That holding or interference or whatever they called it is going to get called 100 times out of 100 and he probably should have known better. But, the Wings penalty kill went all pimp-hand again, and bailed him out.
2. All of a sudden, my staying afloat analogy with the injuries has more meaning. I thought it was a good time for Lidstrom, Datsyuk, and Leino. Lidstrom didn’t get on the board for the eleventy billionth time in a row, Pavel Datsyuk seems snake-bitten, too, and if Ville Leino didn’t get penalties, you wouldn’t know he was there.
3. Drew Miller. Booyah. I’m going to start charging these players for the good juju.
4. Good on Jimmy Howard, who needed to play out of his mind to quiet those who questioned why Chris Osgood wasn’t playing, given his 17-0-0 record against the Lightning. His first career shutout, and he looked sharp getting it.
5. The moral of the story is the Wings keep winning. Which is amazing considering they played the majority of tonight without NINE regulars.

What’s next?
Stars. In Dallas. Afternoon game on Saturday.

Photo Credit: Paul Sancya, AP

Ericsson has bone bruise, Janik called up

Well, it could have been much worse. In fact, watching the video (and the freeze frame, thanks to @mserven), I would have bet dollars to donuts that it was Kronwall-esque or longer. All this does is add to Ericsson’s lore: first, missing only one game following an emergency appendectomy, followed by many more quick recoveries. Clearly, Jonathan Ericsson is a descendant of Chuck Norris. Anyway, the official word is deep bone bruise on his left knee, reaching to his calf muscle. Tests revealed no structural damage, and the general consensus seems to be 2-3 weeks that Big Rig will be out of action.

In somewhat-related news, former Red Wing Aaron Ward was placed on waivers by the Carolina Hurricanes yesterday. He cleared at noon today, but some out there are questioning whether he’d be a good fit back on this roster. I gotta say no, because at some point these bodies are going to start coming back, and this is why you sign NHL-level guys to play in Grand Rapids.

Speaking of which, Chris McCosky of the Detroit News tells us it’ll be Doug Janik — and not Jakub Kindl — that has been recalled to replace Ericsson on the active roster. It makes sense for a few reasons: Janik plays the penalty kill, like Ericsson. And Johnny isn’t allowed anywhere near the power play, which is Kindl’s forte.

Darren Helm is recovering nicely, and may be back in on Thursday, though I gotta say if he doesn’t score on his first shift, he’ll have to endure comparisons to The Most Fascinating Man on the Planet: Kris Newbury (not really).

The Obstructed View Podcast

Oh my God, is that what I sound like?

Kris from Snipe Snipe Dangle Dangle, Casey from Winging it in Motown, Chris Hollis from Motown Wings, producer extraordinaire Brian Kiernicki, and yours truly took part in the inaugural Red Wings podcast, titled The Obstructed View. You can hear the first episode via the following methods:

Direct Download

Visit the Obstructed View website

Subscribing to the iTunes channel

Check back every week for a new episode, with your favorite Red Wing bloggers. And if you aren’t already, follow The Obstructed View on Twitter right now to keep up on the latest podcast news.

It was a ton of fun – many thanks to Chris Hollis and Brian Kiernicki for including me, and to Casey and Kris for putting up with my various nonsense in vocal form. Frankly, I can’t wait for it to be my turn again. Maybe by then, Todd Bertuzzi will have fallen off the map again and we can talk about that.

OH THE HELMANITY!

Well. Shit.

According to Chris McCosky, there’s bad news for all of us in the Darren Helm Fan Club.

Stay tuned for a medical update on center Darren Helm. He was helped off the ice after sliding hard into the boards during a drill. He did not immediately return to practice. I will give a more complete update as soon as the Wings release some information.

I’ll update this post as soon as I receive word that he’s Mr. Miyaga’d himself back to total health and then checked the hell out of the doctors for assuming he wouldn’t make it back to practice.

Update #1: Helen St. James chimes in, adding that it’s a shoulder injury:

Quick update from Traverse City: Darren Helm has become the first casualty of training camp, as he took a bad spill into the boards this afternoon during practice at Centre Ice Arena and hurt his shoulder.

General manager Ken Holland just told me Helm “has gone for tests, and we should know more this evening.”

Update #2: Bruce “Highlander” MacLeod, breaks the worst news yet:

Darren Helm hurt in shoulder/collar bone area. Out 2-4 weeks with sprain.

Update #3: The Highlander with more detail:

Helm’s sprain to the coracoclavicular ligament. He’ll be off the ice for a couple of days. He said that the start of the season is possible.