Blogs > Red Wings Corner

Up-to-the minute updates and insights from the Red Wings locker room at home and on the road. By Chuck Pleiness of The Macomb Daily.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Z and Stuart out Thursday

Coach Mike Babcock said after today's practice that Henrik Zetterberg (back) and Brad Stuart (ribs) won't play Thursday against the Dallas Stars. Zetterberg's absence should be short-term.

"We'll be overcautious," said Babcock. "We just felt that a couple of years ago when we didn't do it that way that it came back to bite us. We're just going to get it looked after. ... A little bit of spasming going on. But no one's concerned."

Babcock then was asked about Zetterberg's new long-term contract.

"I think that's probably the problem with his back … he was taking that money to the bank," joked Babcock.

Stuart could be missing for weeks. Babcock estimated today that the defenseman could be out for around 10 games and thus might be put on long-term injured reserve.

"Stuey's out for a chunk of time now," said Babcock. "We don't know for sure if he'll go on long-term IR. He's probably around that time frame. That might be something we can do so we can look at (Jonathan) Ericsson, (Darren) Helm, (Ville) Leino, that group of guys. It's real important that we do that if we're going to use them at playoff time. We need to have a good look at them and see if they're NHL playoff ready or not."

Interesting that Babcock is thinking about post-season lineup options and that's obviously a good thing. He then named another player who could be called up without being specifically asked about him ... Aaron Downey.

"The other thing is Downs has been a good soldier down there too," said Babcock. "Teams run around when we come to their building so that would keep the flies off for a while and let everyone breathe."

Although Downey surely frustrated the coach by being out of position at times during practices, I get the feeling that Babcock likes that role filled on his roster.


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