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, December 23, 2009

Rafalski out, Kindl in

Jakub Kindl will play tonight for the Red Wings, replacing Brian Rafalski, who's out with the flu.

Rafalski a maybe for tonight

UPDATE: So much for no backup plan. The Red Wings recalled Jakub Kindl from Grand Rapids this afternoon. He should be ready to go tonight if Brian Rafalski (flu) can't play ... which looks more likely now that the team has made the Kindl call-up.


Defenseman Brian Rafalski has the flu and is a maybe for tonight's game against Chicago. The Red Wings aren't calling anyone up from Grand Rapids, so if Rafalski can't go tonight, they'll be short one defenseman.

"We're hoping he's going to go," said coach Mike Babcock.

Wings will double shift center

UPDATE: Coach Mike Babcock said that he'll double shift one of his three centers, Datsyuk, Helm, Abdelkader, or double shift wing Kris Draper tonight. Ritola won't play the middle although he was there in the morning skate.


It looks like Mattias Ritola will play center tonight. (Unless Babcock decides to double-shift one of his three other centers.) Ritola, who hasn't played in the middle since he was a kid, is centering the fourth line at the morning skate with Kirk Maltby and Brad May on his wings. Valtteri Filppula is practicing and is on schedule to return to the lineup Saturday.

This morning's lines ...



Brian Rafalski is not on the ice this morning. I assume is a minor thing and he'll be in the lineup tonight, otherwise they would have put Lidstrom's new partner with him in the practice. Lilja is a placeholder for Rafalski.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Fil taking part in drills

UPDATE: Filppula said that he's not playing in Wednesday's game against Chicago, but is scheduled to return to the lineup Dec. 26, if he doesn't have any setbacks. Mattias Ritola hasn't played center since his days of youth hockey, so the line combinations for Wednesday are still up in the air.

"I've got one more day to figure that out," said coach Mike Babcock.

Also of note ... Jimmy Howard gets the start in net, Wednesday.


At the Red Wings' practice and Valtteri Filppula is taking part in all drills, centering the fourth line. Mattias Ritola, who was just brought up from Grand Rapids, is working in on the fourth line with wingers Kirk Maltby and Brad May.

Here are the lines they're working out of ...

May-Filppula-Maltby (Ritola working in)



The defensemen are rotating partners.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Newbury assigned to GR

Forward Kris Newbury has been assigned to Grand Rapids. Perhaps Valtteri Filppula is ready to return.

UPDATE: Now we know the reason ... Red Wings recall Mattias Ritola from Grand Rapids. Ritola was drafted by the Wings in 2005. He has played two NHL games, both in 2007-08. Ritola has 14 points in 31 games with the Griffins this season.

Friday, December 18, 2009

The list grows

Henrik Zetterberg is out a minimum of two weeks with a slight shoulder separation thanks to Mattias Ohlund's check in Thursday night's win over Tampa Bay.

That brings the number of sidelined Red Wings to eight. Coach Mike Babcock said after the game that Valtteri Filppula might be the closest to returning.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Ericsson out indefinitely

Jonathan Ericsson has a "significant bone bruise" but no ligament damage. Out indefinitely, according to the Red Wings.

UPDATE:The Red Wings are bringing up defenseman Doug Janik from Grand Rapids for his second call-up of the season.

Vice president and assistant general manager Jim Nill aid that Ericsson is likely out at least two weeks.

Initial tests showed no ligament damage, but a final determination can't be made until the bruise subsides. More ligament tests will be done.

"We're not going to know until the bruising goes away," said Nill.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Ericsson knee to be checked Tuesday

Coach Mike Babcock said after tonight's game that Jonathan Ericsson's knee will be checked tomorrow.

"We're hopeful," said Babcock. "We'll see what happens. It didn't look very good on TV."

Ericsson left the game after being checked by Shane Doan with five minutes left in the first period. The hit caused Ericsson's left knee to buckle backwards.

Also, Babcock said that he's "pretty sure" that Jimmy Howard will start in net again, Thursday night.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Cleary out 4 weeks with separated shoulder

The Red Wings have lost another top-6 forward. With five minutes left in Wednesday night's loss to St. Louis, Dan Cleary collided with Barret Jackman and left the ice in pain.

Today we find out that pain was a separated shoulder, which will keep Cleary out of the lineup for four weeks.

Ville Leino, who has been a healthy scratch the past two games, will be back in the lineup for Friday's game against Anaheim.

Also of note, Jimmy Howard will start in net, Friday.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

This is hockey

Islanders' Brendan Witt gets nailed by a Yukon this morning in Philadelphia on his way to the morning skate. Witt gets up, announces that he's a hockey player and everything's ok.

Top that football.

TSN story