Oh, danny boy.
Tuesday night against the Stars, defenceman Danny DeKeyser left the game in the third period with a lower-body injury and did not return. Thursday morning it was reported that he is labelled as day-to-day and might be in doubt to play Thursday against the Arizona Coyotes.
#RedWings Danny DeKeyser (lower body injury) is listed as day to day. Wings at Arizona Thursday (10 p.m., FSD).— Ansar Khan (@AnsarKhanMLive) October 11, 2017
So what does this mean for the lineup?
As reported by Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press, there are multiple options if DeKeyser has to sit out against the Coyotes.
X-rays on Danny DeKeyser negative (blocked shot). Day to day. Kronwall maybe ready to go Thursday, & Witkowski can play D.— Helene St. James (@HeleneStJames) October 11, 2017
With Kronwall’s groin possibly up to the task of playing again, it might be a simple switch for Blashill and will pair him with Trevor Daley. But if Kronwall isn’t ready yet and feels that Friday against the Vegas Golden Knights is a better game to make his season debut, then there is always Luke Witkowski.
Blashill has the option to move Witkowski back to the blueline and have David Booth lace up for his second game of the season on the fourth line centered by Luke Glendening and Riley Sheahan playing the opposite wing. Presumably, Witkowski will slot in the third pairing next to Nick Jensen. Then Ouellet move up to either being paired with Daley or Green. The other pair would have Jonathan Ericsson playing the left-side.
What Thursday’s blueline could look like:
Kronwall – Daley
Ericsson – Green
Ouellet – Jensen
Ouellet/Ericsson – Daley
Ouellet/Ericsson – Green
Witkowski – Jensen
Are they better off?
So far this season, every player that DeKeyser has played at least three minutes with except Abdelkader, Sheahan and Glendening – has performed better without DeKeyser on the ice.
Small sample size be damned – are the Red Wings a better team without Danny DeKeyser already this season? We might find out Thursday night against the Arizona Coyotes.