The Red Wings have had minimal injuries to start the season. Evgeny Svechnikov, who injured his neck during the preseason, has already made his return to the Grand Rapids Griffins (and he’s been struggling). There are two more injuries that have been questionable, which we got updates on this week.
Danny DeKeyser played in two full games for the Red Wings before spraining his ankle in Detroit’s October 10th game against the Dallas Stars. He hasn’t played a game since.
While it seemed like DeKeyser was nearing his return this week, head coach Jeff Blashill explained yesterday that he had experienced some set backs in practice. Sounds like DDK will be out for at least another 10 days and Blash hinted that it could be as many as 21. This is good news for guys like Nick Jensen and Xavier Ouellet who are now able to suit up for every game and prove themselves as full-time NHLers. Don’t expect anyone to be called up, as Blashill pointed out that they’ve still got Luke Witkowski who can fill in on the blueline. Here are Blash’s full comments:
— Detroit Red Wings (@DetroitRedWings) October 30, 2017
DeKeyser has zero goals and zero points this season. He has a 5v5 Corsi-For Percentage of 38.96% (worst among team defensemen) and a Relative Corsi-For of -16.25 (worst on team). He hasn’t had a good start to his season and missing time to injury isn’t doing him any favours. As Thomas Williams pointed out when DeKeyser got injured, most players have been better playing without him, than with him.
Tyler Bertuzzi had a really good chance of making the opening night roster until he got a tendon inflammation in his wrist during training camp. The injury sidelined Bertuzzi for four weeks, putting a damper on his NHL hopes. Well, it’s time for him to get back to work as the Red Wings assigned him to the Grand Rapids Griffins today.
— GrandRapids Griffins (@griffinshockey) October 30, 2017
There was no direct line to the NHL here for him. Bertuzzi was always going to need to go back to Grand Rapids for a conditioning stint. The good news for him is that in Grand Rapids, he’s at the top of the depth chart.
Bertuzzi won’t ever be an elite top-line player for the Red Wings, but he’s a very capable bottom-6 player. Now that the season is underway, though, he’ll have to fight like hell to make the roster and then stay up there. Both David Booth and Luke Witkowski have been getting regular bottom-6 minutes, but with Andreas Athanasiou back and Scott Wilson joining the team, Bertuzzi will have to work even harder to prove himself.