With the news that Trevor Daley is all healed up and ready to play, Jeff Blashill is wasting no time getting him back into the lineup. The unfortunate side of this news is that Dennis Cholowski is sitting as a result of it.
Cholowski healthy scratch tonight, Daley back in
— Ted Kulfan (@tkulfan) February 12, 2019
When it comes to infusing their lineup with youth, the Red Wings have always opted to park it in favor of experience. But they seemed to take a turn this year when Cholowski cracked the opening night lineup and secured himself a permanent role when all of the veterans started to return from their injuries.
Since then, it’s been a constant barrage of injuries on the back-end, which has been kind of lucky for a team with seven NHL-ready defensemen. When all of them are healthy, Blashill has to make some tough choices. Earlier this year, Jonathan Ericsson was a healthy scratch for a couple of games after returning from injury. Now, it’s defaulted back to the young guy.
While this is an unfavorable decision among the Red Wings fan base, it’s hard to defend Cholowski right now. Amidst dwindling ice time, Cholowski has had a bad stretch of games since the start of 2019. In Sunday’s tilt against Chicago, for example, he was the victim of a terrible giveaway in his own end and also directly involved in a goal against.
All that being said, rookies are going to make mistakes. The way forward is to learn from them and play through them. Punishing the rookie for the same mistakes that the veteran players also make is not effective, in my opinion.
In addition to that, should Blashill feel that Cholowski needs further conditioning from the press box, he’ll be playing chicken with the Red Wings promotional schedule. The team is set to host Dennis Cholowski bobblehead night during Thursday’s game at Little Caesars Arena against the Ottawa Senators.
— Detroit Red Wings (@DetroitRedWings) February 12, 2019
It would be a shame for fans who receive a bobblehead to not be able to see the player on the ice. Though it wouldn’t be the first time Cholowski is scratched on an important game for a young star. In January, he was a healthy scratch for the return to his hometown when the Red Wings played the Vancouver Canucks. The Wings lost that game 3-2.