The Red Wings might not be able to wait any longer for Chris Osgood’s recovery from sports hernia surgery after the Red Wings lost another forward on Tuesday.
Todd Bertuzzi looks like he will miss his first game since re-signing with Detroit before last season. Head coach Mike Babcock said Bertuzzi has had aches and pains for awhile and simply “can’t go.”
“I don’t think we’ll have Franzen, Datsyuk, Hudler or Bertuzzi available for tomorrow,‘’ coach Mike Babcock said after today’s practice
Bertuzzi joins the aforementioned Johan Franzen, Pavel Datsyuk and Jiri Hudler on the sidelines, leaving Detroit with just 10 healthy forwards. The Red Wings only dressed 11 forwards on Monday against Pittsburgh and used seven defenseman instead of the usual six.
What does all this have to do with Osgood? Since Osgood was reactivated from long-term injured reserve last week, his contract has been busy eating up the rest of the Red Wings’ cap room, making it impossible to recall a forward from AHL-Grand Rapids. Osgood took the bulk of the shots in practice today however, signifying he might be able to dress on Wednesday against Vancouver.
If he can dress, Detroit can send Joey MacDonald back to Grand Rapids and recall Jan Mursak to replace Bertuzzi in the lineup. If not, Detroit will be forced to play 10 forwards, essentially eliminating the fourth line.
Babcock said that none of the injuries to the four forwards are serious and that they’d be playing if it was the playoffs. But, with the Western Conference race tightening by the second, Detroit can’t afford to surrender too many points in the last two weeks of the season.