The Detroit Red Wings dealt with numerous injuries at the start of the year, especially on defense. In fact, the team was initially forced to start the season with four rookies in their lineup. Those days could be returning for the Red Wings. Already without Mike Green and Danny DeKeyser, head coach Jeff Blashill revealed late Monday that defenseman Trevor Daley will be out for three to five weeks after breaking his foot in a pre-game skate, according to Helene St. James of the Detroit Free-Press.
“I didn’t think it was a big deal. Then it’s a big deal,” Blashill said after the Red Wings’ 4-3 shootout loss to the Florida Panthers.
The loss of Daley doesn’t help a team that is already missing quite a bit of veteran talent. Green has been out with a foot/ankle injury since Dec. 14, while DeKeyser has been out since Dec. 4 with a hand injury. Blashill said both players remain “weeks away.” While the 35-year-old Daley has seen his playing time drop this season, averaging just 18:59 on the ice, he remained a steady player on the ice. However, the team has really struggled with Green out of the lineup. The team is 13-8-2 with Green in the lineup and just 2-11-5 without him. The team will have to rely on some of their rookies more. While the team has gotten solid play from Dennis Cholowski and Filip Hronek this season, both have had their ups and downs all season, especially on the defensive end.
“Our record is reflective,” Blashill said. “When those guys have been out, we haven’t won enough games. Now what has to happen is guys that are here have to play great hockey. I’ve said that before — the amount that you miss guys depends on the level of which the players you have available play. We’ve got guys that I think have some better hockey in them that have to play great hockey. We have some young players in the lineup, they have to play great. We have some older players in the lineup, they have to play great.”
Blashill added that the team is unlikely to add a defenseman on Tuesday despite having a game on Wednesday against Calgary. Detroit has struggled in December, finishing 2018 with a 1-6-3 record in their last 10 games.