“Yep. He’s in," Babcock said casually. "Oh I guess that’s another lineup thing,”
Filppula has missed the past seven games for the Red Wings after suffering a shoulder injury against the Vancouver Canucks on Feb. 24. In his absence, Detroit has scored 10 goals and gone 3-2-2.
“We just got [Johan] Franzen back a few games ago. The difference between him and Fil [is] Fil was able to skate while he was injured, so obviously that’s a big boost for us,” Babcock said. “For [Henrik Zetterberg] to have someone to go with and Datsyuk to have someone to go with, I think that’s real important. We’ve been average offensively to say the least without those guys.”
Linemate Damien Brunner is excited to have Filppula back in the fold. The rookie center had no goals and three assists during Filppula's absence.
“He’s obviously a big guy for us and we’re happy he’s back and we hope he brings some offense in our game and scores some big goals,” he said.
“Howard’s back at the hotel sick so Gus starts,” Babcock said.
Goaltending coach Jim Bedard strapped on the pads for the morning skate in Howard’s absence. But that doesn’t mean he’ll serve as a backup to Gustavsson.
“I don’t know what else we’d do,” Babcock said. “Jimmy B, our goaltending coach, he was good in the skate but we don’t need him on the bench tonight so Howie will go [as backup].”
Here’s a look at Detroit’s projected lineup against Calgary: