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Cut won't keep Filppula down

by Bill Roose / Detroit Red Wings
ST. LOUIS, Mo.Valtteri Filppula was counting his lucky stars Monday afternoon.

With 4:24 left in the first period of Sunday’s 4-2 loss at the Pepsi Center, Filppula was accidentally cut by a skate blade of a Colorado player. The inch-long cut was across the lower right leg where the tongue of the skate meets the bottom of the shin pad.

Filppula was taken to a Denver hospital where doctors examined the deep laceration that went to the bone.

“It’s just a little sore,” said Filppula, who did not practice Monday afternoon with the Red Wings at Scottrade Center. “I really don’t even know how it happened. I just noticed that I got hurt and I felt like I got cut right away. It wasn’t that wide of a cut, but it was pretty deep.”

The freakish play began with Filppula intercepting a clearing pass up the middle of the ice by Avalanche center Paul Stastny. The pass was intended for Avs forward David Jones, however, Filppula tipped the puck toward the half wall and as he regained possession inside the blue line that’s where Jones’ skate blade somehow cut the Wings’ forward.

Detroit can’t afford to lose Filppula, who has been on fire in the first quarter of the season, skating on a line with center Henrik Zetterberg and forward Jiri Hudler. Filppula is currently third in team-scoring with 21 points.

Monday afternoon, alterations were being made to Filppula’s skate to provide protection to the cut, which doctors purposely left open at the skin’s surface.

“The stitches are more under the skin and they left the top open,” Filppula said. “It went pretty deep, but lucky, no tendons.”
As long as the skate is ready and it isn’t uncomfortable to wear, Filppula said he’s expecting to play Tuesday against the Blues.

“We’re working on a skate, so hopefully,” Filppula said. “They’re trying to get the pressure away from the (cut) so if that works, I feel fine other than that. Hopefully the skate is ready tomorrow and I can see how it feels in the morning and if it feels good enough to play.

“It feels fine and I can walk normally, so that obviously is a good thing.”

Filppula said that he plans on wearing Kevlar socks now that would have prevented the skate blade from cutting him Sunday.

“I should have already worn them,” he said, “but hopefully for the future I don’t get these (types of injuries) anymore. … I’m going to give it a shot.”

Filppula will be the first Wings’ player to wear the cut-resistant skate sock.

“I never spend a whole lot of time thinking about this one, but I like them not to get hurt, so whatever they’ve got to do for that,” Wings coach Mike Babcock said. “I mean, they have to be comfortable with that they wear, too. It’s unfortunate.”

Follow Bill Roose on Twitter | @RooseBill

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