|At 6-foot-6, 220-pounds, Jonathan Ericsson will be a big body on the Red Wings' blue line. |
– The Red Wings learned on Wedneday that they’ll be without their captain and five-time Norris Trophy winning defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom
for at least three weeks as a result of the thunderous hit he took Monday in Denver.
With a black metal brace covering his right knee, Lidstrom met with reporters following the Red Wings’ practice Wednesday afternoon at Joe Louis Arena.
“I was hoping for something shorter, but right now they are saying three weeks,” Lidstrom said. “I just did the MRI this morning and we haven't seen the results yet, but hopefully that will come out good.”
The team also announced that they have placed goalie Dominik Hasek and defenseman Brian Rafalski on injured reserve, while calling up forward Mark Hartigan and defenseman Jonathan Ericsson
from Grand Rapids.
For Hartigan, this is the fifth recall to Detroit this season. In eight games with the Red Wings, the veteran center has one goal.
This is the first time that Ericsson has been called up to the Wings. A big, intimidating presence (6-foot-6, 220-pounds) on the blue line, he has seven goals and 18 assists in 54 games with the Griffins this season.
A converted defenseman, Ericsson, 23, once split time between defenseman and center in the Swedish Elite League.
“I don't think it was a dirty hit, I think he did follow through with his elbow and I think it should have been a two minutes penalty, but I don't think it was an overly dirty hit.” - Nicklas Lidstrom
“He’s very skilled and he’s a big man,” said Wings defenseman Kyle Quincey
, who has played with Ericsson in Grand Rapids. “Fans are actually going to enjoy watching him. For a big guy like that he can play well on both ends of the rink. He played forward on the power play for us for about a month.”
Lidstrom will stay behind when the team leaves for a three-game swing through western Canada, which begins Friday in Calgary.
Another concern for the Red Wings and Lidstrom was whether or not he suffered a concussion as a result of the first-period hit landed by Colorado forward Ian Laperriere.
“I have to do another baseline test just to make sure,” Lidstrom said, “but the first test was OK so they don't think there's anything there.”
For now, Lidstrom is waiting to find out for sure just how serious the injury is going to be.
“We'll do some treatment, but no rehab as of yet, we'll give it a few days first,” Lidstrom said. “I've got a brace on it, it's still a little bit sore just walking around. It's a little bit better than I thought it would be, but still sore.”
Laperriere’s hit crushed Lidstrom into the boards, sending him headfirst into the glass, and as he slumped to the ice his knee bent clumsily.
“It occurred when I went down and my knee came out on the side a little bit awkwardly and that's when I got hurt,” he said. “I don't think it was a dirty hit, I think he did follow through with his elbow and I think it should have been a two minutes penalty, but I don't think it was an overly dirty hit.”
The Red Wings seemed to rally around their fallen captain, and were able to snap their six-game losing streak, beating the Avalanche, 4-0..
“I did see a little bit of the game after I got hurt, I thought they really responded as a team, it was great to see,” Lidstrom said. “They really came out with a good effort, and (Aaron) Downey took care of business, and I think the team really rallied around me.
“Too bad it happened, but it was great to see the team get a win. I thought they really battled hard and responded well as a team and it was great to get a win out in Denver."