|Wings captain Nicklas Lidstrom delivers a check during the first period of Wednesday's preseason opener at Joe Louis Arena. |
DETROIT – Nicklas Lidstrom was given the day off on Thursday after the Red Wings learned that the team’s captain suffered a broken nose in Wednesday’s preseason opener at Joe Louis Arena.
“He got a broken nose, but everything is fine,” Wings coach Mike Babcock said. “He got hit in the head with a puck, so he wasn’t feeling fine and he didn’t even come to the rink. He’ll be back tomorrow and be rolling in no time.”
It’s expected that the six-time Norris Trophy winner will miss at least the next three exhibition games, beginning with tonight’s contest against the Boston Bruins in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Lidstrom will also miss home games on Friday against the Bruins and Sunday against the Atlantas Thrashers.
Lidstrom was helped off the ice early in the third period after Christopher Higgins' shot from just outside of the face-off circle to the right of Wings goalie Jimmy Howard appeared to ricochet off of Marian Hossa's stick shaft and into Lidstrom’s face. He was helped from the ice by forward Tomas Holmstrom and team trainer Piet Van Zant. Lidstrom was taken to Detroit Medical Center where he had x-rays, and stitches to close a large cut.
“When you’re playing defense, sometimes you’re just behind a guy,” Babcock said. “The shot is made, the guy moves and boom, you get it in the face. It’s actually amazing that more people don’t get it. I mean, it’s fast out there.
“The one good sign – if you’ve been around hockey a lot – when a guy gets hit in the eye his feet are always going. So when you see that you’re hopeful, but you don’t know. It’s a scary game.
Asked if Lidstrom will be required to wear a protective visor upon his return to action, Babcock was non-committal.
“They’re big boys and they make those decisions,” Babcock said. “I know when Drapes got hit he put a visor on, (Steve) Yzerman the same thing. I would like to see everyone make their decision.”