– As the Red Wings begin to welcome back many of their injured players, they took a collective sigh of relief following an accidental collision that occurred at the start of Tuesday’s practice at Joe Louis Arena.
Forward Todd Bertuzzi
and defenseman Brad Stuart
, who rejoined the team at Monday’s practice for the first time since having his fractured jaw surgically repaired in mid-January, collided at the end of an on-ice drill. Both players ended up on the ice with Bertuzzi staying down a little longer before the team’s trainers attended to him on the ice.
Both players, who are each over 6-foot-1 and weigh more than 210-pounds, thought the collision was probably a lot worse to see then it really was. But at the time of the hit it didn’t stop each big man from being initially concerned for the other.
“I was more worried about Stuey,” said Bertuzzi, who is listed as 6-foot-2 and 225-pounds. “A little accidental contact; everything is all right. There’s so many thinks that are going on that it happens every once in a while.”
After practice, Stuart (6-1, 215-pounds) was able to laugh off the incident.
“I knew I was OK,” Stuart said. “I was really worried for him. Thankfully, I had my back turned and he ran into my back and it didn’t hurt me at all. But I’m sure it looked pretty scary.”CLEARY IN, DATSYUK OUT: Danny Cleary
is set to return to the Red Wings’ lineup in Ottawa on Wednesday. However, center Pavel Datsyuk
, who has been sidelined with a broken right wrist since Dec. 22, is still not ready for action.
“It’s still sore, but as long as the doctors tell me … it’s gonna be sore, so there’s not much you can do about it,” said Cleary, who collected 16 goals and 10 assists before suffering a broken left ankle on Dec. 26. “I’m excited to be back. It was a nice break for everybody and now we need a nice push because the West is so tight; every game is important.”BIRTHDAY WISHES:
In the last 10 seasons, Bertuzzi has played on his Feb. 2 birthday four times. Wednesday in Ottawa will make it five times in the last seven NHL seasons for the rugged power forward.
“It kind of goes by pretty quick,” said Bertuzzi of playing on his birthday. “It’s Groundhog Day. Hopefully we can just get off to a good start after a four-day break. Looking for a fast start with some fresh guys coming back, so I think all of the guys are pretty excited.”
Bertuzzi, who turns 36 on Wednesday, has collected a goal and three assists on his birthday since the 1999-2000 season.