Skip to main content
The Official Site of the Detroit Red Wings

Notes: Thomas Vanek to miss game against former team

Both Tomas Jurco and Steve Ott are available to step into the linup

by Dana Wakiji @Dwakiji /

ST. PAUL, MINN. - It's a quick turnaround for the Red Wings as they played Saturday evening in Columbus and less than 24 hours later play in Minnesota and they'll be without their leading scorer.

Wings general manager Ken Holland said Thomas Vanek is out for today with a lower-body injury.

Vanek left in the third period against the Blue Jackets after a Columbus player fell on his leg, but returned later in the period and finished the game.

After the game, Vanek said it didn't feel great but he wanted to see how it felt when he woke up.

Vanek scored his team-leading 14th goal against Columbus.

Vanek played for the Wild from 2014-16 before the Wild bought out the final year of his contract.

Vanek also played at the University of Minnesota.

Both Tomas Jurco and Steve Ott are available.

As usual, Wings coach Jeff Blashill declined to name a starting goaltender.

"We'll need elite goaltending, whichever goalie's in the net has to be elite," Blashill said. "That's the reality of the league is in order to win in this league most nights, you need great to elite goaltending. We think both Petr Mrazek and Jared Coreau can give us that. We think they both have given us that in the last month, we'll need it tonight."

Mrazek made 37 saves against the Blue Jackets in the 2-1 loss.

The Wings will likely face their third straight elite goaltender after playing against Washington's Braden Holtby, Columbus' Sergei Bobrovsky and expecting to see Minnesota's Devan Dubnyk.

"Obviously Holtby, Bobrovsky and Dubnyk are on top of their games," Blashill said. "Now with that said, we were able to score against Holtby, we weren't quite (able) but we had lots of chances against Bobrovsky, all you can do is create tons of chances, create tons of chaos, get bodies to the net, do that over and over again if you're going to score goals, regardless of who's in the net so we're going to have to do that tonight."

Holtby, Bobrovsky and Dubnyk all played in the All-Star Game in Los Angeles.

Dubnyk leads the league with 30 wins, the third straight season he has reached 30 wins.

Dubnyk is tied with the injured Jimmy Howard for first in goals-against average at 1.96 and save percentage at .934.

At 36-12-6, the Wild are second in the league behind the Capitals.

"They've got a good D corps but they're real good in transition," Blashill said. "I'd say even more so than they have in recent past. For me, that's one thing that really stands out."

Because it's another back-to-back situation, there wasn't a lot of time for the coaches to prepare the players.

"Obviously it's a quick turnaround so they don't need information overload," Blashill said. "We try to stick to just a few points, keep it concise, make our message in terms of what they're going to see with Minnesota but then also make sure we're playing our game at a high level."

Blashill said everyone besides Vanek who played against the Blue Jackets is available.

OTHER CONNECTIONS: Wings assistant coach John Torchetti served as head coach for the final 27 games of last season. Wings defenseman Nick Jensen was born in St. Paul and played at St. Cloud State University.

View More