– Henrik Zetterberg
, who has been listed as day-to-day with a sore lower back said Tuesday afternoon that he expects to play when the Red Wings host the Phoenix Coyotes Wednesday at Joe Louis Arena.
“It feels pretty good. I skated good yesterday and skated even better today,” Zetterberg said. “I think it’s a green light for tomorrow.”
Zetterberg missed five games at the end of last month with the same back soreness. Despite missing seven games, he still leads the team with 28 goals and 61 points.
For the second straight season, Zetterberg turned down an invitation to participate in the All-Star game. Fans voted him to the Western Conference starting lineup, along with his Wings’ teammates Pavel Datsyuk
and Nicklas Lidstrom
While three Red Wings and coach Mike Babcock were enjoying the All-Star festivities in Atlanta last weekend, Zetterberg focused on getting healthy.
“It was a good break with four days off,” he said. “It’s been a good break for the legs, the body and also the mind.
“You’ve got to be careful of what you do off of the ice, too. But the worst thing you can do is lay still on your couch and watch TV. You have to move around and activate your body; otherwise it’s just going to get worse.”
Zetterberg missed the final 19 games of the regular-season last year. He returned for the playoffs, playing in 18 games, scoring six goals with eight assists.
“He’s playing,” Babcock said. “I’m not taking it easy on him one bit. If he’s playing, he’s playing. If he’s not playing, he’s not playing. Him and I discussed that this morning and he’s not going to play (just) 14 minutes. He seems to be feeling real good.”
“I really turned the corner well, and stayed to feel better and better. But you always want to get back to skating and see how it reacts to that. I don’t see why I should feel bad.