Khan(!) really did his job today with a nice piece on all the injured players. Let's take a look take-a-lookers:
-- Defenseman Niklas Kronwall will return to the lineup Tuesday against Phoenix. He has been out since Nov. 21 with a sprained left MCL.
And the lines in practice:
Bertuzzi-Filppula-Miller (Franzen working in)
Draper-Helm-Eaves (Williams working in)
Leino-Abdelkader-Maltby (May working in)
I have missed Kronner so frickin much. He might even help Stuart regain his game. Remember how good they were together before he got hurt? And this pushes Meech out of the team. YAY! I'm gonna throw a curveball out here and ask this: As the Wings seem reluctant to call up Ritola, shouldn't they play Meech as a forward instead of Leino against Phoenix? Well, I guess they want to give Leino one last chance to impress. I like the thought of experimenting with the lines. Cleary might be good for Z and Dats and the second line needs a shake up, seeing as they have spent way too much time being dominated in their own zone lately.
-- Defenseman Andreas Lilja said he has been headache-free for 13 days and that he was told by doctors that he needs to be symptom-free for 14 days before they can even begin the process for clearing him to play. Unless he has a setback in the next day or two, he will meet with team officials this week and could return in the near future from a concussion that has kept him out since Feb. 28 of last season.
“My plan from the start was to go 14 days without headaches and I’m hitting 13 today, so we’ll see what happens,'' Lilja said. "I’ll stick to that plan and negotiate after that.’’
By negotiate, he meant discuss with doctors and management when he can be activated.
“I don’t know what’s going to happen. I have to stick to the 14-day plan first,'' Lilja said. “It feels pretty good.’’
Lilja has been practicing for months but hasn't participated in contact drills. Even after he is cleared it will take some time before he is game-ready. He likely would need a conditioning stint in Grand Rapids (AHL).
“It’ll be up to the coach,'' Lilja said. "I feel pretty ready, so we’ll see.’’
Said coach Mike Babcock: "We'd like him to play one day here. I don't know how that goes. There probably has to be a meeting with (general manager) Ken Holland.''
Holy frickin Batman. Mick was almost right. Having Lilja back would be huge. Cross your fingers, pray to your chosen deity and sacrifice something. We need him back now!
-- Right wing Jason Williams said there is a chance he could play Friday against Nashville. He's been out since Nov. 7 with a fractured fibula.
Meh, well he'll be good on the PP and I am ready to give him a chance. But my expectations are low. On the other hand, this forces Leino out, right?
-- Forward Tomas Holmstrom has not resumed practicing but skated on his own before practice and said he feels better. He continues to target Friday's game or Sunday at Pittsburgh for his return from a fractured foot sustained on Jan. 6.
I'm guessing Sunday. Anyway, another guy it'd be awesome to have back. Maybe we could even get to see a game with the real circus line?
-- Forward Johan Franzen will know more about his status after seeing a doctor this week, He believes he can return for at least a couple of games before the Olympic break (Feb. 15-28).
I had kinda forgotten that guy existed. He would make a huge difference.