Red Wings: Shifting Defence in Detroit

Xavier Ouellet has had an up and down week with the Detroit Red Wings. After being called up by the big club on Monday, the Red Wings decided to send the young defenceman back to Grand Rapids with Niklas Kronwall a game-time decision when the Wings take on the Senators tonight.

Who’s In For Red Wings D

There’s going to be a few changes on the Wings blue line tonight with Kronwall  hopeful to make his return after a two-game absence following his concussion. Kronwall has been out since being hit into the boards by Colorado Avalanche forward Cody McLeod.

To add to Ouellet’s roller coaster ride, he was recalled from Grand Rapids as a precaution in case Kronwall can’t play. Along with this season’s regulars – Danny DeKeyser, Kyle Quincy, and Jakub Kindl – expect Brendan Smith and Brian Lashoff to be in the lineup to round out their top six.

Kronwall leads the team’s defencemen with six points (one goal and five assists) over his eight games played. It’s going to be a boost for the team to have him back in the lineup – not just offensively, but defensively as well.

Who’s Out For Red Wings D

As of this afternoon, Ouellet’s recall is simply a precautionary move by the team. Kronwall is still expected to play tonight against the Senators which will help to bolster a young blue line.

While Jonathan Ericsson missed Monday’s game for the birth of his first child, he’s expected to remain out of the Detroit lineup thanks to a slight dislocation in his shoulder. This takes some experience and age out of the lineup – as Ericsson is the team’s second oldest defenceman.

Detroit Red Wings, Jonathan Ericsson, Injury, Kronwall
Wings’ Ericsson will miss a couple weeks with a partially dislocated shoulder. (Photo By Andy Martin Jr)

The team says Ericsson will try and rest up the injury and should only miss a week or two. While this does take one of the more experienced guys out of the lineup, it does offer a chance for others to make an impression.

“It’ll be a little bit different, but you know what, we’ve got other guys here who are looking for an opportunity, said Kronwall in an article by Bill Roose. “I think anytime somebody goes down it’s always an opportunity for another guy. We have great younger guys who can step into the lineup and do a really good job. They showed it last year and I think they’ve shown it so far this year also.”

Kronwall, who is usually paired with Ericsson, will look to make an impact early tonight against the Senators. The rest of the defensive unit will look a little different from the regular group, but expect the team to have the same sort of successes from their defensive pairings – no matter how they lineup.


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