Posts tagged “Tomas Kopecky”

Kopecky Out, Abdelkader In

George Sipple reports that Tomas Kopecky will sit out at least Game 5 as a result of his fight with Francois Beauchemin last night. No word on whether or not a bone in his face is broken, but TSN claims he’s out long term. 

Justin Abdelkader will enter the lineup instead of the more strictly offense-oriented Ville Leino because of his physical style and because Babcock would like another center. As Sipple points out, that likely means the Eurotwin reunion will continue. 

Megan says Abdelkader had a good first round with the Griffins, but, like the rest of the team, a less good second round. He’s apparently gotten better about taking fewer dumb penalties and has been playing with a high energy level, which should make the fourth line even tougher for the Ducks to handle than it’s already been. He also brings a much higher offensive upside over Kopecky.

Also, Sipple asked Babcock about Rafalski and Draper. Babcock doesn’t expect them back, but offers hope based on the two-day break.

It’s Officially Official: Osgood’s the Playoff Starter

Update (2:55 PM): Dave Dye has the rest of Babcock’s quote, which pretty puts it back to where things were before: Osgood’s the starter unless something changes. – Matt

Update (2:39 PM): Okay, so the situation may be a bit less certain than Khan let on. Helene St. James’ quote from Babcock (Khan paraphrased) has words like “pretty sure” going with her own “expects.” So the ambiguity remains. Sort of. – Matt

Update (2:28 PM): My wife reminds me via email that she said last night “Osgood owes Conklin a drink.” I’d say so!

She also points out the aspect of the players-only meeting I neglected to mention: the implication that it was Lidstrom who called it. If they end up turning this thing around, remember this moment when people start questioning Lidstrom’s leadership. Steve Yzerman he is not (no one is), but he wears the “C” for a reason.  – Matt

After last night, this is about as surprising as a Samuelsson missed hold-in attempt, but Chris Osgood was named the starter for the playoffs by Babcock today.

Here’s hoping the official end of what little ambiguity on this issue there was will be enough for Oz go overcome the mental issues he’s had this season and trigger another stellar run.

Also, the players had a team meeting before practice today and were put through sprints by Babock at the end of the skate. We’re probably not talking Miracle sprints, but I think it’s pretty safe to say that things’ll be different Sunday.

And Kopecky hurt his shoulder during the game, though he doesn’t think it’s serious. He may skate tomorrow.

Kopecky’s ACL torn

George Sipple reports that Tomas Kopecky tore his ACL and sprained his MCL last night.

According to Ken Holland, he’ll need surgery when the swelling subsides. He will miss 4-6 months, which puts him out of the playoffs for sure. At latest, he’ll be making his return to the ice around the time the Wings start the 08-09 season.

What a shame. Kopecky has had a solid season, occasional weak games aside. He plays angry, which is always a good thing to see in a Red Wings forward, and has the size to back it up. As Ken Holland told Sipple,

“We’ll miss him. Our depth is getting tested up front.”

The Wings do have that depth, though. Given the size and speed of Justin Abdelkader, it’s not outside the realm of possibility that he could find a place on the roster while players like Mikael Samuelsson (groin) and Kris Draper (groin) recover. His lack of experience counts against him, of course, but he stands a fair chance of winning over Babcock, I would think.

Darren McCarty is also an option, though he apparently has a ways to go with attaining NHL-level conditioning (one possible explanation for his being a healthy scratch twice since returning).

Best wishes on a speedy recovery, Tomas. See you next season.

4/4 Notes

… I only caught the first period of the game, so I can only comment directly on that.

I thought it was a marked improvement over their first period performance in Chicago Wednesday night. Dominik Hasek looked strong, the forwards were dangerous, and the defense was relatively tight.

It’s easy to write the Jackets off because they aren’t making the playoffs once again. However, they have developed into a talented team and are just a piece or two away from providing competition in the Central. The common assessment is that they just need a center for Rick Nash and a puck-moving defenseman. It’s hard to disagree. They’ve already got most everything else.

… Just from the highlight reel, it’s easy to see why the Wings had to make a comeback in this one: Pascal Leclaire. The guy had 36 saves in his first game back from a concussion and there were some very impressive ones.

Hasek’s 20 saves is an obvious improvement over his performance prior to being pulled Wednesday, but I’m a little concerned about the two goals he did allow. The replays show long shots that were only marginally screened. I can’t tell if either of them was tipped, but I do know that the original shooter got credit both times. So, if they came off deflections, it was off a Red Wing both times. That would just be Dom’s luck.

Maybe someone who saw them live can comment on Dom’s performance.

… The good news to come out of the game, aside from the win, was the fact that the Wings finally locked up first place overall and home ice throughout the playoffs. I hear they hand out a trophy for that, but I’m more interested in the fact that they won’t have to deal with any road Game 7’s.

… The bad news to come out of the game was the injury to Tomas Kopecky. He hurt his knee 6:40 into the third period when he got tangled with Manny Malholtra. He didn’t make it back and the initial impression isn’t a positive one. He’ll be undergoing tests to determine the severity of the injury.

Kopey is a role player on the team, but a valuble one. He’s still in the maturing phase of his game, but he plays with an edge that will be vital in the post-season. Here’s hoping he’s not out long.

… In addition to the bad news about Kopecky, the news on Maltby was less than good: Mickey Redmond said before the game that it looks like he’ll be out 10-14 days.

… With Vancouver’s loss and Nashville’s win, the Canucks and Blackhawks were eliminated from playoff contention. The remaining possibilities are Calgary and Nashville.

If Chicago beats the Preds tonight, we’ll see Nashville in the first round. If the Predators lose and the Predators win, we’ll get the Flames in the first round for the second year in a row.

By all accounts, it sounds like Justin Abdelkader had a strong debut. Given that and the fact that Kopecky is hurt, he may find a regular injury replacement spot in the coming weeks.

Of course, there remains the small issue of his entry level contract, on which he and the team must agree by Saturday or he’ll be inelligible for post-season play. I doubt there’ll be much trouble with that, though.

… An injury update: Tomas Holmstrom (groin/abdomen) characterized himself as definitely in for Sunday’s game.

3/7 Post-practice Update

Bruce MacLeod has the latest from the Joe:

… Nick Lidstrom (knee) participated in battle drills today and is headed for a Sunday return. The team will finalize his status on Saturday after practice.

… Chris Chelios (bone chip, right leg) is feeling better and hopes to be ready to play against Nashville. However, MacLeod says it’s unlikely he’ll dress and that he’s it’s a better bet he’ll return Tuesday.

… Darren McCarty is in town, but only to undergo treatment for a rib injury he suffered Sunday. He played through it Wednesday night, but must have aggravated it during that game.  MacLeod says he may play for the Griffins Saturday night. He’ll be back in Detroit on Monday as his conditioning stint will be over.

… Valtteri Filppula apparently has a leg injury that kept him out of practice. Mike Babcock said he’ll be okay for Sunday, though.

…  Tomas Kopecky skated and suffered no ill effects from the big hit he took late in the game Wednesday night.

3/6 Notes

… I only caught the first period of the Wings’ 4-1 win over the Blues last night. I was reasonably impressed with what I saw, though it’s obvious they aren’t quite firing on all cylinders yet. Still, it’s a marked improvement over their February play, that’s for sure.

I have to say something about the phantom Pavel Datsyuk call that led to the Blues’ late first period power play. What the heck was that? I’d like to think that the official who called the penalty knows the difference between a trip and a player falling on his own. Apparently not.

In the end, it doesn’t matter, but my confidence in the officiating is waning. What with the missed call in the Sharks game Friday night, the play that was not stopped in Buffalo Sunday, and various phantom calls, how are we expected to trust in the referees? It’s not as though it’s just a problem in Wings games either. Just ask the Philadelphia Flyers.  I hate to complain about the officiating, but to me this is a League-wide quality issue, not a Wings fan-specific gripe.

… I’ve been trying to cut Andreas Lilja some slack lately. I figure there’s a reason he remains in the lineup, despite his more visible blunders. With that change in mindset, I’ve been able to appreciate big #3 more.

On the Blues’ goal, however, I thought his attempt to knock the puck down was a little on the boneheaded side. It turned out to be a perfect redirect. I thought the conventional wisdom was that defensemen leave the puck alone if they can’t outright block it. With Stempniak  right there, I can understand what Andreas was trying to do, but it just didn’t turn out so well.

… It wasn’t  Brett Lebda that Mike Babcock sat in favor of Jonathan Ericsson  last night. It was Derek Meech. I admit it, I was surprised. Meech apparently hit a high point against Edmonton last week, but his play since was still quite good, I thought. I assume Babcock was just demonstrating to Meech that his spot on the roster is not a given. Hopefully it won’t backfire, somewhat like we saw with Quincey.

… Giving Ericsson another game paid off, if only because of a little drop pass  that kicked off the cycle leading to Pavel Datsyuk’s first goal. If Nick Lidstrom does return Sunday, however, last night was probably Ericsson’s last game in the Winged Wheel this season as he’ll be returned to Grand Rapids.

… Since I missed the second and third periods, I didn’t see the hit on Tomas Kopecky or the aftermath.  It didn’t make the cut on the highlight reel, and neither did the Rafalski throwdown or Downey’s coming off the bench. Too bad. IwoCPO says he’ll have video later.

I’m glad to read that Kopecky’s okay. He looked good in the first period and I assume played a strong game in the second and third, as well.

… I don’t know what he looked like in the second and third, obviously, but you get the feeling that Jiri Hudler is finally going to break out of this horrendous slump. I thought he looked strong in the first.

… Where was Manny Legace’s head on Brian Rafalski’s goal? It just blew by him.

… The Dallas Stars lost at home to the Coyotes last night. That’s two home losses in a row for the second-ranked team in the Conference. Much ballyhooed trade deadline acquisition Brad Richards has zero points in both games since posting five in his debut with the Stars. That’s called being brought back to earth.

The Wings’ two consecutive wins have put them 7 points ahead of Dallas and they retain two games in hand.

St. James: Osgood to start versus Phoenix

Helene St. James reports that Chris Osgood will get his fourth straight start Saturday night against the Coyotes.

Personally, I’d like to see Dominik Hasek get a chance to get on track, but this gels with Bruce MacLeod’s report of earlier this week in which he reported that Dom would start either Saturday or Tuesday. Hopefully Babcock will stick with that plan, as Hasek needs some reps, even if Osgood is tearing it up.

Also, Kirk Maltby (back) did not skate today, so he will not dress tomorrow. Matt Ellis, having been cleared to play, will return to the lineup and will give the team some added defensive security. He practiced on the fourth line with Aaron Downey and Tomas Kopecky.