The Detroit Red Wings have six games remaining this season, those games will be played without Tyler Bertuzzi, Dylan Larkin, and Bobby Ryan. Head coach Jeff Blashill announced the two young superstars for the Red Wings will miss the rest of the season with injury. Bobby Ryan will also miss the rest of the season with an upper body injury. This means more minutes for center icemen like Michael Rasmussen and Val Filppula. This should not shake the lineup too much as the Red Wings have gone with 11 forwards and 7 defenseman for a majority of games lately. The outlook for this team’s remaining 6 games is bleak at best, however I feel we have one more surprise coming for this Red Wings squad in the form of a NHL debut.
Injuries hurt every team in the league in different ways. Teams like Pittsburgh and Washington have different identities when players like Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechekin miss games. That is no different for a team that is going through a rebuild. Detroit was dealt a devastating blow when coach Jeff Blashill announced that Dylan Larkin’s season was over this week. He also made it official that other forwards, Tyler Bertuzzi, Frans Nielson, and Bobby Ryan would be done for the season. The pairing of Larkin and Bertuzzi has been one of the few bright spots for this team over the last couple of years. The Red Wings will end up trying to fill those voids with the likes of Rasmussen and veteran Val Filppula. Michael Rasmussen has come a long way this season with his confidence and overall contribution with the team, even though the stat sheet does not show it. Either way, we are going to see line combinations that we are not used to seeing as Head Coach Jeff Blashill continues to roll with the 11 forwards approach and a rotation of taxi squad call ups.
The Wings only have 6 games left in their season. They have three against Columbus, two against Tampa Bay and one against Carolina. The team does have a few pieces that can create some havok for teams trying to overlook the rebuilding and injury plagued Red Wings. Jonathan Bernier turned in a performance for the ages against the Dallas Stars on Saturday night as he only allowed 2 goals on 52 shots on goal. Jakub Vrana was able to score 4 goals in one game against the same Stars team and steal 2 points from a team who is desperate for wins.
It appears Red Wings fans may have something to look forward to yet this season as prospect Joe Veleno may make his NHL debut yet this season. Veleno has been playing in the SHL in Sweden as his team the Malmo Redhawks were eliminated from playoff contention. Head Coach Jeff Blashill has said Veleno is not cleared to play yet, and has not confirmed with GM Steve Yzerman on whether or not the young prospect will be on the big club by the end of the season. It’s this writer’s opinion that Veleno will make a 2 to 3 game appearance by the end of this season. Veleno formerly played for the Grand Rapids Griffins for 54 games in the 2019-2020 season and tallied 23 points.