Here’s how long the Detroit Red Wings expect to be without their most important player

Detroit Free Press

The Detroit Red Wings consider Jonathan Bernier day-to-day with a lower-body injury.

That sounds relatively optimistic given he left the ice needing help from two teammates. He didn’t practice Friday, and coach Jeff Blashill said, “my gut is yes,” when asked if Bernier will, at the very least, miss Saturday’s game against the Dallas Stars at Little Caesars Arena.

“Right now it’s day to day,” Blashill said. “I don’t know if that stretches into a week or weeks. It’s all based on the healing process. I can’t tell you how long that is going to be.

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“He’s been evaluated and I would just say it’s one of those injuries that could heal quickly, could take longer. We’re just not sure.”

Thomas Greiss earned his second victory in 18 games when he finished Thursday’s 3-2 victory over the Stars. Bernier was hurt late in the second period. He was reaching for a puck when teammate Patrik Nemeth came crashing in. Bernier was helped off the ice, flanked by Dylan Larkin and Vladislav Namestnikov.

“To see a goalie stay down in discomfort — they are in such a vulnerable position when they are down and somebody falls on top of them,” Larkin said. “You never want to see that happen. He has been such an important player for us, our best player the past couple seasons. He means a lot to us.

“We are hoping he’s OK. We still don’t know.”

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The Wings went 1-5-1 when Bernier missed two weeks with an upper-body injury after being run over in the crease by Anthony Mantha on Jan. 28, also against the Stars. Bernier has been the Wings’ MVP, posting a .918 save percentage and 2.78 goals-against average with an 8-6-0 record in 17 appearances (16 starts). Greiss has struggled, recording a .883 save percentage and 3.46 GAA and 2-11-4 record.

The only other goaltender in the system who has played with the Wings this season is Calvin Pickard. He subbed in Feb. 3 against the Lightning, allowing two goals on 21 shots in 54:08. Greiss was pulled from that game after allowing three goals on six shots in 5:36. Pickard was reassigned from the taxi squad to Grand Rapids last week, and Kaden Fulcher was added to the taxi squad.

Contact Helene St. James at hstjames@freepress.com. Follow her on Twitter @helenestjames. Read more on the Detroit Red Wings and sign up for our Red Wings newsletter. Her book, The Big 50: The Detroit Red Wings is available from AmazonBarnes & Noble and Triumph Books. Personalized copies available via her e-mail. 

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