Just as they achieved full health, the Detroit Red Wings are likely to be without one, maybe two regulars.
Forward Lucas Raymond limped off the practice facility inside Little Caesars Arena on Friday after colliding with teammate Ben Chiarot.
Coach Derek Lalonde described Raymond as “in the day-to-day range,” and didn’t have much further information immediately available. Chiarot said “we just collided. The puck was there and we were both kind of going for it and just collided.” Raymond slammed the door as he left the ice.
The Wings host the Vancouver Canucks at noon Saturday, and if Raymond is unavailable, Dominik Kubalik will sub back into the lineup after being a healthy scratch the prior game. Raymond is second on the Wings with 15 goals and third with 33 points. Kubalik is second with 34 points.
Defenseman Jake Walman is day-to-day with a shoulder injury; he missed practice the day after a collision briefly knocked him out of the 2-1 victory over the Calgary Flames. Lalonde sounded doubtful Walman (nine points, plus-14 rating in 34 games) would be available against the Canucks.
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“We’ll get a better feel in the morning,” Lalonde said. “I don’t think it’s anything alarming, but I don’t know if we’ll have him for tomorrow.”
Walman was helped off the ice after colliding with 6-foot-6 Flames defenseman Nikita Zadorov with about seven minutes to go in the first period. Walman returned for the second period and finished the game, but players experiencing after-effects the day following such a big hit is not uncommon.
“It was a collision,” Lalonde said. “He gave as much as he took. It was shoulder-on-shoulder, clean, and he’s just a really big boy, Zadorov.”
Chiarot skated with Moritz Seider in practice, reuniting a defense partnership that began the season but was separated when Walman emerged as a better option opposite Seider.
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Incurring injuries to Walman and Raymond comes the same week the Wings finally had their full complement of players available. That bumped Kubalik, who has struggled to sustain what began as an impressive start.
“To take himself out of that conversation of maybe being one of the guys rotating out is, when he is skating he is assertive with his game,” Lalonde said. “That is when he is at his best.”
Contact Helene St. James at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @helenestjames. Read more on the Detroit Red Wings and sign up for our Red Wings newsletter. Her latest book, “On the Clock: Behind the Scenes with the Detroit Red Wings at the NHL Draft,” is available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Triumph Books. Personalized copies available via her e-mail.