Alex Nedeljkovic will get the start Tuesday when the Detroit Red Wings play the first of the 10 games left on the schedule. Whether Ville Husso will see another start seems unlikely.
Coach Derek Lalonde said Monday that Husso “is in a week-long evaluation, where he is dealing with getting a couple different opinions,” on a lower-body injury that has sidelined him since March 23. “He’s actually feeling better, but he’s going through the proper process and it’s going to take a few days.”
Lalonde described Husso’s injury as “something that’s been underlying probably for a couple years on him, which is very common for his position. I think it’s just come to the forefront now.” Given Husso has not practiced for nearly a week, and that the Wings are running out of games, it would seem tempting to just shut Husso down for the rest of the season. Lalonde said the team would leave that up to the professionals.
DOWN THE STRETCH:Here’s what Red Wings must show Steve Yzerman in final 10 games
Forward Robby Fabbri, who hasn’t played since suffering a lower-body injury March 8, is not “expected back the rest of the year,” Lalonde said. “I think it’s more of a cautious approach with him, looking more towards next year.”
Fabbri already has endured three ACL surgeries. Lalonde said if surgery is required again this time, “I don’t think it’s going to be aggressive-type surgery. If there is, I think it’s a clean-up type thing.”
The Wings already lost forward Michael Rasmussen for the season on Feb. 25 when he took a puck off his right kneecap.
Forward Alex Chiasson did not practice Monday because he was being evaluated for an undisclosed injury, but Filip Zadina (lower body) was back practicing after missing Saturday’s game. Neither he nor defenseman Ben Chiarot (upper body, last played March 14) are expected to be available as soon as Tuesday’s game against the Pittsburgh Penguins.
BACK IN NET:Red Wings turn to Alex Nedeljkovic; Ville Husso could be gone for some time
ROOKIE WALL?How Simon Edvinsson has benefitted from his time with Red Wings
One guy who will stop being affected by whether or not another defenseman is injured is Simon Edvinsson. His call-up status has been changed from emergency to regular, meaning he can stay past being needed if there weren’t six healthy regulars.
The Wings (31-32-9) have lost two in a row, and are 3-11-1 since Feb. 23, when they were inside the playoff picture. Their slide will at least help their draft lottery odds, and Husso’s absence, too, has created an opportunity for Nedeljkovic to show if he’s recovered from the struggles that landed him in the minors in January. He and Magnus Hellberg project to share the net the last 10 games, with however has the hot hand earning the next start.
“We want to kind of make it down the stretch here with both those guys,” Lalonde said. “If you play well, you give us a chance, you’ll get the net again.”
Contact Helene St. James at email@example.com. 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.
Next up: Penguins
Matchup: Red Wings (31-32-9) vs. Pittsburgh (36-27-10).
Faceoff: 7 p.m. Tuesday; Little Caesars Arena, Detroit.
TV/radio: Bally Sports Detroit; WXYT-FM (97.1).