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Of course he did: Ericsson breaks finger, out two weeks (Update: 4-6 weeks)

Mar 19, 2014, 11:56 AM EDT

Jonathan Ericsson Getty Images

At this point, we’ve run out of original ways to describe the Red Wings’ injury situation this season…so take it away, Detroit News!

Defenseman Jonathan Ericsson didn’t come out for the third period [of Tuesday’s win against Toronto] after breaking a finger late in the second period.

Ericsson will be out “10 days to two weeks,” general manager Ken Holland said, and is expected to undergo surgery Wednesday to stabilize the finger.

“We get someone hurt every day and they never come back,” said [Mike] Babcock, not exaggerating as the Red Wings have lost six players in six games. “He’s seeing a hand specialist. He has a broken finger. In the old days you just taped it up and kept playing.

“I don’t know what the rules are (now).”

The six players Detroit has lost in the last six games are Ericsson, Justin Abdelkader, Todd Bertuzzi (who returned to face Toronto), Tomas Jurco, Joakim Andersson and Jonas Gustavsson. Those players joined an already lengthy list of Detroit skaters shelved with various ailments — Darren Helm, Dan Cleary, Pavel Datsyuk, Henrik Zetterberg and Stephen Weiss.

It’s hard to blame Babcock for being exasperated. Despite all these injuries, Detroit is right in the thick of the Eastern Conference playoff chase and the head coach is clearly wondering where the club would be if it was even a fraction healthier than it is right now.

Update: Oh, it just keeps getting better for Detroit. Ericsson underwent successful surgery on the finger and will now miss the next 4-6 weeks.

  1. 19to77 - Mar 19, 2014 at 12:03 PM

    May as well try sacrificing a goat to the hockey gods at this point. It can’t possibly make things much worse.

  2. girouxsalem89 - Mar 19, 2014 at 12:11 PM

    I smell some trainers getting fired this offseason.

    • ibieiniid - Mar 19, 2014 at 12:43 PM

      ya man, they weren’t focusing enough on finger workouts. classic trainer mistake.

      • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Mar 19, 2014 at 1:21 PM

        The Wings are not the type of organization to make knee-jerk firings, and I don’t believe they will here. But when a team gets bitten this badly by the injury bug you have to at least take a look at the trainers and the training regiments. There’s always room for improvement.

      • kfraser91 - Mar 19, 2014 at 3:09 PM

        and not to mention pete van zant has been apart of the organization for nearly 20 years…

  3. c9castine - Mar 19, 2014 at 12:14 PM

    uhh…mike babcock sounds pissed. I’m not so sure that was the best thing for him to say following the announcement that the guy is going to miss time.

    now everybody on the team feels like they need to get back and play right now despite their health status. thats not a good culture to create….

    I’m sure if he could play he would but I’m also sure that if the guy can’t take a slap shot he’s not gonna do anybody any good on the ice….

    • jernster21 - Mar 19, 2014 at 3:17 PM

      1) He’s a defeseman 2) He has one goal all year. I think this is pretty weak if you ask me, and I agree with Babcock’s statement – these guys are on the brink of continuing a historical consecutive playoff streak or missing out and a guy is going to miss time for a broken finger? Time to man up – maybe the Wings should give Patrice Bergeron a call for tips.

      • carravallahj - Mar 19, 2014 at 3:59 PM

        You can’t blame an individual for getting hurt. You can’t blame a trainer, or the conditioning coach, or anyone. It’s a part of the game. Whether you can deal with it or not.

      • c9castine - Mar 19, 2014 at 11:43 PM

        listen i agree to an extent…

        but the media is NEVER in any case the place to air this stuff out. thats my belief. maybe i was raised too strictly on the Godfather way.

        “Never tell anybody outside the family what you’re thinking”. Its weakness.

        Like I said, I hold Babcock to a higher standard but at the same time, I understand his frustration. Nobody is perfect.

        By the way, what does defenseman have to do with it? in regards to the slaphot? they take the most…

      • jernster21 - Mar 20, 2014 at 12:25 AM

        My point was that he’s not an offensive threat with two good hands, let alone one; he’s not likely to be taking a ton of shots. Assuming it’s not the hand that is the top hand on his stick, he could make it work, but it is what it is I guess, if this was the playoffs, he’d play through it, so I don’t why the same desire isn’t there given their situation.

  4. pwshrugged - Mar 19, 2014 at 12:29 PM

    I said it last year, but I think it bears even further consideration this year – if this squad makes the playoffs, even if they squeak in as an 8-seed… Babcock has to win the Jack Adams Trophy. He hasn’t yet, despite being deserving, because he’s coached a team with consistently high expectations. But if he manages to take two injury-riddled squads into the playoffs in consecutive years… I mean, come on. Testament to the organizational depth and development style in the minors.

    That said, that’s the most exasperated I think I’ve ever heard Babcock. But still, who can blame him? What a year. Is it bad puck luck? Is it an issue with the training staff? Is it an equipment issue? Is it simply a result of a scheme reliant on blocked shots and net-front presence? Who knows. But with this having happened two years in a row now… it bears some questioning.

    • c9castine - Mar 19, 2014 at 12:54 PM

      Personally, I hold Mike Babcock to a higher standard than that comment I saw up there…but I do understand the guy’s frustration.

      There is nothing to attribute the injuries to other than just that…it happens. Its a rough game that is played and a lot of these things are just bad luck.

      The Penguins have led the league in man games lost twice in the last 5 years and a lot of people in Pittsburgh start wondering if it is somebody’s fault. Its not…its just the way the cookie crumbles sometimes.

      Im not sure how the Jack Adams goes to anybody from the East. Julien and Bylsma are expected to lead excellent clubs. Bylsma won because he had an injury riddle team in 2011, the difference was that team finished with 104 points.
      Not squeaked into the playoffs.

      It has to be Patrick Roy….

      • pwshrugged - Mar 19, 2014 at 1:16 PM

        I always feel bad for coaches – and doubly so for players – when they have to face the media every day and answer the same obnoxious questions time and again, largely unable to say precisely what they want to. With this season having been so taxing, I can appreciate Babcock’s high level of frustration and pretty much give him a pass. He’s been answering the same questions since before the Winter Classic.

        I can see Roy as the shoo-in Adams candidate, and I’d be fine with that. My main point is just that I loathe that award always going to “the best team.” That’s not always the marker of the best coaching. If Babcock basically makes the playoffs with a team that’s more than half Griffons, that should merit consideration.

      • c9castine - Mar 19, 2014 at 1:40 PM

        colorado is nowhere near the best team though. (well, maybe no nowhere near, but certainly are not)

        but they are a top rank team who went from pretty much last place to one of the leaders of the conference and they are very young an inexperienced.

        not saying he shouldn’t merit consideration, but its a hard argument to beat out Roy.

  5. wingsfan97 - Mar 19, 2014 at 12:30 PM

    Babcock basically called him a p***

  6. kfraser91 - Mar 19, 2014 at 1:03 PM

    softest guy on the team…gets worked in front and in the corners by the opposing forwards every shift yet hes biggest guy on the ice the majority of the time. guy needs to wake up and start throwing the body a little

  7. phillyphannnn83 - Mar 19, 2014 at 1:21 PM

    It’s because the Eastern Conference plays aggressive, physical hockey while the Western Conference plays like they’re in the Swedish league. Detroits just not used to the hitting.

    • budzo83 - Mar 19, 2014 at 1:44 PM

      Management is always talking this guy up and they awarded him with a big extension this season as well. For what? He’s injured a lot and isn’t consistent in either zone when he does play. Not to mention that he is prone to high-profile mistakes at key times. Yet Holland and Babcock talk about him as a top-four cornerstone on D. I can understand if this just started within the last year, as thin as they have been on the back end, but this has been going on for some time. In my opinion, the only thing he is good at is eating minutes.

      • budzo83 - Mar 19, 2014 at 1:49 PM

        Didn’t mean for that to be a reply to phillyphannnn83… Sorry

    • mshantz22 - Mar 19, 2014 at 2:37 PM

      Is that a f***ing joke? Have you ever seen the ducks, sharks, blues, coyotes or Blackhawks play? You are definitely a philly fan living in Philly-land.

  8. blackhawksdynasty - Mar 19, 2014 at 1:31 PM

    This is just ridiculous.

    They may be the Hawks’ long time rivals, but I have the utmost respect for Babcock and the Wings organization as a whole. IMO it just sucks to see all these injuries piling up this year.

  9. thethorntonstrokes - Mar 19, 2014 at 1:43 PM


    • paperkid96 - Mar 19, 2014 at 7:01 PM


  10. budzo83 - Mar 19, 2014 at 1:49 PM

    Management is always talking this guy up and they awarded him with a big extension this season as well. For what? He’s injured a lot and isn’t consistent in either zone when he does play. Not to mention that he is prone to high-profile mistakes at key times. Yet Holland and Babcock talk about him as a top-four cornerstone on D. I can understand if this just started within the last year, as thin as they have been on the back end, but this has been going on for some time. In my opinion, the only thing he is good at is eating minutes.

    • carravallahj - Mar 19, 2014 at 4:03 PM

      Ericsson is one of the best Defense man on the team, aside from Kronner and maybe even DeKeyser. He’s out on the ice against the other team’s top line. And when you have a whole bunch of minor leaguers out on the ice with you, you’re bound to get hung out to dry, which exactly whats been happening as of late. DeKeyser is going to get a chance to move up in the depth chart now and show exactly what he’s capable of. He plays like Lidstrom used to. Calm, relaxed, efficient puck movement. Challenges the body, but doesn’t position himself in an exposed position. He’s always in the right spot defensively, and can make the play that is needed. Him, Smith and Ericsson are the future of Detroit’s defense. Just watch.

  11. jweipp17 - Mar 19, 2014 at 3:53 PM

    Now maybe one of the young D-men from grand rapids will get called up. We have seen how well the forwards have been. Lets see if the blueliners are as good.

  12. budzo83 - Mar 19, 2014 at 5:58 PM

    @carravallahj: You’re right, Ericsson is one of the best defensemen on the team… That’s how thin they are on D. DeKeyser and Kronwall are legitimate top four defensemen, but Smith has more upside than Ericsson.

  13. 19wasthebest - Mar 19, 2014 at 6:42 PM

    First let me say this: Babcock is right. These guys need to suck it up a little. How many times did you see Stevie not play hurt? Shannahan? Chelios? These guys had heart which is something this current team is severely lacking. This team is in a fight for the #8 spot and these P***Y players need to get back on the ice where they belong and are paid very well.

    Hockey players are supposed to be tough athletes. Time for these guys to show they really want it and deserve it.

  14. paperkid96 - Mar 19, 2014 at 7:04 PM

    Babcocks comments make you wonder about the locker room and how its holding together. I think its well known Babcock is no players coach. I like him but it make me wonder if Babcock has lost the team.

    He’s questioning injuries. Why?

    This stuff happens in pro sports i would like to think the Wings are immune from it but that comment says a lot.

  15. kwall55 - Mar 19, 2014 at 9:55 PM

    How has Babcock lost the team? Do you guys realize he is paid to contend for a championship regardless of who is on the ice. this is his job and clearly it is getting ridiculous with the amount of injured players we have. Right now 3/4 of our starting centers would be in the AHL or healthy scratches if we had everyone back.

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