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Zetterberg hopes to ‘play hockey again this year’

Mar 26, 2014, 2:44 PM EDT

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The first step for the Detroit Red Wings is to make the playoffs. Otherwise there’s no hope their captain, Henrik Zetterberg, will play for them again this season.

From the Detroit Free Pres:

Zetterberg spoke to media today for the first time since undergoing back surgery that requires a minimum of eight weeks of rehabilitation, a date that falls around April 18-19. The Detroit Red Wings finish the regular season April 13, and are in an extremely tight race to make the playoffs. Realistically, they’d need to go two rounds for there to be any talk of Zetterberg returning – and that depends, of course, on there being no setbacks.

Zetterberg told reporters that his goal is to “play hockey again this year,” but that won’t be possible unless the Wings get into the postseason without him.

With Pavel Datsyuk also on the road to recovery, the Wings could be a formidable playoff team. Again, assuming they make it that far.

If the playoffs started today, the Wings would face the Bruins in the first round.

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