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After getting completely white-washed by the Blues Saturday night, the Wings badly needed a better effort in their second game of the season.
In this shortened schedule, Detroit’s already panicky fan base is on edge.
The Columbus Blue Jackets were a welcome sight on the schedule but they gave the Red Wings all they could handle before Damien Brunner sealed the deal in the shootout.
Brian Lashoff, playing in his first career NHL game, opened the scoring and Ian White put the Wings up 2-0.
Columbus rallied for three straight, with goals from Cam Atkinson, James Wisniewski and Vinny Prospal.
Pavel Datsyuk tied the score late in the third, guiding in a terrific Nik Kronwall pass, to set the stage for Brunner’s dramatics.
Carlo Colaiacovo left the game in the third period with a shoulder injury and it is expected he will miss a significant amount of time. That means the Wings will be down three of their seven “NHL” defencemen, and the farm isn’t particularly robust with available D-men.
Brendan Smith was the Wings top prospect on the blue line and he’s up playing over 18 minutes a night. Brian Lashoff, who was realistically a year at least away from playing regular NHL hockey, looks to be here to stay for now with Ericsson and Kindl not expected back until Friday at the earliest.
If I had to guess, I would say Adam Almquist’s phone is ringing since he is the Wings next-best prospect in Grand Rapids, but it is his first season in North America and is generously listed at 5’11″. I’ve met him and he’s not.
Brennan Evans and Nathan Paetsch, the two vets on the Griffins back end, are on AHL only deals. Ditto rookie Chad Billins. Max Nicastro ain’t ready and don’t even think about it Gleason Fournier.
With the Wings home opener less than 24 hours away, the front office will have to decide: rush Kindl or Ericsson back? Dress a roster short one player? Or bring in the tiny Swedish defenceman who’s mental game has been compared to Nick Lidstrom’s?