The Detroit Red Wings may get a big boost tonight against the Boston Bruins. There are rumors coming out of Joe Louis Arena that Red Wings Captain Henrik Zetterberg will be back in the line-up for Game 4.
There is no confirmation yet if he will play, but after he attended the morning skate taking shifts with Pavel Datsyuk and Justin Abdelkader, there is only one more obstacle to climb-a visit to the doctor to see if he is medically cleared to play.
The winger scored 16 goals and dished out 32 assists in 45 games played this season, but was troubled with a herniated disc since the beginning of the Olympics where he went on to have surgery in February. If he does play, it should help a Red Wings power-play unit which has been non-existent, failing to convert on nine opportunities.
According to Ken Campbell of THN, “A source close to the Red Wings said Henrik Zetterberg has been cleared to play tonight, after missing the last 30 games (including playoffs) and all but one game of the Olympics with a back injury. The source said Zetterberg will likely play in the range of 10-12 minutes, but even that will be a massive upgrade for a Red Wings team that is reeling with injuries and has been outscored by the Bruins 7-1 in the past two games.”
Reports indicated Zetterberg would eventually return to the Red Wings, but not until the second round if they reached that point, but with his team’s back against the wall, he wants to get out there and help. He just needs the permission.
Babcock went on to say what the team can expect from Zetterberg in his return to the line up as well.
“Provide leadership in the room and on the bench,” Babcock said after his team’s morning skate Thursday morning. “It we get nothing else, that’s good enough.”
It looks as if Zetterberg will be a true game-time decision and for the Bruins, it shouldn’t matter. Claude Julien will have his players defend Zetterberg or not. The B’s will stick to their system as they do so well and don’t be shocked if the Black and Gold are a bit more physical with Zetterberg to test out that back early and often if he is on the ice for the Red Wings.
If Julien had to bet on it, he would favor Zetterberg playing tonight.
“Again, we just can’t worry about one player. In my mind he’s going to be there tonight, so we expected that” said Julien.
“That’s not a concern. The biggest thing here is that they’ve got another good player on their team. Where he is and his conditioning is at, I don’t know, but at the same time every playoff game has to be about your team and it can’t be about the other team.”
The Bruins will look to take a commanding 3-1 series lead back to Boston with a win in Game 4 tonight.