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Red Wings' Jakub Kindl sees ice time dwindle

Ted Kulfan
The Detroit News

Detroit — Jakub Kindl didn't play down the stretch of Friday's game against Chicago.

Kindl didn't play Sunday, at all.

Coach Mike Babcock said after Sunday's morning skate that Kindl was a healthy scratch, and Brian Lashoff was in the lineup against the Canadiens.

Babcock didn't go into why Kindl didn't play the latter half of Friday's game, or why Kindl was scratched against Montreal.

Babcock did say Kindl is healthy.

Kindl was limited to 9 minutes and 13 seconds of ice time against the Blackhawks, after playing more than 18 minutes in two of the previous four games.

After a roller coaster last season, Kindl had gotten off to a good start over his first 16 games with two goals (both on the power play) and two assists, with a plus-2 rating, while averaging 15:37 of ice time.

Lashoff has played four games this season, replacing Kyle Quincey when Quincey was out with an ankle injury.

Lashoff doesn't have a point and has an even rating, while averaging 15:30 of ice time.

Home cooking

One help to the Red Wings' fine start this season has been winning and earning points at home.

The Red Wings entered Sunday's game with a 6-1-2 record at Joe Louis Arena.

Babcock feels the Red Wings have played better overall, leading to success at home.

"Our team couldn't skate at the start of last year, we looked slow," said Babcock, alluding to the lack of speed compared to this year's roster. "We made adjustments at Christmas, we got quicker.

"Last year we didn't have the start out of Howie (Jimmy Howard) that we have had this year. Goaltending is important, all you have to do is look at Montreal (with goalie Carey Price). Goaltending is everything."

Serious business

So how exactly did Brendan Smith get hurt Friday before the game playing soccer while warming up?

"We just take everything serious," Smith said. "The biggest thing is, we always want to warm up for the game and get ready. Sometimes there might be injuries."

So what happened?

"Nothing. I am good," Smith said. "Sometimes people will get hurt. Everything's OK. Sometimes you get a little scare but everything is OK."

Smith said he will not change his routine.

Mantha's debut

The hype surrounding forward Anthony Mantha isn't ending soon, not after Mantha scored a goal Saturday in his second pro game for the Grand Rapids Griffins, the Red Wings' minor league affiliate.

Babcock, though, isn't getting overly excited.

"I heard he scored a goal, someone told me that," Babcock said. "He's a kid, he's been out and missed training camp (fractured right tibia). I imagine he'll be there for the year, but only time will tell. It's up to him."

Chris McCosky contributed.