Detroit — Midway through the exhibition season, injuries are a bit of an issue already for the Red Wings, and the list is already worth updating.
Xavier Ouellet (upper body) returned to practice for what Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill said was a second consecutive day.
“He says that he feels good, but he won’t play tonight,” Blashill said of the young defenseman who appeared ready for the NHL last season, despite spending much of the year in Grand Rapids. “We’ll make a decision on Monday.”
A big free-agent acquisition, defenseman Mike Green, is sidelined with a sore groin.
“Green, I’m not sure on,” Blashill said. “We’ll wait and see how he feels on Monday.”
Teemu Pulkkinen (upper body) appeared to suffer an injury on a heavy body check Thursday against the Penguins, when he was outstanding offensively, with two goals and two assists.
Pulkkinen’s injury does not appear to be serious. Blashill said he remains day-to-day, and no tests are slated for the young, potential sniper.
“Pulky, I do not expect him to skate on Monday,” he said.
As for when Darren Helm can begin skating, Blashill said, “I do not have that answer.”
Helm suffered a concussion and shoulder separation in a collision in training camp, Friday, September 18.
Quincey, Franzen updates
Kyle Quincey and Johan Franzen continue to recover from injuries suffered last season.
Quincey is recovering from offseason ankle surgery.
“I’m struggling with some stuff right now,” Quincey said. “Hopefully, things get better.”
Quincey said the course of his recovery suggests the pain he is feeling is about to go away.
“I’m not going to get into it, but hopefully the day off tomorrow should help, and hopefully the pain goes away by the first game of the year,” he said.
Franzen, who is recovering from a concussion and a more minor ankle surgery to clear out debris, said he purposefully played a physical game against the Bruins, as he continues to test his head and the rest of his body after having not played in nine monthsbefore Thursday.
“Today I was trying it out with more physical play,” he said. “I tried to hit as much as possible.”
Franzen said he felt just fine.
“It was fun,” he said of his prickly play, which the Bruins certainly noticed. “I didn’t care too much about the puck today. But that was just part of my training camp, I think.”
The right time
Count Daniel Cleary among those Red Wings who believe Mike Babcock made the right move to leave, for the team and for himself.
Cleary, who is among the Wings with the best relationship with the former coach, said it was simply time.
“I thought it was great,” he said. “I mean, listen, I’ve got a lot of respect for Babs. If there’s anyone in this room who got along with Babs, it was probably me, in terms of our relationship.
“It was a great move for the organization, a great move for Babs. You look around sports, especially hockey, you don’t see many coaches lasting 10-11 years. And the thing is, he still had the room.
“It’s a testament to him and he was a great coach for our team.”
Asked about the biggest difference between Babcock and Blashill, Cleary joked.
“Oh God, we don’t have all day, do we!”