Injuries force retooling of Wings defense

Ted Kulfan
The Detroit News
Petr Mrazek makes a save behind a scrum during the first period Saturday night.

Vancouver, British Columbia — The revamping of the Red Wings’ defense corps is happening in rapid fashion because of injuries.

The Red Wings were without Kyle Quincey (concussion protocol) and Mike Green (upper body) Saturday against Vancouver.

In their place, the Red Wings reinserted Jakub Kindl into the lineup and brought up Alexey Marchenko from Grand Rapids.

To put Marchenko on the active roster, the Red Wings put forward Brad Richards (back) on short-term injured reserve.

Coach Jeff Blashill wasn’t dwelling on the rash of injuries.

“We have 20 guys dressed who I know are good enough if we execute, good enough to win,” Blashill said. “We’ll have to execute at a high level because we’re playing a good team. But I just focus on the 20 we have and we have 20 who are good enough to do it if we execute at a high level.”

Quincey and Green were injured in Friday’s 3-2 overtime loss in Calgary.

Green was hurt midway in the first period on a hit behind the net by Flames forward Josh Jooris.

Green appeared to take the brunt of the hit on his right shoulder, skated to the bench, and straight down the hallway into the dressing room.

General manager Ken Holland said Green will be reevaluated back in Detroit and the extent of the injury won’t be known for a few days.

The Red Wings are calling Green’s availability as day-to-day.

Quincey was hit by Flames forward Sam Bennett in the second period and was down on the ice before getting back up and returning to the bench.

Quincey finished the game, but exhibited concussion-like symptoms afterwards.

“After he got on the bus, we had some inclination. (Quincey) said he didn’t feel totally right,” Blashill said. “That’s why we got Marchenko.”

Marchenko arrived in Vancouver around lunch time and will be playing his third game in three nights.

“It’s a challenge, it’s not easy to get up in the morning (and fly to Vancouver) but he should have enough of the afternoon to regroup,” Blashill said. “I have a lot of confidence in him but he’ll have to come in and execute at a high level.”

As for Richards, who missed Friday’s game in Calgary and hasn’t skated for several days, Holland said Richards will see a doctor early in the week.

“His back had been bothering him all of (training) camp and he’s felt progressively worse,” Holland said. “We want to be proactive and he’ll see somebody. Hopefully it’s nothing more than a few days off. He’ll see a doctor and we’ll know more Monday or Tuesday.”

Full 60 minutes

What’s been one of the Red Wings’ downfalls in this four-game winless streak?

Holland feels the Red Wings haven’t been consistent enough over the full 60 minutes of a game.

“I don’t think we’ve played 60 minutes night after night after night,” Holland said. “We seem to play well for stretches but not 60 minutes. I’m not sure why.

“But we play good for periods but not good enough, long enough.”

In Friday’s loss in Calgary, the Red Wings were the better team for the first period and into the second, but gradually saw the Flames take control and wear the Red Wings down.

Blashill blamed that loss primarily on the Red Wings having too many players not playing their best game.

“We had too many guys not on their A or B game,” Blashill said. “You’re not going to have you’re a game every night, but you have to have your B game and we had a handful of guys who weren’t even to that level.”

Ice chips

Blashill said there would be no changes to the forwards against Vancouver, with Tomas Jurco again the lone healthy scratch.

… The Red Wings will stay overnight in Vancouver and travel back home Sunday.

… Petr Mrazek was back in net for the Red Wings, after Jimmy Howard got the start the night before in Calgary.