Detroit — Unfortunately Robby Fabbri has a history with knee injuries, so he could self diagnose, a bit, right there on the ice.
When Fabbri and New Jersey’s Jack Hughes collided knee-on-knee Tuesday, Fabbri went down and it didn’t look good the way Fabbri was writhing in pain.
Fabbri already had two knee surgeries in his career — missing one full season and long part of another — and the fear was he was hurt again.
But Fabbri sensed this was different.
“There’s a kind of awareness of what’s a bad one and what’s a little tweak,” said Fabbri of knowing what’s a bad knee injury. “I was a little worried, obviously, but it didn’t quite feel what I’ve felt in the past.”
Fabbri felt better as he was getting checked out in the locker room, and he’s been on the ice the last couple days.
Fabbri declared himself fit and ready to play Saturday in Ottawa.
“That’s what I’m going to tell myself in the moment, that it’s not that serious,” said Fabbri, of giving himself confidence after the hit the injury wasn’t serious. “But once I got back and calmed down a bit, doctors took a look at it, and it was still something but it was the best case scenario and I’ll use that as good news.”
Several Red Wings players felt the it was a dirty hit by Hughes.
“I agree with them,” Fabbri said.
Fabbri felt Hughes could have avoided the hit, but decided against doing so.
“He was kind of taking a run at me, but with the move I made, he had enough time to quit on the hit,” Fabbri said. “But he didn’t want to do anything about it. I’m just going to leave it at that.”
After Tuesday’s game, Hughes felt he had been taking runs at during the game and wanted to stand up for himself.
Fabbri didn’t feel there was anything during that particular shift that would have triggered Hughes’ reaction.
“I didn’t think so,” Fabbri said. “I made a hockey play and tried to knock him off the puck and I missed the hit. I guess he didn’t like te fact I missed the hit, so maybe next time I’ll land one.”
Coach Jeff Blashill said this week it’ll be important tthat Fabbri continue to play with the emotion and edginess that has enabled him to rebound after the two surgeries, and the shock of being traded from St. Louis to the Wings.
Despite this week’s scare, Fabbri intends to continue to play this way.
“It’s not just in me to stop playing that competitive and tenacious (way),” Fabbri said. “I’ve played like that my whole life, so it’s tough to change now.”
Need a win
If ever a team needed a win to stop a losing streak, and stem some negative momentum, it's the Red Wings heading into Saturday's game in Ottawa.
The Wings have suffered two lethargic and uneventful losses since Monday's trade deadline.
A victory over Ottawa would be badly needed.
"A loss like last night's (7-1 Thursday against Minnesota), it's just humiliating," forward Anthony Mantha said. "It's not what the guys here in want to do. We want to show more character."
With 16 games left in the season, the Wings are intent on finishing strong and showing the mettle and character that general manager Steve Yzerman, and Blashill, want to see from the roster.
"It doesn't get any tougher than that," said Mantha, of the challenge of the rest of the season. "You'll see who wants to hang their skates up early and who wants to finish strong, for sure."
If the weight of the season is beginning to affect the Wings, Blashill said it's important to somehow fight through it.
"At different moments of the year you could feel, as the losses mounted, it is a weight at times," Blashill said. "But it's up to us as to how we react to it and we didn't react the right way the last couple of games, at all. We have to react way better.
"We have to be way better than (Thursday). We have to come out and out-compete, out-work and out-detail the other team and if not, we're going to have nights like (Thursday)."
Blashill was optimistic Fabbri would return, and probably defenseman Gustav Lindstrom, who missed Thursday's game with a lower body injury.
... Tyler Bertuzzi didn't practice Friday, but Blashill was not ruling Bertuzzi out for the Ottawa game.
Red Wings at Senators
Faceoff: 7 Saturday, Canadian Tire Centre, Ottawa
Outlook: The Senators (22-31-12) are coming off an emotional 5-2 victory over Vancouver, as RW Bobby Ryan returned from being in the player assistance program and scored three goals...LW Anthony Duclair (22 goals) leads Ottawa offensively.