Sunday, March 28, 2004

3/28 Notes

Manny in net? Bob Wojnowski states the obvious in his column today when he says "Legace emerges in goal, but playoffs bring the ultimate test." This is true because, as popular as Manny is now, the vast majority of Wings fans out there will turn on him the second he screws up, if he does at all. I personally am fully confident in Manny during the regular season but I'm still a little doubtful about his ability in the playoffs. The fact that he has almost no playing time in the post season whatsoever scares me. I'd rather not put the entire weight of a Cup Run in Detroit on his inexperienced shoulders but it's what the Wings may have to do. I hope Manny can allay my fears and come through when it counts, at least until Curtis Joseph is able to return, if he even gets a chance to play. Statements by the higher-ups in the organization would seem to deny the fact that he may start but that's how the Wings usually are, very secretive. Injury Updates ... Friday's tests revealed that Curtis Joseph has a slight tear in the cartilage of his right ankle, the same one he sprained on February 11th against the Sharks. Before yesterday's game versus the Avs, GM Ken Holland said "He's got a very small cartilage tear that has pulled away from the bone a little bit and it's causing him discomfort." He was given a cortisone shot Saturday and will not be able to play Monday night. It's unknown when he'll be available after that. More from Holland, who still believes Joseph will play in one or more of the four games remaining on the Wings' schedule:
"We're hoping in the next few days that injection will alleviate the inflammation. Sometimes, cortisone shots work and sometimes they don't. If the shot doesn't work, he's going to continue to have inflammation and he's going to have to deal with the pain. It's nothing structural. It's something that he can play with. ... But, obviously, for a goaltender it's in a difficult spot because it's in his ankle."
The Wings are still not ready to openly give Manny Legace the starting job. Head coach Dave Lewis said "We'll just have to wait and see." ... Kris Draper had an MRI on his shoulder Friday and is now cleared to play sometime this week. He is planning on returning on Wednesday for the game in Columbus and to play in two of the last three games of the season. ... Mathieu Dandenault is expected to start skating again today and could play Thursday in St. Louis. ... Robert Lang is still skating with the team and will hopefully be back before the regular season is over. One of the guys of Gary Thorne and Co. said yesterday during the game that Lang would be playing were it the playoffs. If that's truly the case, it's all well and good but I say he should be playing now so he can further familiarize himself with the team at a game pace. Having him sit out for a full recovery may hurt the Wings more than bringing him back early so he can get some real playing time with his new teammates. ... Jason Woolley has a cracked vertebra in his lower back, apparently, and is not anywhere near returning. "It's frustrating as [heck]," he said and added that all he can do is rest it. Woolley's been out so long I've practically forgotten he's still on the team. He had a great season up to his injury and it's a real shame that he likely won't be back this year. Unless, that is, the Wings go all the way. On Hatcher Derian Hatcher looked a lot better yesterday compared to the two previous games since returning from a shoulder injury. He was more physical and far less sloppy as well as noticeably more confident with the puck. He was dead even in the plus/minus category but at least he wasn't minus-something. He played 20:46 (compared to Jiri Fischer's 14:53). Picture of the Day

"Jiri Fischer and a fan give Colorado's Adam Foote the evil eye during a scrum." (DetNews) Looks more to me like that fan is trying to cast a spell on Steve Konowalchuk while Fischer looks like he's Dr. Evil thinking about his plans for world domination or something. Got a better caption? Leave a comment or e-mail it to me.


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