BOSTON (CBS) — The Detroit Red Wings are mostly healed after a season filled with injuries, and the four-day break between the regular season and postseason is only going to help the team heal prior to its first-round meeting with the Boston Bruins.
But will it be enough time for Henrik Zetterberg to get himself back on the ice?
The answer right now seems to be a firm “maybe.”
Zetterberg, the team captain, has been out of the Detroit lineup since Feb. 8, and he left the Olympic tournament in Sochi after one game due to a herniated disc in his back.
Now, Zetterberg will return to the practice ice on Tuesday. Though the plan for Zetterberg has been a second-round return to game action, there’s a chance he’s ready much sooner than that.
“He’ll need at least a week of skating before we see how he feels,” Detroit GM Ken Holland said, according to Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press. “The hope is he can ramp it up every day. Is there a chance he can play in the first round? Yeah. But there’s also a chance he won’t play. The second round is a more likely scenario, but nothing is certain. First, he has to dip his toe in the water.”
Zetterberg surely won’t play Friday in Game 1 or Sunday in Game 2. If he can return in Detroit in either Games 3 or 4, he’ll no doubt be a bit rusty. Yet the emotional charge he could put into his team on home ice could be something that makes the series even more difficult for Boston.
“Who knows what will happen with Zetterberg — he’s lurking in the wings,” Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli said Monday. “Kenny [Holland] and Babs [Mike Babcock] will probably pull him out at some point.”
Zetterberg had 16 goals and 32 assists in his 48 games played this season. He scored four goals and assisted on eight more in 14 playoff games last season for the Wings. In his postseason career, he has 114 points in 123 games.