The flu bug has revisited the Red Wings, and it's hit a very important member of the lineup.
One day before the Red Wings play division-leading St. Louis, they were without forward Henrik Zetterberg for Thursday's practice.
Both general manager Ken Holland and coach Mike Babcock said Zetterberg was ill, though they expected Zetterberg to be available for Friday night's home game against the Blues.
The Wings will need Zetterberg against the Blues, who thoroughly dominated, 6-0, in the season opener for both teams on Jan. 19.
The Red Wings are banking on a much better effort in the rematch.
"We weren't very competitive," Babcock said. "Now we have an opportunity to evaluate ourselves six games later and see where we're at."
The Blues scored four power-play goals in the first game. In every aspect, it was one of the poorest Red Wings performances in recent seasons.
"We definitely know it's an important game for us, a division rival, and a team that's ahead of us in the standings," forward Justin Abdelkader said. "On our home ice, we have to come out and set a tone early and play a smarter game."
Fighting is up throughout the NHL but Babcock doesn't expect it to continue.
"It's probably because you had eight months off (offseason / lockout) and they're pumped up, there's emotion," Babcock said. "It'll level off over time."
Forward Jordin Tootoo has had three fights, two in the first period against Dallas.
"Toots doesn't have be scrapping as much as he is," Babcock said. "I sure don't need that. He takes it upon himself to do what he needs to do, but I need him to be physical and I need him to be physical (Friday) night."
From The Detroit News: http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20130131/SPORTS0103/301310449#ixzz2Jew6mtFu
Henrik Zetterberg misses Wings practice with illness but should play Friday
Detroit News | Feb 1