The Red Wings were in no position to complain about injuries Thursday night.
Not after a 3-2 loss to Columbus at Joe Louis Arena that was as crushing — and perhaps as telling — as any they've endured in this lockout-shortened season.
And certainly not after watching Blue Jackets forward Artem Anisimov strapped to a stretcher and wheeled off the ice following a frightening fall in the second period that hushed another antsy sellout crowd of 20,066 for several minutes.
But while there was some encouraging news after the game regarding Anisimov, there were only discouraged, frustrated faces in the Wings' dressing room after another blown lead — Detroit was up 2-0 less than 3 minutes in — resulted in the team's fifth consecutive defeat.
"We gave up two goals in the third period and we lost," coach Mike Babcock said, surveying a stat sheet that couldn't fully explain this one. "We had to win here. It's just one of those games you've got to win. … We can make all the excuses we want, but the bottom line is we've got to find a way to win."
Especially at home against Columbus, the NHL's worst team coming in and one that'd lost six in a row on the road and was 5-29-2 all-time at Joe Louis Arena prior to Thursday's faceoff.
No, this was as ugly as it gets for the Wings — in a season that threatens to get uglier still, if they're not careful — and there was no hiding the disappointment afterward.
Just as there was no hiding the fear while Anisimov lay motionless on the ice after going down awkwardly behind the Detroit net. His head thunked hard on the ice and absorbed an inadvertent elbow from Kyle Quincey, who fell on top of him. But Anisimov never lost consciousness and was "alert and stable" at Detroit Medical Center, where he was being kept overnight for observation, coach Todd Richards said.
From The Detroit News: http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20130222/OPINION03/302220368#ixzz2Ldv9oQ5I
Staggering Red Wings lose another game, another player
Detroit News | Feb 22