It's official: Darren McCarty will be in a Red Wings uniform tomorrow night against the Blues.
What's interesting is the varied feedback I've received from the people around me. Some think he's washed up, some are appreciative of the grit he brings, some are excited just for him to be back, and some are playing wait-and-see.
I'm on the fence until I see him play. Detroit needs another gritty forward for the playoffs, it's as simple as that. The intensity of the game gets turned up a notch when it counts and, specifically, Jiri Hudler will have to learn to deal with physical play if he wants to keep his roster spot. Tomas Kopecky is also a likely scratch come playoff time unless he decides to use his size to his advantage.
I'll add Aaron Downey to the list of possible playoff scratches, provided that McCarty shows that he's worth it. I would disagree with that, though. In the five or less minutes that Downey usually sees per night, he provides a definite spark, which can always be useful in a playoff series. The Wings may stick with mostly skill players, though. But if someone such as Anaheim comes knocking, having the extra tough guy available will be nothing but good.