Detroit Red Wings defenseman Kyle Quincey has been underappreciated by Red Wings fans since he was acquired on Feb. 21, 2012 for a first-round pick. Those same fans might realize now just how important Quincey is to the Red Wings' playoff hopes.
According to a report by MLive.com's Ansar Khan, the Red Wings fear that Quincey may have fractured a cheek bone on Mar. 15:
Detroit Red Wings defenseman Kyle Quincey might have suffered a fractured left cheek bone when he was hit by the puck late in the third period of Friday's 3-2 overtime win over the Edmonton Oilers at Rexall Place.
The Red Wings said Quincey will not travel to Vancouver for Saturday's game because they don't want him to fly in case the bone is fractured.
Quincey, who only has two points (one goal, one assist) this season, is averaging .08 points per game, which is below his career average of .34 points per game. However, Quincey is third on the team with a plus-eight rating and is averaging 19:22 of ice time. Quincey has showed poise and maturity by staying on the ice and limiting his penalty minutes to 0.54 per game compared to his career average of 0.93 per game.
By focusing on defense, Quincey allows other defensemen like Niklas Kronwall and Jonathan Ericsson to take a more offensive approach.
While Quincey is capable of scoring, he is sacrificing individual statistics for the better of the team. Part of making the Red Wings better is working on Quincey's shot blocking, which he is showing improvement in. Quincey is currently averaging 1.35 blocked shots per game, better than his career average of 1.05.
Red Wings coach Mike Babcock explained the value of Quincey to the Denver Post's Mike Chambers on March 6:
"I told 'Quince' the other day," Detroit coach Mike Babcock said Tuesday morning, " 'It's real clear for me and real clear for our team, we don't need stats beside your name. We need pluses beside your name and we need 22 minutes out of you a night, going against probably the second group on the other team. ... And if you do that, we're ecstatic. Maybe you're not. Maybe your agent isn't, but we are. But you're playing for us.' "
Hopefully Quincey's cheek isn't fractured. However, if it is, the Red Wings and their fans will soon find out just how valuable Quincey actually is.