Rookie defenseman Danny DeKeyser, 23, who has solidified the defense since he signed on March 29, broke his thumb and has been ruled out for the remainder of the playoffs, according to MLive.com's Ansar Khan.
"The Detroit Red Wings have suffered a significant loss on their blue line as rookie defenseman Danny DeKeyser is done for the playoffs due to a broken right thumb."
DeKeyser has brought grit to the blue line along with a calmness to the rest of the defense. While DeKeyser has only had one assist since he joined the Red Wings out of Western Michigan University, he does have a lot of potential offensively.
More importantly, DeKeyser is a big body who is rarely caught out of position and has earned the trust of the Red Wings' coaching staff. He reminds many of a young Brad Stuart.
DeKeyser averaged 18:03 minutes of ice time in the regular season as well as 17:53 in the first two games against the Ducks. He shouldn't have any long-term issues with this injury and should be healthy for next season, but the Red Wings will greatly miss him during the playoffs.
Red Wings head coach Mike Babcock told the Detroit News' Ted Kulfan, "When we lost DeKeyser, that was a big blow."
The immediate concern for the Red Wings is: Who will fill the void left by this injury? The candidates will be either rookie Brian Lashoff, veteran Ian White or veteran Carlo Colaiacovo.
Babcock has spoken highly of Lashoff , but his play tailed off during the end of the regular season. Regardless of who replaces DeKeyser, they have huge skates to fill.
The Red Wings' path to the Stanley Cup just got a lot harder Friday morning.
*All statistics are as of May 3
**All statistics are from hockey-reference.com and espn.com
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