Dan DeKeyser Injury: How It Creates Fiasco on the Detroit Red Wings' Blue Line

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Dan DeKeyser Injury: How It Creates Fiasco on the Detroit Red Wings' Blue Line
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Detroit Red Wings' defenseman Dan DeKeyser has broken his thumb and created a fiasco on the Red Wings' blue line in the process.

The news of DeKeyser breaking his thumb came courtesy of a couple of tweets from Ansar Khan, a Red Wings' beat writer at MLive.com.

The Red Wings' rookie defenseman was starting to make some serious progress in his transition to the NHL. Detroit GM Ken Holland praised DeKeyser in an article by Doug Harrison on CBC's website.

"Because he’s got attention to detail defensively...Mike Babcock continues to put him on the ice and then from there, it’s confidence. Once you start getting put in important situations you start to believe you can play in the league and I think that’s what’s happened to Dan DeKeyser.”

The DeKeyser injury obviously leaves a big hole on the third pairing with Jakub Kindl. The less obvious part about the injury is who the Red Wings should replace DeKeyser with in Game 3.

Christian Petersen/Getty Images
Brian Lashoff had a lot of ice time on the penalty kill this year, but hasn't played NHL hockey in almost a full month.

The options for Detroit to replace him are Brian Lashoff, Carlo Colaiacovo and Ian White.

The obvious choice would seem to be Brian Lashoff; not necessarily because of Lashoff's skill, but more for the amount of time that he spent killing penalties per game in the regular season.

DeKeyser spent 1:50 per game in the regular season killing penalties. In two playoff games, DeKeyser was averaging 2:43 of shorthanded ice time. Lashoff has not played in this postseason, but averaged 2:20 of shorthanded ice time per contest in the regular season. 

Lashoff, however, was was sent down to get better in the AHL. He has not played in an NHL game since April 4.

Which defenseman will play for DeKeyser in Game 3?

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Neither Colaiacovo nor White have averaged more than 37 seconds per game in the regular season of shorthanded ice time so this can become cause for concern.

If there's any consolation that Red Wings' fans can take from this injury to DeKeyser, it is that the Red Wings have already shown that they can hold their own when the injury bug hits. The Red Wings were hit hard on the defensive corps early in the season.

Colaiacovo has played just six games this season. White has been a healthy scratch when Mike Babcock had the luxury of making him as such. He only ended up playing in 25 games, posting only four points in the process.

This leads to a very intriguing question.

Do the Red Wings go with the vastly inexperienced and largely unproven player who could be an asset to the penalty kill in Brian Lashoff, who hasn't played since early April? Or do they go with veterans in Colaiacovo or White (who also hasn't played since early April) and risk the demise of their penalty kill?

These questions and more will be answered in Game 3.

 

All statistics courtesy of NHL.com

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