Injury Plagued Season: Blessing in Disguise?

Ryan LarimoreContributor IDecember 15, 2009

NEWARK, NJ - DECEMBER 5: Jonathan Ericsson #52 of the Detroit Red Wings controls the puck during the second period against the New Jersey Devils on December 5, 2009 at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Christopher Pasatieri/Getty Images)
Christopher Pasatieri/Getty Images

After almost 20 years of the Red Wings remaining mostly healthy, you would almost expect the team to be due to catch the injury bug. 2009-2010 has proved to be the year  the injury bug has caught up with them. Except this is more of an injury plague, than a bug, and the Wings luck has not gotten any better in the last couple weeks, having lost Ericsson (2 weeks) and Cleary (month) respectively.

If you are outside looking in, you must be thinking "The Red Wings are in 8th place and you're impressed? you know they were in back to back finals right?" But consider this; these are Detroit's current  forward lines:

Draper-Helm-Eaves (Newbury)

Basically the Wings are playing with 1 top notch line, a third line, and two 4th lines up front. Despite the influx of youngsters from Grand Rapids, the Red Wings and Blackhawks have scored the same amount of goals. Abdelkader at the beggining of the season was labeled by Babcock as a player who would spend more time in Grand Rapids for some seasoning. Now he is playing center for the Red Wing's 2nd line.

The team has lost forwards Filipula, Cleary, Franzen,and Jason Williams  and Defenseman Nik Kronwall, and Jonathan Ericsson for considerable amounts of time, and Darren Helm has been day-to-day with a wrist injury.

Still the team is keeping their head above water,currently sitting in the 8th and final playoff spot.Under normal circumstances  this wouldn't cut it for the organization, who has not missed a playoff since 89' but in the here and now, it is actually pretty impressive.

In Detroit all that matters is the playoffs, and perhaps the massive amount of injuries are a blessing in disguise for a team that has had three very long playoff trips in a row.Just when the Wings are gearing up for the playoffs, barring more set backs (which may be a stretch) they will be getting healthy again. Players the wings will lean heavy on like Filipuila and Franzen will be well rested, and healthy for the playoff run. This must be said loud and clear: Don't count out the Detroit Red Wings!