Some tough news for the Detroit Red Wings came out on Sunday afternoon, as forward Michael Rasmussen will be out indefinitely with a lower-body injury.
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The injury to Rasmussen occurred during the first period of Saturday’s game versus the Tampa Bay Lightning, as he was hit in the leg by a shot that put him in immediate pain. He was able to get to the bench on his own, albeit gingerly, and proceeded to head straight down the tunnel and did not return for the remainder of the game.
Though there is no specific timeframe, head coach Derek Lalonde confirmed that we won’t see the 23-year-old back anytime soon. It is a tough blow for the ninth overall pick of the 2017 draft, as he was having himself a solid season with 10 goals and 29 points through 56 games. It’s a tough blow for the Red Wings as well, as Rasmussen had been playing in a top six role as of late.
The loss of Rasmussen, while unfortunate, will likely create another opportunity for Jakub Vrana. The 26-year-old was able to get back into the lineup on Tuesday after a lengthy stint in the American Hockey League, but sat as a healthy scratch against the Bolts on Saturday. There is plenty of speculation that he could be moved ahead of the March 3 trade deadline, but it is likely that he will still be called upon to suit up in Monday’s game versus the Ottawa Senators. In four games with the big club this season, he has both a goal and an assist.
The injury sustained to Rasmussen couldn’t have come at a worse time for the Red Wings, who have gotten back into the playoff hunt thanks to some improved play as of late. Through 58 games, they currently have a 28-22-8 record for 64 points, which has them just two points shy of the Buffalo Sabres for the final wild card position in the Eastern Conference. This race will likely come right down to the wire, as a number of other teams including the Pittsburgh Penguins, Florida Panthers, Washington Capitals, and the Ottawa Senators are all within striking distance.
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