So Saturday, Jason Williams went awkwardly into the boards...which apparently, for Detroit players is like the wolfman being shot by a silver bullet, Superman being touch by kryptonite, or a silver steak being shoved into a vampire's heart. Williams suffered a broken fibula and is expected to miss at least 6-8 weeks of action. How wonderful.
So basically, that's like plucking an entire second line off of a team's roster. How many teams in the NHL would be able to survive that? My guess would be not many. And to make matters worse, we haven't exactly built ourselves a nice cushion to fall back on while our players get healthy. The Red Wings are 3 points out of a play-off spot right now. Sure there's 67 games left to be played, but as whacky as the Western Conference has been this year, we can't afford to start dropping successive games as we did at the beginning of the season.
So what now? Don't expect Kenny Holland to make any noise in the trade department despite the General Manager meetings about to commence. It probably wouldn't make any sense to bring in a rental for two months once Filppula and Williams become available again.
Despite losing Williams (7 points in 15 games), Detroit still can ice a full roster, a play-off quality roster? You tell me. Here's how I see the lines as of now...
That's still a pretty damn good core of forwards. And one we've already seen before. Losing Williams is going to force Babcock's hand into icing pretty much the same lineup day in and day out, as opposed to juggling scratches in and out as he has done up to this point. It is not time to panic.
After all, we're still only one measly point behind the almighty Chicago Blackhawks. And with a win on Wednesday, we can climb within one of the Central Division leading Columbus Blue Jackets. For all of you nay-sayers who didn't want Jason Williams in the first place, here's your chance to see what this team would have looked like without him. And don't give me that crap that we could have used that $1.5 mil to go out and sign someone else, because you probably would have whined about whoever else we would have signed anyway.
It's time for the kids (Eaves, Helm, Abdelkader) to prove their worth and veterans (May, Draper, Maltby) to prove that they still belong. The work load remains the same, there's just less people to do it. That's a concept I'm quite familiar with. When it all comes down to it, all you have to remember are the following...
- We still have a pair of the best two-way forwards in the league
- We still have the best defenseman to ever lace up the skates
- We still have the best coach in the NHL
- We still have the best GM looking over us