Red Wings without Datsyuk, Alfredsson vs. Bruins
DETROIT — The Red Wings will have to wait at least one more game to get Pavel Datsyuk back.
Datsyuk pronounced himself not ready after Wednesday’s morning skate.
"Not playing tonight," Datsyuk said. "I feel good but again it’s hard to say it’s 100 percent ready to go. I don’t need to be 100 percent but I need to be careful."
Wings coach Mike Babcock said Tuesday that he had been told Datsyuk was a possibility for Friday night’s home game against the Buffalo Sabres.
Datsyuk said pain in his knee was not the main issue.
"I need conditioning more," Datsyuk said. "I can’t do what I do."
Datsyuk has not played since the two games in Florida before the Olympic break.
Meanwhile, Daniel Alfredsson will join Datsyuk as an unhealthy scratch as Babcock said he was unavailable.
Alfredsson did not practice Tuesday but said he believed he would be able to play.
The good news for the Wings is the players who have returned to the lineup recently — Darren Helm, Joakim Andersson and Justin Abdelkader — are starting to round back into form.
"I thought Helmer’s been a real factor in the last couple games for us," Babcock said. "A couple games he played he was just OK. He was a player but he wasn’t Darren Helm. Now he’s starting to play with some pace. As he gets healthy, he’ll be a real good player for us. To me, we need all hands on deck. Anybody who’s available, we’ve just got to compete hard and play real detailed and give ourselves an opportunity."
Abdelkader has played in just one game since missing seven with a lacerated leg.
"I just try to bring my game, which is hard work, be physical, be good defensively and try to hang on to pucks," Abdelkader said. "I just try to bring energy and kind of getting the kinks out. I hadn’t really skated too much prior to that so I was pretty limited with what I could do, lower body and bike really, so I think I’ll feel better as it goes and it’s good to get that first win out of the way."
Although the Wings haven’t secured a playoff spot, getting players back from injury is encouraging.
"You hope it gives the team a little boost and obviously Pav being close would be a huge boost if he were to come back," Abdelkader said. "He’s looking good on the ice, hopefully he’s feeling well and not having any setbacks. Anytime you get guys back off injury, it’s always a boost for the team."