Detroit Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said his team would not have made the playoffs without rookie defenseman Danny DeKeyser. Now, the Wings will have to survive the postseason without him.
Babcock said that DeKeyser broke his thumb during the Red Wings’ 5-4 Game 2 overtime win, an injury that will sideline him for the remainder of the season.
“He made some plays again tonight,” Babcock told Fox Sports Detroit’s John Keating of DeKeyser. “He’s a kid, don’t get me wrong, but he’s a good player.
“That’s a big blow for our team. There’s other guys that have been working hard — Lash (Brian Lashoff), (Carlo) Colaiacovo have been working like crazy to get back in.”
DeKeyser decided to sign with the Red Wings on March 29, after choosing to skip his final year at Western Michigan. He put up one point and a plus-four rating while earning important stretches of playing time late in the regular season.
DeKeyser earned a spot on the Wings’ penalty kill and power play, too, as the playoffs opened, so Babcock will have a tough spot to fill. Though the Wings’ coach mentioned both Lashoff and Colaiacovo as options, Ian White also remains a possible addition to the lineup for Game 3 and beyond.