PLYMOUTH, Mich. -- The Red Wings have had their fair share of injuries the last few years so with the compressed season about to start Saturday, they're not going to take any chances.
Mikael Samuelsson joined Darren Helm on the sidelines Monday due to a tender groin.
"I had nothing to do with that," coach Mike Babcock said of keeping Samuelsson off-ice. "Groins I hear all of the time are day-to-day and then 10 days later the guy comes back. So, well see what happens."
Helm has been off the ice since tweaking his back last week in off-ice workouts. The earliest he's likely to get back on his skates looks like Thursday.
Meanwhile, Babcock is focused on the players who are practicing at the moment.
"The practice isnt set up the same as Day 1. Its less tempo than Day 1," Babcock said. "But I thought we got work done, and then (Tuesday) we have the Red-White game for us and the following day will have more tempo again. Well be ready to go."
Datsyuk to join Wings
Pavel Datsyuk is returning to the Detroit after playing in the KHL All-Star Game. Babcock is leaving whether Datsyuk plays in the Red-White Game Tuesday up to him.
"Thats a Pavel decision," Babcock said. "He doesnt have to get off the plane and do anything -- the fans would love to see him, obviously."
The Wings plan to skate in the morning Tuesday and then have the Red-White Game at 6 p.m., which will be aired on FOX Sports Detroit. The Grand Rapids Griffins will join them so there are enough players.
"It's a little bit creative to get a game in," Henrik Zetterberg said. "It's going to be fun to get a little more game-like action. It definitely will not be an exhibition game but hopefully it will be better than practice."
Both Jimmy Howard and Jonas Gustavsson remained in the Detroit area during the lockout, save a quick trip to Phoenix for a minicamp with other NHL players, so they're looking forward to the Red-White Game as much as anyone.
"I think itll be good for all of us, especially Gus and I, game action is probably the biggest thing we need right now," Howard said. "Im going to treat this as a regular season game (Tuesday) night."
The Wings will follow a similar schedule Thursday when they return to Joe Louis Arena, skating in the morning and at night, only without a game.
"We're trying to get into a game routine, the morning skate and have a game in the evening," Danny Cleary said. "And even with the practice on Thursday. Just trying to get our bodies into that clock type of situation. I keep telling everybody, listen, we're all in the same boat here. It's the players that prepare the best, that focus the most and work the hardest are going to come out of the gate well and the key is to stay out of the training room."