Good news for Red Wings fans: Nicklas Lidstrom, Pavel Datsyuk and Kris Draper all took the ice with their teammates for today’s practice.
Lidstrom has missed the last two games with what is believed to be a groin injury. This is his first practice since skating last Saturday in Chicago.
Datsyuk hasn’t played since Game 2 against Chicago, when he hurt his foot blocking a shot.
Draper has been out the last two games because of a pulled groin.
Defenseman Jonathan Ericsson is not out on the ice. He underwent an appendectomy Wednesday, and the Wings expect him to be ready for tomorrow's Game 1 of the finals against Pittsburgh.
At this point, it's pretty much certain Lidstrom will attempt to play tomorrow. Datsyuk, when I spoke to him earlier this week, said swelling had gone down in his foot, and he was finally able to put it into a boot again. He said X-rays show no fracture, and that the injury was made worse because the puck hit the exact same area where he blocked a shot in the Anaheim series.
It's hard to overstate how important it is for the Wings especially to get Lidstrom back. The Wings need him (and partner Brian Rafalski) to use against Sidney Crosby's
line, leaving Brad Stuart and Niklas Kronwall to put out against Evgeni Malkin's line.
Please check back here later today for further updates.
Free Press sports writer Shawn Windsor will live-blog Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals on Saturday night at freep.com/sports. Stop by to follow along or discuss the game with Shawn and other fans.