When the NHL regular season paused for the 2014 Winter Olympics, the Red Wings had played themselves into the eighth playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. And after getting Pavel Datsyuk back just before the break, the Red Wings had reason to be optimisitic about another run into the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
That is until this weekend.
Henrik Zetterberg scored the winning goal on Wednesday for Team Sweden and then woke up with back pain on Thursday morning Zetterberg described as “20 times worse” than anything he has ever felt in his back.
Even more bad news from Team Sweden broke on Saturday as it was announced the Zetterberg would miss the remainder of the Olympics related to his nagging lower back injury.
Sweden’s Team doctor, Bjorn Waldeback, predicted that without significant improvement (or even surgery) Zetterberg could miss the rest of the NHL regular season.
According to Helen St. James of the Detroit Free Press, Henrik Zetterberg is leaving the Olympics on Tuesday. When he gets back to the states the he will have his back evaluated.
“He wants to get home, go see a doctor, figure out what’s next,” General Manager Ken Holland said.
What’s next for the Red Wings? That remains to be seen but without Henrik Zetterberg for the stretch run it could be difficult for the Wings to make a playoff run for the 23rd consecutive year. Red Wings fans will have to hold their breath that the other Red Wing Olympians can return home healthy and ready for a playoff push.