Friday, May 30, 2008

Holmstrom out for Game 4?

According to ESPN, Red Wings plugger/pest Tomas Holmstrom is not expected to be in the lineup for tomorrow night's Game 4. Holmstrom aggravated a lower body (believed to be hip, knee or sports hernia) when Hal Gill un-parked him from the front of the net.

The absence of Holmstrom shakes up the rest of Detroit's usual forward combinations...Here's how they looked at practice today according to Red Wings' beat writer Bruce MacLeod:

Franzen-Hartigan (subbing for Filppula)-Samuelsson

The ripple effect created by Holmstrom's absence is this: Kirk Maltby moves up from the fourth line to the third to replace Cleary. Darren McCarty goes back in the lineup on the fourth line.

No offense to the Red Wings, but two thirds of their 2nd line are Filppula and Samuelsson. In skill alone this is a huge boost for the Pens.

The bigger question becomes what happens if Holmstrom's knee/hip/groin/hernia has torn open and he'll be unavailable for more games (or the whole series) rather than just the next one. It'll be interesting to see how it unfolds. We never root for injuries or continued pain, but this is a fortunate occurrence for the Pens.

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