The Red Wings lost the exhibition opener tonight to the Montreal Canadians, 3-2 in a shootout. The loss of the game is not really as worrying as the opening events of the third period. Three minutes and five seconds into the period the Red Wings Captain Nicklas Lidstrom had a shot deflect off his stick and into his face. He fell to the ice and a pool of blood was seen quickly forming. The puck hit just above his eye and he had to receive stitches. He did not return to the game but was taken to the hospital for precautionary x-rays.
Lidstrom has been the Captain of the team since Steve Yzerman retired after the 2005-2006 season. In 2004 Steve Yzerman was similarly hit in the eye by a deflected shot. It required surgery to fix due to the multiple broken bones in his face. While this shot to Lidstrom does not appear to be as serious, it is always scary to see this kind of thing happen to anyone. Particularly to such a leader, and such an outstanding player. Nicklas Lidstrom has lead the Wings for two years now and including to a Stanley Cup Championship last year. Lidstrom has also won the Norris Trophy for best defenseman in six out of seven of the last active NHL seasons.
His loss for any extended period of time would be a major hit to the Red Wings.