The Red Wings entered the game clinging to a narrow 18-point lead in the Central division and were able to give themselves some much needed breathing room with the win over their most hated rival. While they're happy to have won the game, they're more concerned right now with the fact that they have just become the only team in the history of the game to see one of its star players get injured.
After reading around some of the Wings blogs, it's clear that most of the "ZOMG, it's the end of the world!" posts were hastily written before details were available, but it still reeks of hubris to whine about a minor injury, as if that kind of thing can't possibly happen to the Red Wings.
Part of the uproar stems from the fact that Lidstrom was hurt by an Avalanche player, and some are viewing the hit from Laperriere to be dirty.
Part of the uproar also comes from the fact that the Red Wings blue line was already banged up going into the game. Brian Rafalski and Niklas Kronwall are both out with injuries.
This is far from a "worst-case scenario". Rafalski is day-to-day with a sore groin. Kronwall is about a week away from returning from a shoulder injury. Lidstrom is not expected to be out for more than 10 days.
As expected, Aaron Downey went out and got some of that "frontier justice" stuff by going after Laperriere once in a fight and once in an open-ice hit. After the game, Downey, who has barbells for brains, delivered what has to be the quote of the year. From the Detroit Free Press:
"(W)hat you’ve got to do is, you’ve got to have a good head on your shoulder and you don’t want to put your team in jeopardy even though you’d like to go out there and run (Ryan) Smyth or you’d like to run one of their skill guys. Sure it’d be good to go out there and goon the guy, but that’s not hockey. Let’s play good, hard, passionate hockey like they did in the Roman times. I’m not going to run their guys to prove a point but you know what, I’ll go out there and get him back. Fair justice is fair justice."
Yeah. Who can forget that epic championship series between Capri and Naples back in 23 BC? Augustus Caesar had four goals in game seven alone.