Detroit Red Wings defenseman Jake Wallman required assistance getting off the ice after absorbing a puninshing hit from Calgary defenseman Nikita Zadorov in the first period of Thursday’s game with the Flames at Little Caesars Arena.
With just over seven minutes remaining in the opening frame, Zadorov stepped solidly into Walman as the latter sought to cut to the middle of the ice after crossing the Calgary blueline. Walman lay prone on the ice, face down.
— Ryan Hana (@RyanHanaWWP) February 10, 2023
It was a shoulder on shoulder hit, Zadorov connecting with Walman’s left shoulder. After treatment from the Red Wings medical staff, Walman glilded to the bench, doubled over in pain. It appeared to be an upper-body issue. Walman was missing at the start of the season after undergoing shoulder surgery.
Fortunately for the Red Wings, Walman was back on the ice for the start of the second period. One of Detroit’s defenders Thursday was veteran Robert Hagg. He was playing in his first game since December 8 and just his 14th game of the season. He’d been out two months with an undisclosed injury.
Walman Enjoying Breakout Campaign
Skating in Detroit’s top defensive pairing with reigning Calder Trophy winner Moritz Seider, Walman is enjoying a breakout NHL campaign. He’s already set a career high with five goals and needs one more point to match his career best of 10 points, set last season. His +14 rating also leads the team.
“He’s a really strong skater,” Seider said eqarlier this season of Walman. “Very talented. Can outskate everyone in the league. That gives him confidence and I think he’s been playing with that a lot lately.
“You see that he’s hard to defend in the O zone. We’ve been doing a really good job of shutting the top line down.”
Walman created a viral sensation earlier this seasoon. After scoring an overtime-winning goal against the Pittsburgh Penguins, Walman did the griddy to celebrate his tally.
“The eye test was there, his underlying numbers were there,” Detroit coach Derek Lalonde assessed of Walman’s campaign earlier this season. “There’s some nights we leave here it feels like he was one of our better defenseman.”