DETROIT — Red Wings players are accustomed to teammates suffering injuries during NHL games. But it was different when Robby Fabbri hobbled to the dressing room Wednesday after taking a tough hit by Chicago’s Tyler Johnson.
“That’s one you really root for,” Red Wings coach Derek Lalonde said. “The boys rallied around it — obviously his past history.”
The Red Wings erased a 2-0 deficit to beat the Chicago Blackhawks and halt a six-game losing streak. It was their first win since Feb. 23 when they beat the New York Rangers, 4-1.
Fabbri has endured three major surgeries, two on his left knee and one on his right. The latter injury occurred March 10 of 2022, one year and two days ago. That surgery kept him sidelined until Jan. 4 of this season.
“Obviously, you don’t like to see guys getting injured,” said Red Wings forward Dominik Kubalik who scored the game-winner. “We’ve been through a lot, especially Fabbs. It’s been a long time he was out and right now he’s playing really well and he was part of our leader group and I feel he was playing really well. Obviously, it’s not what you want to see. I kind of felt we really wanted to win it for him and I’m happy we did.
Fabbri takes an awkward hit to the knee and leaves the ice limping. Obviously especially scary considering his extensive history of knee injuries…hope it's nothing major. #LGRW pic.twitter.com/lJqDiHyHKH
— Ryan Hana (@RyanHanaWWP) March 9, 2023
The Red Wings haven’t indicated whether this is another knee injury. They have called it a “lower body injury.” Video shows his leg buckled when he was hit. It occurred before a Blackhawks scoring play near the end of the first period. The Red Wings announced before the start of the second that Lalonde wouldn’t return to the contest.
“We will know more tomorrow,” Lalonde said. “…Really didn’t get much of an update.”
Lalonde said Fabbri did try to skate with the injury during the intermission between the first and second period.
“Cross your fingers on that one,” Lalonde said.
Fabbri is Energy Source
Returning to the lineup this season on Jan. 4, Fabbri, 27, has 16 points in 27 games. Counting the Blackhawks game, Fabbri has gone 10 games without a goal.
Fabbri is a feisty, hard-working player who can put a charge into the Red Wings’ offense. Coach Derek Lalonde said in January that Fabbri’s return caused a spike in the Red Wings’ energy level.
“He’s got bite,” Lalonde said. “He was kind of the forgotten injured guy, because it was projected he’d be back in the new year. But that was one as a coaching staff we were anxiously awaiting. He’s brought in energy. He’s brought compete. Again, it just helps our depth throughout our line and obviously he’s pitched in. ”
Given the Red Wings’ recent offensive struggles, they can’t afford to lose him for an extended period. They already have Michael Rasmussen (knee cap) out for the remainder of the season. They recently traded forwards Tyler Bertuzzi, Jakub Vrana and Oskar Sundqvist.