Chelios remains in limbo

SCOTT FISHER -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 12:53 PM ET


 With the Flames blueline left in tatters, no one's feeling too sympathetic towards the Wings' injury list these days.

 In fact, even Detroit head coach Dave Lewis wasn't wringing his hands over the possibility of having to play without defenceman Chris Chelios for a second straight game.

 Chelios missed Game 3 with an 'upper-body injury' -- likely a shoulder problem due to an Oleg Saprykin hit -- but practised fully yesterday and could play tonigh.

 "It'll be a game-time decision," Lewis said of Chelios, who declined interviews.

 "Injuries are a part of the game and there's nothing you can do. If he plays, he plays.

 "He's a great competitor and a leader. He's a penalty-killer and he's hard to play against."

 Goaltender Curtis Joseph was among a handful of players, including Brett Hull and Steve Yzerman, who didn't take part in yesterday's skate.

 "(Joseph) is available for tomorrow," said Lewis, confirming Joseph would be back between the pipes.

 "It was an optional, so he felt he didn't need to get out there."

 Forward Darren McCarty used the off-day workout to get his legs going after seeing just 4:35 of ice time Tuesday night.

 "He'll play more tomorrow," Lewis said. "The first 27 minutes, we were shorthanded eight minutes so you lose all flow of what you're trying to establish."

 TICK, TICK: The Wings are like a ticking time bomb.

 A bad Calgary shift here or a needless penalty there and ... boom, Detroit will blow the game wide open.

 Yet a few of the club's biggest guns have been unable to get it going against the tight-checking Flames.

 Brett Hull has one goal in the series and Brendan Shanahan is still looking for his first and has lit the lamp just once the entire post-season.

 "That two-on-one with (Shanahan and Robert) Lang, you'd like to see that puck go in," said head coach Dave Lewis.

 "With that quick release Brendan has, he had the opportunity but I think the puck might have rolled at the last second.

 "With Brendan and Brett, they're opportunists. They want to find the spots that are hard to cover and the puck has to get there. At times, the puck is not getting there and other times, it's there but they're not getting their shots off.

 "I'm hoping it's just a matter of time before those shots start to go in."

 Shanahan said he doesn't care who gets the offensive credit provided the team is winning but admitted he'd like to shed the monkey from his back.

 "The playoffs are about pressure," Shanahan said.

 "And if you're not the type of person who puts the pressure on yourself to score the big goal or make the big play, you shouldn't be here. Pressure is a good thing at this time of the year. You need to have those high expectations to succeed."

 TIME TO STEP UP: The fact Detroit wants to exploit the Flames' inexperienced defence corps is obviously no secret.

 And the Wings' success in that department will likely determine if they're heading home all even or facing a 3-1 series deficit.

 "We have to put pressure on their defence down low," head coach Dave Lewis said. "We find when we do that, we create turnovers.

 "Calgary's in the driver's seat now. Home ice has been important for them.

 "We have to find a way to win a hockey game. There's no recipe for that but when the game is on the line, make the big play that makes a difference."


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