Tag Archives: Abdelkader

Abdelkader, Smith in Game 3; Babcock: “We have a lot more to give.”

DETROIT >> Quick update from Wings practice Monday at Joe Louis Arena.

There will be two changes made to the Wings’ lineup for Game 3, Tuesday night against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Justin Abdelkader and Brendan Smith will both make their series debuts.

“I just felt (Ryan) Callahan, (Alex) Killorn and (Steven) Stamkos to me got a free ride in their building just for the fact that (Tyler) Johnson was playing against Pav or we had Glennie against them and they were trying hard to keep Glennie away from guys so Stamkos played against Sheahan and to me that didn’t work out very good for us,” Wings coach Mike Babcock said. “It was too much free ice.”

Abdelkader, who injured his right hand when he blocked the shot of Minnesota’s Marco Scandella on April 4, will skate with Henrik Zetterberg and Gustav Nyquist.

“I think my game’s really suited for the playoffs and hopefully I can help the team out,” Abdelkader said. “Be physical, be on the forecheck, be around the net and just watching the last two games it’s been tough. I’m itching to get out there and I’m excited.”

Abdelkader had a career-high 23 goals and 44 points this season.

“Putting Z back in the middle and giving him a winger, a guy that can skate and work for them helps,” Babcock said. “Abby’s a big body. He’s an everydayer. He competes hard like (Darren) Helm.

“The think I would say when you evaluate our team, we have a lot more to give,” Babcock continued. “We’re two games in and we’re 1-1, we have a lot more to give. We need everyone on deck. We can’t be one on or one off. We need everyone onboard. Abby’s a competitor. He’s a guy that’s good at the net. He plays hard. He competes hard. I’m sure he’ll be ready to go.”

Pavel Datsyuk will center Helm and Tomas Tatar.

As for Smith, who has been a healthy scratch ever since he gloved the puck intentionally from the bench against Montreal, he gives the team more speed.

“Smitty can really skate and competes,” said Babcock, who didn’t want to get into the reasoning behind Smith being a healthy scratch. “I don’t think we’re skating good enough and I don’t think we’re competing hard enough. So there are two things.”

Alexey Marchenko, Stephen Weiss, Teemu Pulkkinen and Daniel Cleary will be healthy scratches.


Abdelkader says he doesn’t have a broken hand; hasn’t ruled out playing Thursday

DETROIT >> Justin Abdelkader was back on the ice since suffering a right hand injury in Saturday’s shootout win over the Minnesota Wild after blocking a shot by Marco Scandella 1:06 into overtime.

Abdelkader said nothing is broken, but wouldn’t reveal the extent of the injury.

“I’m not going to get into details like exactly what it is,” Abdelkader said. “It’s a hand injury.

“We’ll see, we’ll see,” Abdelkader continued. “Today was kind of (the) first step into that stage, skating today and that was big. Hopefully just keep getting better. It’s one of those things that hopefully get keep getting better day-by-day. Time isn’t necessarily much of it, so like I said, it was just good to skate today and we’ll see.”

Inflammation seems to be the biggest sticking point now that doesn’t allow him to grip a stick properly.

“Anytime you get a bruise or something like that you need to get the inflammation out as quickly as possible, so doing therapy, doing rehab, trying to work that way,” Abdelkader said. “I mean, it’s just something we’re going to have to deal with in the short time, in the short while.”

Abdelkader has a career-high 23 goals and 44 points this season. His previous career highs were 10 goals (each of the past two seasons) and 28 points (in 2013-14).

Abdelkader will make the trip with the team to Montreal and hasn’t ruled out returning for that game, but it seems highly unlikely.

Abdelkader ruled out Tuesday; Ferraro recalled for either Datsyuk or to give offense a spark

DETROIT >> Wings general manager Ken Holland doesn’t expect Justin Abdelkader (hand) to play Tuesday, but hasn’t ruled him out returning before the end of the regular season.

Abdelkader, who has a career-high 23 goals and 44 points this season, blocked a shot on Saturday of Minnesota’s Marco Scandella 1:06 into overtime and didn’t return to the game.

The team recalled Landon Ferraro from Grand Rapids as an insurance policy just in case Pavel Datsyuk can’t go or Babcock wants to juggle up his lineup.

Holland also had no injury updates on Erik Cole and Tomas Jurco.

Abdelkader skates with team, but has been ruled out for Wednesday; Cleary appears back to being a healthy scratch

DETROIT >> Quick update from Wings’ practice Tuesday at Joe Louis Arena.

Justin Abdelkader took part in his first practice with the team wearing a gray “non-contact” jersey.

He won’t play Wednesday when Detroit hosts the Toronto Maple Leafs.

“Not bad, feeling better,” Abdelkader said. “Today was a good day to skate with the team. No contact. It’s not quite there yet, but it was nice to be out there and skate. Hopefully keep getting better. I think it’s made some good strides over the last few days.”

Abdelkader suffered a slightly separated left shoulder when he was hit by Vancouver’s Luca Sbisa a week ago last Sunday.

“It’s just one of those things where you just can’t put an exact time line on things,” Abdelkader said. “You’ve just got to see how it feels, see the trainers and I guess I’ve got to get my strength back and full range of motion.

“You know you’re getting closer, but you know you’re not quite there yet,” Abdelkader said. “I’m just happy I’m able to be out there and skate with the guys. That’s going to hopefully make it so when I’m ready. I can back into the lineup quicker.”

Abdelkader is off to his best start of his career with seven goals and eight assists through 24 games.

“Just full range of motion and shooting is going to take a little bit,” Abdelkader said. “I think it was positive that I was able to skate out there and do lots of things. Hopefully, it’ll keep coming as quickly as it has the past few days.”

Daniel Cleary appears to be back out of the lineup. He was the extra forward that worked in with the top two lines.

DeKeyser’s De La Salle Pilots set to face Abdelkader’s Muskegon Mona Sailors in D2 state championship game

DETROIT >> You rarely hear high school football talk banter around an NHL locker room this time of the year.

That hasn’t been the case this week inside the Wings’ dressing room.

Danny DeKeyser and Justin Abdelkader have been going back and forth all week as their schools prepare to meet in the Division 2 state championship game, Friday at Ford Field.

“I think this is pretty rare, rather unique,” said DeKeyser, who’s a graduate of De La Salle.

“The chances of this happening I would say are pretty slim,” said Abdelkader, a graduate of Muskegon Mona Shores. “I didn’t know Danny went to De La Salle until the (state) semifinals and found out they had a chance to play each other. It’s pretty neat.

“They’ve been in the finals and this is our first trip,” Abdelkader continued. “It’s exciting. We’ll have to have some sort of wager on it.”

Abdelkader’s Sailors come in with a 12-1 record, beating Farmington Hills Harrison, 25-24, in a semifinal to reach this title game.

The Wings’ forward learned of Mona Shores’ win from his dad, who called him later that afternoon.

“I know a lot of the families from around there since I still spend my summers there,” Abdelkader said. “My sister teaches at the middle school there so she knows what’s going on and my parents are around it just living in the district. It’s really exciting.”

DeKeyser’s Pilots (10-3), who needed to win their final three games of the regular season just to qualify for the playoffs, advanced with a 31-7 win over Southfield.

“I’m sticking with my guns,” DeKeyser said when asked who would win the game. “I’ve got to stick with my guys.”

Abdelkader predicted a lopsided win for his squad.

“I hope we win,” he said.

The Wings are in New Jersey Friday.

Abdelkader played football through his sophomore year of high school.

“It’s a different game than hockey was for me,” Abdelkader said. “A lot of my buddies played. I started in seventh grade. Really enjoyed it, the contact, enjoyed playing. It was a lot of fun. We were successful in middle school, but not in high school. The team has come along a long way since we played.
“It’s a different kind of game,” Abdelkader continued. “There are 11 guys, so instead of having five and a goalie there was 11, everyone has to perform to be successful.”

Abdelkader was the team’s quarterback.

“First year we ran more of a veer option,” Abdelkader said. “Second year we ran spread so we threw the ball more.

“I enjoyed running the ball, but I enjoyed passing too,” Abdelkader added. “It got tough passing the ball as the weather changed. I remember one game when it was raining I threw like four interceptions. That was our offense, we threw the ball a lot. The ball would slip, it was muddy.”

DeKeyser never played football in grade school.

“I kind of wanted to get into it, but hockey takes up so much of your time I kind of just stuck with that,” DeKeyser said.

This is Mona Shores’ first trip to the state finals, while De La Salle has been there twice – 2008 and 2006.

DeKeyser was at Ford Field watching the 2006 game as the Pilots fell to Muskegon, 32-30.

Abdelkader returns to ice; Babcock decides not to pull plug on outdoor practice

DETROIT — Quick update from the Wings outdoor practice at Comerica Park.

Justin Abdelkader returned to the ice for the first time since taking an elbow to the jaw by Pittsburgh defenseman Deryk Engellandand on Saturday.

“I feel good so far, no contact yet,” Abdelkader said afterwards. “I’m working my way back. It’s a process. We’ll see as long as I have no setbacks we’ll keep building it each day.

“He caught me with a shoulder,” Abdelkader continued. “I don’t think he was trying to hit me in the head at all. He was just trying to take the body there and got me in the head. It’s an unfortunate play. The league has done a good job of cutting down on those hits. They review them all. If it’s suspendable they’ll suspend him. Let the league take care of that. Hopefully we’ll take as many of those hits out of the game. That’s what they’re trying to do.”

Abdelkader has experienced concussion-like symptoms and is going through the NHL protocol before returning.

“Not really,” Abdelkader said when asked if he has a target date of when he’ll return. “I need to talk to Piet (Van Zant). Hopefully soon, maybe before break, not ruling that out as long as there are no setbacks.”

The Wings have three more games before the NHL mandatory three-day shutdown for Christmas.

“The first day or two I still had some lingering headaches,” Abdelkader said. “Everything’s been feeling good so far. Hopefully I’ll just keep getting better and have no setbacks.”

The Wings were still missing a number of injured players at practice — Gustav Nyquist (groin), Henrik Zetterberg (back), Johan Franzen (concussion-like symptoms), Jimmy Howard (knee), and Stephen Weiss (groin).

Also missing to Daniel Alfredsson.

“That’s what happens when you’re 41 or 42, you get some days off,” Wings coach Mike Babcock said.

Darren Helm (shoulder) and Danny DeKeyser (shoudler) both took part in practice.

With the Wings slumping of late, going 0-4-2 in their last six, Babcock had thought about cancelling this outdoor activity.

“When you plan it initially it’s just part of your team building process you go through with your team,” Babcock said. “We’re having a family thing here after for guys that want to use it. After last night’s game I was going to cancel it to be honest with you because we had fans coming we didn’t. It’s always good not to react to those situations. It was good, we had a good practice, a good meeting, we have to get things right.”

The Wings, who lost 5-2 to Anaheim on Tuesday, host Calgary on Thursday.

“You try to do enough team building throughout the year to change things up to break up the monotony,” Babcock said. “It’s always fun to be outside. It’s something special. When I walked out a Wrigley (Field) that’s what it felt like walking out there today.”