Tag Archives: justin abdelkader

Zetterberg still has yet to score in series

DETROIT >> Henrik Zetterberg is on the verge of doing something he’s never done as a member of the Detroit Red Wings … not score a goal in a series.

Zetterberg has scored in each of his previous 21 series with the Wings.

“Obviously you want to produce more than I have done,” Zetterberg said. “I had more looks during these games. Game 1 and Game 2 I didn’t play good. After that it’s been better, but obviously it would be nice to see the back of the net.

“You just try to do everything right,” Zetterberg added. “Play good defensively, good at face-offs, and try to lead by example. That’s what I’m trying to do.”
Zetterberg has three assists through six games.

“I haven’t (talked to him) and I’m not going to either,” Wings coach Mike Babcock said. “Just play hard (Wednesday) and do a good job.”

He has just two goals in his last 35 games dating back to Jan. 27.

“I think Hank’s doing a lot of good things,” linemate Justin Abdelkader said. “Hank’s a player that even if he’s not on the score sheet he’s going to positively affect the game. He’s our leader. Playoffs are all about different guys chipping in. It’s not always going to be your big-name guys. You see (Steven) Stamkos over there hasn’t scored any goals. I imagine they’re talking about him, too. I think playoffs are about your depth as a team, different guys chipping in. It’s not always going to be your all-stars or superstars.”

Zetterberg does have a knack of stepping up in the big game. In six previous Game 7s he’s appeared in, the Wings captain has three goals and three assists.

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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.

Babcock’s message to Cole and Zidlicky simple: “Picture the player you are and just do that.”

DETROIT >> Wings coach Mike Babcock met with both newly acquired Erik Cole and Marek Zidlicky and had the same message for both of them, “Picture the player you are and just do that. That’s why we acquired you. Here’s our structure and now you have to find a way to do the two together.”

Cole and Zidlicky took part in their first practice with their new team since being traded for prior to the NHL trade deadline.

“I don’t want them thinking when they get on the ice I want them playing,” Babcock said. “It’ll show over time. We didn’t bring them here to change them. We got them here so they could do what they do and we’ll figure out a way to make it work for them.”

Cole practiced on a line with Henrik Zetterberg, who’s excepted to action Wednesday after missing four straight games due to a head injury, and Justin Abdelkader.

Zidlicky, who’s a right-handed shot and a power-play specialist, was paired on the blue line with Brendan Smith.

“He plays with pace and can take the puck to the net,” Babcock said of Cole. “He’s having a good year. Looks to me he has some size and has the ability to be heavy on it.”

“He’s a competitor,” added Babcock on Zidlicky. “He can shoot the puck and can make plays. He’s got good offensive skill. I think he’ll be a great addition. He made some plays in practice that makes you smile which is positive.”

The two will also be inserted on power play units. Cole will be out with his two linemates, along with Stephen Weiss and Niklas Kronwall, while Zidlicky will man the point for Pavel Datsyuk, Gustav Nyquist, Tomas Tatar and Riley Sheahan.

“It was great to see that we as an organization were able to help our team,” Babcock said. “I think our team has done a good job and if you do a good job Kenny (Holland) has shown over the years he tries to help you.

“From an organizational standpoint, long term, we were able to do that without giving up a whole bunch so therefore we serve ourselves for now and in the future with the group we have coming,” Babcock continued. “We’re excited we have both guys. I think both can be prominent players for us. It’s going to take them some time to adjust but I think they’ll be a factor.”

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.

Weiss misses practice due to a funeral; Abdelkader skates on own; Wings power play red hot

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

Stephen Weiss missed practice due to a funeral he attended. He’s expected to play Saturday when the Wings host the New York Rangers.

Justin Abdelkader skated for the first time on his own since injuring his shoulder on Sunday. He’s also been sick with the flu.

The Wings worked on the power play at practice which has been red hot of late.

Since starting the season 5-for-46 with the man advantage through their first 12 games, they’ve gone 19-for-58 since.

“I think the biggest thing is we’re just throwing pucks at the net,” Niklas Kronwall said. “We know we’re going to have guys there, we have guy’s net-front that are doing a great job of screening and making it hard for their goalie. The rest of us just have to make sure the puck gets there. Of course, winning face-offs is another huge area. But throwing the puck, I think that’s the biggest key.”

Detroit has at least one power play goal in six straight games.

“I think we’ve just been sticking with it, we believed in what we did,” Henrik Zetterberg said. “Obviously the puck didn’t go in for us from the beginning. I don’t think we made that big of changes to it. One thing we did is shoot a little bit more instead of looking for passes before we shoot. We shoot and then automatically it will open up for us and we can make plays. Also, once you score your confidence goes up and you’re more confident in what you do. That helps.”

Heading into play Friday, the Wings’ power play is ranked sixth best in the league.