Tuesday, March 19, 2013

3/18-3/19 Off Day Updates

     Gustav Nyquist was re-assigned to the Grand Rapids Griffins Monday, and the Griffins have a game tonight. It's frustrating not to have Nyquist, who is sill leading the AHL in scoring, playing and getting crucial NHL experience; I think we were all disappointed that he was a healthy scratch Saturday. If Babcock isn't going to play him Wednesday though, better to send him back to Grand Rapids so he can play for the Griffins instead of twiddling his thumbs in Detroit. As frustrating as it must be for Nyquist not to get the opportunity to play in Detroit, though most fans agree that he should, and to be called up yet only play 16:42 on Friday (1:22 of that on the power play) and then be a healthy scratch Saturday; he's still being professional in how he responds. In response to being sent back down to the AHL,
"It’s still a league that you can improve and learn the systems a little bit better." 
I give him full marks for maintaining a positive attitude and continuing to learn and improve. Holland said they will reasses things on Thursday and may bring Nyquist back up for the California trip starting Friday.

     Justin Abdelkader could barely walk Saturday morning. Sometime during the second period Friday night against the Edmonton Oilers, Abdelkader's foot got stepped on and sliced almost to the bone. The skate blade cut through the laces, skate tongue, sock and his foot. When he took off his skate during the second intermission he said he could see almost all the way down to the bone. The medical staff numbed his foot, gave him 8-10 stitches, and Abby came out in the third and finished the game. Team masseur Sergei Tchekmarev rigged up a piece of plastic with a hole in it and fit it on to Abby's skate to help keep some of the pressure off his foot. Saturday Abdelkader was a game time decision in Vancouver, but ultimately decided he could play, and ended up with two goals for his effort. Datsyuk banked two goals in off Abby, the first off his injured foot, and the other off his chest.

“I’m just a firing range for Pav,'' Abdelkader said. “I’ll take it."

“I’m just trying to get to the net for him (Pavel) and Mule. Mule’s shooting a lot and I’m just trying to be physical for those guys and hang on to pucks and get pucks to them.”
"Sometimes they're not the prettiest, but I'll take them," Abdelkader said. "I haven't been getting the best of breaks all year, so any time you can get a couple of breaks like that, it was nice. Playing with Pav, you just have to get to net, and he's going to find you or your stick. I'm fortunate to play with him."
“I think that was the first time in my career that I scored two goals and they didn’t touch my stick.”

"He's playing better and better,'' Babcock said of Abdelkader. "He's a big man, and the lockout didn't help him. He's really gotten skating and is playing with two real good players and goes to the net every time. He gets them the puck and goes to the net. Pretty simple plan for him, but it's working and he's playing well and he's physical for us. He's a huge factor out there."

All indications are that Abby will be good to go tomorrow against the Wild. Today Abdelkader visited Wick Elementary school in Romulus to read The Little Engine That Could to the second graders. I don't think they could have picked a better story for him to read right now. :)

What does Datsyuk say about Abdelkader?
“It’s my partners who work hard to make everything that happened,'' Datsyuk said. “Abby, he just go and fight through injury. Looks like he don’t need a stick now anymore to score.”
Datsyuk said he likes playing with Abdelkader because he does the dirty work, likening him to somebody who “pulls the piano'' as opposed to playing it.
“Some people can see how tough (his) work is that he does,'' Datsyuk said. “He gets the puck to me or goes back in front of the net and fights for every puck. Some people only measure him if he scores. But, if you see him total, he does a lot of hard jobs.''

If you didn't see the post-game interview with Pavel Datsyuk from Saturday, you really want to watch it.

With quotes like this, why wouldn't you?

Reporter “Pavel, you hadn’t scored in a while, do you think about that at this age?”
Pavel  with a mischievous grin “Age?” “Say I hear age?”
Reporter “experience”
Pavel “Oh, ok, I think age” “Of course, like, we no play great last few games” “I try to don’t think and play for team” “ask me and it’s going to remind me”
 On the play with Franzen:
“They make the play, they see I’m coming behind a little bit late but I pick up my speed and they waiting and uh just deliver it. Like mailbox”

     Kyle Quincey will be out 4-6 weeks after suffering multiple fractures to his cheek bone after taking a puck to the face in Edmonton Friday night. We still don't know for sure if he's going to require surgery, since the full damage can't be determined yet because his face is still swollen so badly.

     With the injury to Quincey, it looks like Ian White, who replaced Quincey in the lineup Saturday in Vancouver, will return to making regular appearances in the lineup after being a healthy scratch in eight of the last eleven games. It appears Kent Huskins will remain the odd man out and is the only healthy scratch on defense.

  We still don't know whether Todd Bertuzzi (back) or Carlo Colaiacovo (shoulder) will play at all this season, but the news isn't good for either one. Colaiacovo was close to returning a couple weeks ago, but then has a setback and at this point they don't know if he'll be back this season. Bertuzzi is not doing well either. He has issues with a couple of the discs in his back and he's hoping to avoid surgery, but should know in about a week if he'll need it or not. A bulging disk between his L3 and L4 vertebrae pinched a nerve and sent Bert to the hospital for four days back in February and he's been in so much pain since then that he's been "nearly immobile at times for more than a month". Not only is Bertuzzi dealing with excruciating pain, but because he's unable to play, practice or workout, he's also experiencing muscle atrophy and Bill Roose reported that Bert has already lost three centimeters around his right thigh; which has severely reduced his ability to push of while skating, among other things.

“I've been doing the elliptical for a couple of days now and gradually try to get better every day and see if I can get to the point where I can get back on the ice and start skating,'' Bertuzzi said.
 At this point I don't expect to get Bert back this season at all, and I'm quickly losing hope that Bert will be able to finish out his career on his own terms.

     We got more disappointing new about Helm yesterday.  He was on the ice for practice and was expected to play tomorrow when the Red Wings host the Minnesota Wild, but he left the ice after about 10 minutes and it was announced that he had another setback. He had a slightly torn disk in his back and he's only played 7:23 this season the game January 25th against the Wild. Babcock heaped more praise on the injured Helm...

“We're in crunch time; guys who are playing and playing well aren't losing their jobs to people that are coming back unless the guy coming back has earned the right to play over time,'' Babcock said. “Helmer, we'd welcome back at any time. Let's not kid ourselves. He's a good player. Now, does it get to a point where he can't help us? Not the Helmer I know. The Helmer I know can help us at any time.'

"He flat-out can just dominate in the bottom six,"

We're waiting on more news about Helm, and good news would certainly be welcome.

     Patrick Eaves left practice early today after he took a puck to the jaw... again. Fortunately his jaw wasn't fractured and is just sore. He is day to day and if he can't play tomorrow we'll have to call someone up from Grand Rapids because we don't have any extra healthy forwards. That's depressing.

     Zetterberg also left the ice early during practice today, creating panic, mass hysteria and a sudden urge to smash things- or maybe that was just my reaction. Fifteen minutes later however, it was reported that Zetterberg was "springing down the concourse" so he seemed to be just fine. I think this was a new technique to try to make us fans forget all the depressing injury news by creating relief and elation that Zetterberg was not in fact injured; momentarily taking focus away from all the disappointing injury news. However, Ansar Khan said that Datsyuk left the ice early as well because of the flu, but both Datsyuk and Zetterberg are expected to play tomorrow.

     Samuelsson, who is recovering from a broken finger, tried stick handling for the first time in practice Tuesday. He had been skating on his own after practices, but this was the first time he's tried anything with his stick.

“It was strictly skating, no stick handling, today was the first time stick handling... If I set a date (to return) it’ll be missed probably anyway. I’m taking one day at a time, but it feels better though, but I’m not quite there yet. Maybe a week...It’s a bad finger, top hand and the index finger...To have a splint or something, I’ve tried that, but it’s the stick on your one hand as well so you want to have it (OK). It’s not the best finger.”

Practice lines today were:

Justin Abdelkader-Pavel Datsyuk-Johan Franzen

Valtteri Filppula-Henrik Zetterberg-Damien Brunner

Danny Cleary-Joakim Andersson-Patrick Eaves

Drew Miller-Cory Emmerton-Jordin Tootoo

Niklas Kronwall-Jonathan Ericsson

Brian Lashoff-Brendan Smith

Jakub Kindl-Ian White

Kent Huskins

Jimmy Howard (starting Wednesday)

Jonas Gustavsson

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