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Abdelkader Ready if Needed

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http://www.mlive.com/griffins/index.ssf/2010/04/griffins_justin_abdelkader_rea.html

GRAND RAPIDS -- The Grand Rapids Griffins didn’t qualify for the playoffs this season, but that doesn’t mean Justin Abdelkader isn’t preparing for the postseason.

The former Mona Shores and Michigan State standout is all but assured of rejoining the Detroit Red Wings when the Griffins conclude the regular season this weekend.

Abdelkader, who spent the first 50 games this season in Detroit, isn’t taking anything for granted. He’s determined to make sure he’s ready if and when the Red Wings need him.

"I just try to prepare myself as much as I can and get ready because if my name is called, I want to be ready to go," he said after recording a goal and an assist in the Griffins’ 6-3 win against the Rochester Americans on Wednesday night.

Since being assigned to Grand Rapids on Jan. 29, Abdelkader has 11 goals, 10 assists and a plus-4 rating in 31 games.

He’s also been able to play first line minutes, more than twice what he saw in Detroit, and contribute to both the power play and penalty kill while serving as an alternate captain.

Abdelkader, who scored in Games 1 and 2 of the Stanley Cup finals last year, acknowledges that he won’t see nearly as much ice time when he returns to the Red Wings.

Abdelkader had three goals, three assists and a minus-11 rating in Detroit.

"It’s an adjustment. The hockey is a step faster and the puck moves a little faster, but at the same time, it’s easier too," he said. "Some guys find it easier to go up because everyone is in position.

"Obviously, I’m not going to play as much, I just want to make the most of my shifts. I was up there for the majority of the season so I know what I have to do to be successful."

Against Rochester, he helped boost the Griffins’ lead from 2-1 to 4-1 in the second period.

First, he sent a pass to Jan Mursak, who backhanded in a goal from the slot with 3:56 left in the second. Just over 3 minutes later, Abdelkader took an outlet pass from goaltender Thomas McCollum, barreled through the defense and flicked a shot past the goaltender.

"I thought Abdelkader had an exceptional night. That goal was terrific," Griffins coach Curt Fraser said. "He got mad in the second period, and we needed him to. He stepped up and did a great job."

While Abdelkader knows his next destination is eventually Detroit, he still wants to help Grand Rapids finish this season strong -- postseason or no postseason.

"Guys want to make a name for themselves and find a spot here or in the NHL, so they’re still meaningful games," he said. "Obviously, in the standings they’re not, but they’re meaningful to us."

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Hopefully we won't need him. But it sure is nice to know we have a guy like that standing by in case the injury bug hits. I can't wait for the playoffs!! So stoked!!!

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I think there might be some rotation in the 4th line in the playoffs, especially if Williams is invisible. I guess they'll see how the first couple of games go and who steps it up.

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especially if Williams is invisible.

...who?

..seriously I've been watching every game this season and I can't remember seeing any "Williams" guy..

dobbles likes this

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Abby looked really good last night.

Then again, everyone looked good since they pounded the hell out of the Americans.

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He will definitely be playing in the playoffs... He will make our 4th line stronger with his physical play. Can't wait!

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Williams' effect on the power play hasn't been dramatic, I could see Abdelkader stepping in for him.

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Not to make this about JWilly but wow <_< he hasnt really done anything!

Edited by 13dangledangle

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wouldn't mind seeing abby step in if white vanilla, or any other 3rd or 4th liners struggle

Edited by redwingfan19

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...who?

..seriously I've been watching every game this season and I can't remember seeing any "Williams" guy..

He played for us from 2002-2007. You don't remember that guy? I wonder what he's up to these days...

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Abby is still in the top 3 in hits on the team :ph34r:

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Abdelkader is better suited to the 4th line grinder role than Williams, and Williams has not played well enough to justify moving onto one of the top 2 lines, so he becomes expendable when the cap is no longer a concern.

Holmstrom/Datsyuk/Franzen

Filppula/Zetterberg/Bertuzzi

Cleary/Helm/Eaves

Miller/Draper/Abdelkader

Looks good to me.

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Put Abdelkader in the lineup for playoffs. He'll be our biggest hitter, he scores clutch goals, and he can fight well enough to handle any of the pests on the other teams.

Williams does none of the above.

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I've got no problem with adding Abdelkader to the 4th line for some energy, but you better not count on him scoring many goals. He only had 3 in 50 games the last time he was up with the club.

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I've got no problem with adding Abdelkader to the 4th line for some energy, but you better not count on him scoring many goals. He only had 3 in 50 games the last time he was up with the club.

Yeah and he had 2 in the finals last year. Youre not gonna score alot playing with May and Maltby all year. I actually think Babcock wanted Ab learning from May all year.

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Yeah and he had 2 in the finals last year.

The first was a point blank shot off a rebound and the second was a snap shot from the top of the circle that somehow snuck past Fleury. Both were more luck than skill. Don't get me wrong. I've been watching Abdelkader since his days at MSU and I believe he has a future with the Red Wings. I just think he's a few seasons away from reaching his potential. Right now the NHL game is a little above his ability level.

Edited by Icer

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Abdelkader thrives on playoff hockey, he had more goals in the SCF then Crosby. Williams out... Abdelkader In for the playoffs.

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Abdelkader is better suited to the 4th line grinder role than Williams, and Williams has not played well enough to justify moving onto one of the top 2 lines, so he becomes expendable when the cap is no longer a concern.

Holmstrom/Datsyuk/Franzen

Filppula/Zetterberg/Bertuzzi

Cleary/Helm/Eaves

Miller/Draper/Abdelkader

Looks good to me.

few problems with those lines, first hudler is more then likly coming back

Homlstrom/Datsyuk/Frazen

Filpulla/Zetterberg/Bertuzzi

Cleary/Hudler/Helm

Miller/Draper/Eaves

I'd think eaves/miller will get multi year deals, they preformed amazling and Bertuzzi I could see resigning at the same or near price, and williams is gone, and that other guy is coming up ritola or w/e his name is, my question is why is everyone so up beat about abdelkader? I'd pick miller or eaves over him

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...who?

..seriously I've been watching every game this season and I can't remember seeing any "Williams" guy..

Yeah, he has been very bad.

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few problems with those lines, first hudler is more then likly coming back

Homlstrom/Datsyuk/Frazen

Filpulla/Zetterberg/Bertuzzi

Cleary/Hudler/Helm

Miller/Draper/Eaves

I'd think eaves/miller will get multi year deals, they preformed amazling and Bertuzzi I could see resigning at the same or near price, and williams is gone, and that other guy is coming up ritola or w/e his name is, my question is why is everyone so up beat about abdelkader? I'd pick miller or eaves over him

You'd take Eaves or Miller over Ab? He played with Maltby and May all year so he didn't get points, he has top 2 line potential, something Eaves might reach with Detroit and Miller is a career third liner. Eaves will probably be a third liner his whole life too. Abdelakder could end up being a strong third line anchor or solid second liner that can hit and fight.

Not too mention Abdelakder is outta options and has to stay up next year. They'll drop Miller if they have to to keep Abdelakder up next season.

swiss_fan likes this

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few problems with those lines, first hudler is more then likly coming back

Homlstrom/Datsyuk/Frazen

Filpulla/Zetterberg/Bertuzzi

Cleary/Hudler/Helm

Miller/Draper/Eaves

I'd think eaves/miller will get multi year deals, they preformed amazling and Bertuzzi I could see resigning at the same or near price, and williams is gone, and that other guy is coming up ritola or w/e his name is, my question is why is everyone so up beat about abdelkader? I'd pick miller or eaves over him

I was talking about the playoff this season, not next year. Unless I'm mistaken, Hudler can't come back for the playoffs. I like the line combos the way they are now, and with the roster freedom that is available in the postseason, I would drop Williams in favor of Abdelkader in a heartbeat.

If you want to talk next season, then yes I hope Hudler comes back we could use his scoring touch, I agree that Eaves should get a multi-year deal, 4 or 5 years, Miller should get 2 or 3, Bertuzzi I could go either way unless something much better comes available, and Ritola will likely be the 13th forward unless Draper or Homer retire.

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few problems with those lines, first hudler is more then likly coming back

Homlstrom/Datsyuk/Frazen

Filpulla/Zetterberg/Bertuzzi

Cleary/Hudler/Helm

Miller/Draper/Eaves

I'd think eaves/miller will get multi year deals, they preformed amazling and Bertuzzi I could see resigning at the same or near price, and williams is gone, and that other guy is coming up ritola or w/e his name is, my question is why is everyone so up beat about abdelkader? I'd pick miller or eaves over him

The lines were referring to the playoff roster for this year. Also, can you please explain how you believe it is a better move for the organization to keep both Miller and Eaves while trading/waiving Abby than it is to keep one of them and Abby? He's out of options and IMO has more potential than both of them (although they have been great and I'd like to keep one of them- whoever signs for the least money).

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The lines were referring to the playoff roster for this year. Also, can you please explain how you believe it is a better move for the organization to keep both Miller and Eaves while trading/waiving Abby than it is to keep one of them and Abby? He's out of options and IMO has more potential than both of them (although they have been great and I'd like to keep one of them- whoever signs for the least money).

I think we should keep Eaves. He's got more scoring potential out of the two, he's more physical and has shown that he will rough it up a bit more then Miller. He seems to have great chemistry with Helm and if you add Abdelakder on that line next season they'll be one of the stronger third lines in the league.

Theres no way both are kept and Abdelakder is lost, no way in hell.

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