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Justin Abdelkader Suspended Two Games For Hit On Toni Lydman

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It's official: Abdelkader has been suspended two games for his hit on Anaheim's Toni Lydman

Kirk Irwin

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p>Justin Abdelkader suspended for 2 games, Ken Holland said.</p>&mdash; Ansar Khan (@AnsarKhanMLive) <a href="https://twitter.com/AnsarKhanMLive/status/331177406222196736">May 5, 2013</a></blockquote>

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Here is the hit:

Should it be a suspension? I don't know. Was I expecting a suspension? Yes.

It is hard to tell if the hit by Abdelkader was targeting Lydman's head or not. I think that Abby intended to go shoulder-to-shoulder but the fact that he leaped off of the ice complicates things. Wing's head coach Mike Babcock doesn't believe that it was a hit to the head at all, per Mlive.

"I watched the hit again today and, holy mackerel, I don’t know what you’re going to be suspended for,'' Babcock said. "You turn the video and pretend that there was contact to the head, maybe you can find something. But a guy is gliding, goes through a guy, I don’t know.''

Either way, the NHL has been very adamant that they will not tolerate any hits to the head.

The biggest question for the Wings is what type of impact this will have on their lineup. With Abdelkader out, someone will have to fill in along-side of Datsyuk and Zetterberg. I could see Babcock putting Franzen up on the top line but I could also see him putting Bertuzzi or Samuelsson there. One way or another, one of the Wings top two lines will be a lot weaker for tomorrow's game.

It's funny. A few months ago we were praying for Abdelkader to do something like this so he would be taken off the top line. Now we can't figure out how to replace him. If the Wings don't win one of their next two games, Abdelkader's season is over.

UPDATE:

Here is the explanation for the suspension by the NHL, per NHL.com