The Red Wings skated in their first practice Monday since learning their first round opponent over the weekend. Here are the updates from the digger crew.
Defensemen pairings look like Kronwall-Ericsson; DeKeyser-Marchenko; Quincey-Zidlicky.— Chuck Pleiness (@wingsfrontman) April 13, 2015
That's what we wrote in our Defense Preview this morning based on how the team skated on Saturday against Carolina. At this point, you have to figure that Kronwall-Ericsson is inseparable unless some stuff goes really, really wrong.
Lines: Tatar-Datsyuk-Cleary (holding Helm spot) Weiss/Abdelkader-Zetterberg-Nyquist Andersson-Sheahan-Jurco Miller-Glendening-Ferraro— Ansar Khan (@AnsarKhanMLive) April 13, 2015
Interesting pieces here:
- The diggers were reporting that Abdelkader was skating and doing some passing off on his own before practice and that he left the ice before battle drills started, then came back out later. I don't have a better read of things based on Abby being kept away from contact drills, but I'd guess he's probably going to miss Game 1. If he's in, I'm guessing Weiss bumps somebody else off a lower line.
Justin Abdelkader says "we'll see" if he plays. Calls himself day-to-day.— Brad Galli (@BradGalli) April 13, 2015
- Helm is sick, according to Ken Holland. nothing else to worry about there, except the general malaise caused by seeing Cleary on the top line, even in practice.
- Teemu Pulkkinen has slowly skated himself into Babcock's doghouse apparently. He did practice, but based on the digger reports, he's not going to be playing.
Oh, this is fun:
You can't make this stuff up - #RedWings Smith just played puck with his stick during practice while on the bench.— Bob Duff (@asktheduffer) April 13, 2015
Yeah, very funny Smith. Remember that time you almost single-handedly cost the Wings a game late in a playoff race? Hahahahaha... butthead.
The biggest piece of info we're all waiting for is still out there somewhere, but the diggers were watching and hey, there's this.
Petr Mrazek is in the east net (usually reserved for the starter) at #RedWings practice this morning. That can all change in a day though.— The Wheel Deal (@Bill_Roose) April 13, 2015
Mike Babcock told the press he would announce his starter on Monday, so we'll keep an eye out for the official announcement. Babcock wouldn't have lied to us, would he?
[Update: he wouldn't - Mrazek is your starter]