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Red Wings Practice: Lineup and injury updates have Cholowski out, Abdelkader and Nyquist switch lines

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Detroit Red Wings v Columbus Blue Jackets Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images

The Red Wings are back in town after their weekend road trip to California ended with one point gained in the two-game swing through the greater Los Angeles area and they’re preparing to welcome the Toronto Maple Leafs into the LCA tomorrow night. While Detroit looks to earn their first win of the season against a team that’s looking to compete atop the Atlantic Division, we’ve got some updates from practice worth sharing:

Strategy-wise, I like the idea of moving Abdelkader off that Vanek-Athanasiou line and moving Nyquist onto it, as the chemistry between Abby and AA has been blow-up-the-laboratory bad so far through three games and that line needed a change. Nyquist makes a good fit there who can also be moved off the Mantha-Larkin line.

Tactics-wise, I personally would have preferred giving that promotion to Tyler Bertuzzi and saddling Nielsen and Rasmussen with Abdelkader. It doesn’t really help Rasmussen with the offensive-confidence consideration, but he would do fine on a third line with Abby and Nielsen learning from defensively responsible veterans who, while you’d like to see them score more, aren’t exactly offensive black holes.

Either way, that third line can still be described as fitting my ideal third line mold of “grinders with scoring ability,” I just think Tyler Bertuzzi deserves more ice time than Justin Abdelkader.

On defense, Niklas Kronwall practiced today, but Ericsson and Daley did not take the ice. They were also missing another D-man in today’s practice:

Well this sucks.

While the sample is still tiny, I think Cholowski has been the best Red Wings’ defenseman so far this season and has looked very much like he belongs at the NHL level. We haven’t been able to track down any particularly notable play in LA or Anaheim that would have led to an injury, so we don’t know how bad it is for C-Lo right now, but we’ll be keeping an eye out for information and will update as soon as we know more.

If Cholowski can’t go tomorrow against the Leafs, look for a bit more defensive shuffling, as I would not expect Kronwall and DeKeyser to be paired if that’s the only switch.

Update:

Less (more)-important Update:

Update 3: Stupid ALCS...