Justin Abdelkader Out, Darren Helm Sick, Datsyuk and Zetterberg Split: Red Wings Practice Updates

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.

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.

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.
  • [UPDATE:]

  • 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:

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.

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]