Another day, another injury for the Red Wings. This time, Justin Abdelkader has fallen victim.
Justin Abdelkader has slight MCL sprain, out 2-4 weeks. Red Wings may make call-ups Saturday, Grand Rapids plays tonight.
— Helene St. James (@HeleneStJames) December 2, 2016
The injury occurred in the first period after a collision with Florida Panthers forward Vincent Trocheck in Thursday’s 2-1 overtime loss. Although forward Drew Miller is available to fill in the lineup, general manager Ken Holland told the Detroit Free Press that call-ups are possible. Tomas Jurco, who recently made his season debut after off-season back surgery, could also get a look on a higher line. This would allow Miller to slide into his normal role on the fourth line.
Injuries have been commonplace for Detroit over the course of the last few games, as Abdelkader joins Brendan Smith (MCL sprain), Alexey Marchenko (sprained AC joint), Tyler Bertuzzi (high ankle sprain), Darren Helm (dislocated shoulder), Andreas Athanasiou (sprained knee), and Jimmy Howard (groin) as players who will miss significant time with injuries.
Abdelkader had been primarily playing on a line with Frans Nielsen and Luke Glendening; a line that had been starting to show some promising chemistry. For the season, Abdelkader has racked up four goals, four assists and 13 penalty minutes, while also adding a physical element to the lineup.
While the injuries have been piling up for Detroit, the points have as well. Including last night’s overtime loss, the Wings have collected eight points in their last five games. The team currently sits with 25 points on the season, two points behind the second wild card spot, also two points behind the third place spot in the division.
The Red Wings’ minor league affiliate, the Grand Rapids Griffins, play tonight. If Detroit plans to call up a player from Grand Rapids, it likely won’t be until after the team plays this evening. Detroit’s next game is tomorrow evening, when they pay Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins a visit. Tomorrow’s game in Pittsburgh marks the first contest of a three game road trip for the team.