Detroit Red Wings Notebook: April 5

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Detroit Red Wings Notebook: April 5

Update (2:12 PM): Helene St. James notes that the playoff schedule given below is not yet official. It's just what the team is anticipating. - Matt

Update (2:06 PM): For those wondering why the Wings signed Abdelkader when they could have just called up a Griffin or two, here's my thinking (posted as a comment over at Abel to Yzerman in response to IwoCPO calling it a panic signing):

"I think it’s a matter of timing. Abdelkader decided just this past week that he was going to forgo his senior year at MSU. When he told the Wings, they had two routes they could take: 1) sign him by the Saturday deadline and have him available for the playoffs, or 2) let him hang out for a summer and sign him by the August deadline so that he could join the organization next season.

"The benefits of Option 1 are obvious: you can bring in a highly-touted prospect who would be idle otherwise. He brings a fast, physical style as well as buckets of motivation to play for his home team. If nothing else, he can join the group of young guys the team will be calling up at the end of the Griffins’ season and give the Wings a heck of a practice squad. 

"So, they signed him to an amateur tryout in order to whet his appetite. He then signed the entry level contract and now has the chance to play hockey in real life this summer instead of on his Xbox.

"Not a panic signing at all. Just a realization that an idle Justin Abdelkader is a waste of talent."

- Matt

Ansar Khan has an update from practice:

... Tomas Holmstrom (abdomen/groin) is definitely going to play tomorrow. He'll skate on Henrik Zetterberg's wing with Pavel Datsyuk.

... Kris Draper (groin) is out tomorrow, but claimed he'll be back for Game 1.  So, the 10-14 days claim from the FSN broadcast Thursday night was incorrect. Draper implied that he'd be playing through pain by telling Khan he would play tomorrow if it were the playoffs.

... Mikael Samuelsson (groin) was on the ice but not for long. No return date has been set yet.

... The team recalled Darren Helm from the Griffins, apparently to give Babcock more options.

... The practice lines:

Datsyuk-Zetterberg-Holmstrom
Filppula-Franzen-Cleary
Drake-Hartigan-Downey
Hudler-Helm-McCarty

... Justin Abdelkader was the odd man out in practice, but Babcock told Khan he'd dress 13 forwards prior to the game and decide who sits after warmups.

... Brian Rafalski will be rested tomorrow, which means Derek Meech will be on the blueline.

... Lastly, Khan provides the first round schedule. Not times yet, but Game 2 will be an evening game, apparently:

Game 1 -- Thursday in Detroit
Game 2 -- Saturday in Detroit
Game 3 -- April 14 in Nashville
Game 4 -- April 16 in Nashville
x-Game 5 -- April 18 in Detroit
x-Game 6 -- April 20 in Nashville
x-Game 7 -- April 22 in Detroit

x-if necessary

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