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Calling Justin Abdelkader a "star" may be a bit of a stretch, but he's been a top-six forward for the Detroit Red Wings all season long and has established himself as a catalyst for the squad, so we'll let it slide.
It's been a long time since the Red Wings have had a pest like Abdelkader. Watch a Detroit game from a distance, and fellow onlookers will forgive you for thinking that Darren McCarty has come out of retirement to go after one more Stanley Cup with the Wings.
Yet the 26-year-old Michigan native seems to bring a bit more to the table than McCarty did. Abdelkader maintains a net presence on every shift, standing there so Pavel Datsyuk can bank pucks into the net off of him—and that's when he's at his least effective.
He's at his best when he's going into the corners and digging pucks out for his admittedly more talented teammates. Abdelkader draws penalties, works hard and hits even harder.
After becoming public enemy number one in Round 1 against the Anaheim Ducks, he's quickly taking up that mantle against the Chicago Blackhawks in Round 2.