Babcock is actually make a wise choice here by doing this. Heck I would of even put in May. But at least I know Adblerkader will through his body around tomorrow night.
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- After watching his team come out on the short end of the physical game in Wednesday's 3-2 Game 1 loss to Phoenix, coach Mike Babcock, as expected, will insert Justin Abdelkader into the lineup for Game 2 Friday at Jobing.com Arena.
Abdelkader will center the fourth line, with Kris Draper and Drew Miller. He replaces Jason Williams in the lineup.
Abdelkader led the team in hits with 152 before being sent down to Grand Rapids (AHL) on Jan. 29 due to roster and salary-cap limitations, when players began returning to the lineup from injuries.
"He played well for us early in the year,'' Babcock said after Thursday's practice at the Alltel Ice Den. "He's just a bigger body. We feel our bottom six (forwards) need to be more physical than they were last night.''
Williams struggled down the stretch, with no goals and four assists in his final 17 regular season games.
Brad Stuart might replace Williams on the point on the second power-play unit. Or Babcock might just use a three man rotation at the point with Nicklas Lidstrom, Brian Rafalski and Niklas Kronwall.