Abdelkader Needs To Step It Up

There’s already been a lot of talk about how if Detroit’s going to succeed, we need guys like Helm and Cleary to shine in the playoffs.  

“We need to get our third and fourth lines going,” Babcock said. “That’s why we need Helm back. He seems to be the key to the bottom six. He plugs into the three hole and (Justin Abdelkader) in the four hole. Then, suddenly, we’re a different hockey club depth-wise.” 

And I totally agree.  But we need to get another guy going, that Mr. Abdelkader guy mentioned above.   I think he’ll be just as key as those other guys mentioned.  

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He’s been struggling greatly for us lately.  Playing on the third line, he has 3 points in all of March and April.  That’s not good enough or even acceptable.  

Worse, he’s a minus six in his last eleven games.  For a guy who’s supposed to be a defensive stalwart, that’s failing.  

But as Babock states above, I think Justin’s out of his element on the third line.  He’s not a scorer and has hands made of cast iron and steel.  Put him on the fourth line, however, and that allows him to play with reckless abandon.  No more worries about scoring, just playing hard and crazy.  We need him to go in there, run a guy, slash the goalie, and cup-check Jordan Tootoo while he’s at it.  

Sorta like that Dallas Drake guy a few years back.  That worked out well too, didn’t it?