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Abel to Yzerman

Question For Every Player On The Detroit Red Wings

from Max Bultman of The Athletic,

Justin Abdelkader: Is there another gear left?

Maybe Abdelkader will be confined to the fourth line, and his 19 points in 71 games last year didn’t do much to inspire confidence in a rebound. But if Abdelkader can come into camp motivated to prove he’s not done yet, is there any way he can at least get close to his 2017-18 output of 35 points? Frankly, it’s hard to see it without a really strong center on his line creating chances, and down the lineup, that’s not likely to be the case for him. He needs to prove he has more in the tank than he showed last year. It’s that simple.

Mike Green: Does he have one more year like last season in him — minus the health issues?

Green will turn 34 a week after the season opens, so it would be unfair to expect the world from him. But, quietly, he was close to a 50-point pace last season when healthy. Viruses limited him to just 43 games, but in that time he put up 26 points, wasn’t a liability in terms of shot share and did so while splitting his zone starts evenly between the offensive and defensive zones. Put simply, he was one of the more impactful options the Red Wings had — when he was in the lineup. Again, it was a low bar, and over a full season, that scoring rate would be hard to repeat. But that said, those numbers came on a below-career-average shooting percentage and with an only slightly higher than usual shooting percentage for his teammates when Green was on the ice. If Green can even come close to that kind of production and do so without sacrificing too much defensively (playing with DeKeyser or Nemeth would help), his final year with the Red Wings could be his best.

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He needs to prove he has more in the tank than he showed last year.

The only way Abdelkader does this is if Blashill commits to playing him on the top line with whoever he deems to be the two best offensive players.

The only way that happens if if Detroit’s top-six is victim to many catastrophic injuries. Or Blashill tries to be Mike Babcock again. Either of those is a disastrous situation.

Posted by CharDeeMacDennis on 08/07/19 at 02:15 PM ET

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About Abel to Yzerman

Welcome to Abel to Yzerman, a Red Wing blog since 1977.  No other site on the internet has better-researched, fact-laden and better prepared discussions than A2Y.  Re-phrase: we do little research, find facts and stats highly overrated and claim little to no preparation.  There are 19 readers of A2Y. No more, no less. All of them, except maybe one, are juvenile in nature.  Reminding them of that in the comment section will only encourage them to prove that. Your suggestions and critiques are welcome: wphoulihan@gmail.com