from Alex Prewitt of Sports Illustrated,
Last week, a day before Detroit snapped its six-game losing streak with an overtime win over Nashville, Abdelkader spoke with SI.com about his foray into authoring, his role in the illustration process, the Red Wings’ ongoing rebuild and the lasting importance of a single red marble....
SI: How is that rebuild going, in your mind?
JA: Well, I think we have a lot of really good young players. I think the future is bright. Not making the playoffs for the last two years, this year we’ve been decimated by injuries on the back end, but we’ve had a lot of growth from within. We’ve been in every game. We just have been, at least lately, on the losing end of a lot of these close games. We’ll continue to work as hard as we possibly can and clean up the small details in our game and find ways to get on a winning side.
SI: Give me a game, a period, a moment that told you the team is on the right track.
JA: We got off to a really tough start, the 1st of October. We won a game in Florida where we had the lead, they had come back, and then we beat them in overtime. That was a character win that showed us, things were going bad but we stuck with it. From there on out, the next 15-20 games, we probably had the best record in the league.
We were playing confident and that’s a huge part of sports, confidence. When you can start winning games, putting games together, you can get on a run. That’s what we did. A lot of times it just starts with that one game, that one shift, that overtime goal that can put you in that position. In that case, for us, that got us rolling.
Hopefully we can dig deep here, get on another run here. We’ve had a lot of close games of late, been on the losing side. Got to continue to work and get back there.