At long last, it appears that the injury woes that have plagued an unlucky Detroit Red Wings team for most of the 2016-2017 NHL regular season schedule are starting to diminish.
After losing veteran forward Justin Abdelkader on December 1st of 2016 to a reported sprained MCL, head coach Jeff Blashill has officially announced that the 29-year-old career Red Wing will return to the lineup tonight ahead of the team's Original Six matchup against the Chicago Blackhawks at the United Center.
Moreover, defenseman Mike Green will make his return to the lineup as well tonight, he who was injured on December 17th with an undisclosed ailment.
Before injuring himself, Abdelkader had posted four goals and eight points in 22 games, while Green proved to be somewhat of a revelation this year with seven goals and 18 points in 32 games played thus far. Evidently, their veteran presences will be more than welcomed by Blashill, who sang their praises yesterday:
“He’s a guy who has shown he can score,” the head coach said when referring to Abdelkader. “He’s different than a lot of guys we have, a big body that goes to the net hard. He’s good defensively.”
And regarding Green: “I think Green was playing at a high, high, high level when he got hurt... He looked like a real No. 1 defenseman in the NHL."
Still, it is unclear who will sit out tonight's matchup as both players are expected to be inserted into the lineup.