Update (3:55 PM): Bruce MacLeod has an expanded version of the Babcock quote on Samuelsson provided by Ted Kulfan (below). - Matt
Update (3:08 PM): More from Kulfan. He characterizes the final statuses of Stuart, Samuelsson, and Holmstrom as game-time decisions. - Matt
Update (2:48 PM): A correction: The lineup as provided below has one of the “three of Abdelkader, McCarty, and Downey” in it: Downey (though St. James says it’s McCarty). Sorry about that. It’s what I get for writing a post during class.
That said, I’d still like to see Abdelkader or Downey play over Samuelsson, unless #37 is absolutely ready to go. On that note, here’s a great quote from Babcock via Ted Kulfan:
“[Samuelsson] just told me if it was up to him he wants to play. But my kid wants to play for us tomorrow, too. He’s one of those guys that’ll skate again tomorrow and we’ll see how he reacts.”
Helene St. James reports that Brad Stuart (broken finger), Tomas Holmstrom (groin), and Mikael Samuelsson (groin) are all “questionable” for Game 1. She tempers that claim with quotes from Babcock that indicate the team is just practicing its usual caution by not saying for sure.
Bruce MacLeod, on the other hand, reports that it “appears that defenseman Brad Stuart will be ready to play.” He says nothing specific about Holmstrom, but lists him on the probable top line. He says it’s possible Samuelsson “might be ready.”
Ansar Khan says the final decision on Homer, Stuart, and Sammy won’t be made until tomorrow.
Based on all three reports, it doesn’t look like Justin Abdelkader will be in the lineup after all. MacLeod lists him as a likely stratch and St. James says Abdelkader told her he doesn’t think he’ll play.
A projected lineup via MacLeod and Khan:
Healthy scratches …
Not sure I’m a fan of that look. Unless Samuelsson is absolutely 100%, I’d much rather see someone more abrasive in that spot.
The Wings need to set a tone physically as well as offensively and defensively. Playing as much talent as possible is great, of course. But sitting all three both of Downey, Abdelkader and McCarty after Samuelsson’s had just one full practice (if that) since his injury? Not so much.