Update (2:34 PM): Helene St. James reports that Stuart told her he has “recovered enough that he can shoot and pass like he wants to.” That’s good news. - Matt
Update (1:12 PM): MacLeod has updated now that practice is over. The two most interesting bits of information:
First, Brad Stuart (broken finger) told MacLeod that he’s still looking at a Game 1 return, though he apparently still has trouble shooting the puck. As far as I’m concerned, as long as he can play a sound positional game and pass with authority, he should be in the lineup.
Second, Justin Abdelkader will skate on the wing of a definitely returning Kris Draper in the opener with Jiri Hudler. That’s quite a turnaround for the kid.
Also, Mikael Samuelsson skated and still think it’s possible he’ll return Thursday. I’m very skeptical about that. Kirk Maltby did not skate. - Matt
Update (11:42 AM): Bruce MacLeod reports from practice here.
Apparently, neither Kirk Maltby nor Mikael Samuelsson are on the ice. Sammy’s absence is a definite sign that he will not be back Thursday.
Also, neither Darren Helm nor Jonathan Ericsson have made an appearance. My guess it they haveÂ been returned to Grand Rapids for the duration of the week as they prepare to finish their season on Saturday.
MacLeod also provides the practice lines:
Expect the Eurotwins to see a lot of time together when the Wings are at home and a lot of time apart when they are on the road. - Matt
I plan on adding to this post throughout the day, so check back. I’m short on time at the moment so I can only pass along a couple thing nows:
… The Tennessean has the times for Games 3 and 4: 7:30 ET and 9:00 ET respectively. Game 3 presents a problem for me as I have a class until 8:40 that night and missing time is very much frowned upon. Hmm.
… According to Helene St. James, Brad Stuart (broken finger) is no longer the lock for Game 1 he was expected to be. Ken Holland told her “It’s how he feels.”
Obviously, the sooner Stuart can make it back, the better, but whatever it takes to get him healthy.
… Kris Draper, on the other hand, is expected to be back from his groin injury.
… Mikael Samuelsson (groin) is unlikely to play in Game 1 because the team would prefer he go through a few practices first. If he can make it through the full practice today, I believe that would be the first time since he went down with the injury March 25th.
… If you read nothing else this morning, read this post by George Malik. The hockey media is really making itself look silly these past few days.
… Lastly, I’ll have a series preview up Wednesday evening or Thursday before 1:00. I have some school things I have to take care of before I can devote energy to that. Sorry.