By: Jeff Riger
Monday morning the Wings and Ducks held their pre-game skates in preparation of game 4 of their best of seven first round series. The actual series seemed to take a back seat to the recent news that Wings forward Justin Abdelkader was suspended for two games for his hit to Anaheim’s Tony Lydman. Monday was the first chance for the media to get reaction from the players and coaches from both teams.
Below are some of the more interesting quotes…
Justin Abdelkader wanted to make it clear that he had no intention of injuring Lydman-
“There was no intent to injure, I don’t mean to injure anyone, put anyone at harm. I have respect for every one of these players in this hockey league; it’s a privileged that we get to play in the NHL. I play a hard game, I play physical, you know it’s a fast game and things happen really fast out there.”
Abdelkader claims he will not change the way he plays-
“I will still play my physical game, get on the fore check and finish checks and obviously you need to be smart about it. You know with his speed of the game things happen so fast and it’s unfortunate what happened.”
Abdelkader already feels awful for the place he has put his team in-
“I feel bad already about the effect it had on last game and fornuatly maybe it was a turning point, I don’t know! I felt bad about it already and I have to sit two more game. It’s going to be tough but I’ll be there supporting and being the biggest cheerleader that I can.”
Head Coach Mike Babcock was very brief in his reaction saying “well I gave my thoughts yesterday and I guess I was wrong so let’s move on.”
Anaheim Coach Bruce Boudreau on the suspension-
“It is what it is, I mean our guy (Lydman) probably is going to be out for more than two games. They know what they are doing, the NHL, they are looking at other hits and trying to piece things together. It’s ok!
Boudreau went on to talk about Abdelkader specifically-
“He plays a hard game, but he made a mistake so he has to pay for it.”
I asked Ducks forward Corey Perry if his kicked to the face mask of Jimmy Howard in game one can be compared to the Abdelkader hit on Lydman?-
“I was just going to the net and was trying to jump out of the way; I wasn’t purposely went in and ran him over. I kind of got hit by Nick Kronwall too; it’s just one of those things.”