With Abdelkader out two weeks, Smith moves to forward
The Red Wings’ injury situation has gone from ludicrous to surreal.
The Wings announced Tuesday morning that Justin Abdelkader will miss up to two weeks with a leg laceration suffered when he was cut by a skate in Sunday’s game in Chicago.
Coach Mike Babcock announced after the morning skate that defenseman Brendan Smith would play forward.
I guess we’re hard-pressed for some forwards right now with all the injuries.
He also said Todd Bertuzzi was a game-time decision and if he can’t play, Landon Ferraro would take his place.
"For sure, I was surprised," Smith told reporters. "I guess we’re hard-pressed for some forwards right now with all the injuries. They see that I’m the most versatile on the back end that can step in."
Smith said he hadn’t played forward since he was a teenager with line mates John Tavares and Sam Gagner with the Toronto Marlies.
According to redwings.com, Smith will skate with Luke Glendening and Teemu Pulkkinen.
David Legwand will center the top line with Johan Franzen and Daniel Alfredsson. Riley Sheahan will center Gustav Nyquist and Tomas Tatar. Cory Emmerton will center Drew Miller and either Bertuzzi or Ferraro.
Jordin Tootoo is a healthy scratch.
As Bill Roose of redwings.com observed, the Wings now have 11 players on their roster that won the Calder Cup last spring with the Grand Rapids Griffins.
The Griffins only have 10 players left who won the Calder Cup.