NHL Detroit Red Wings

Justin Abdelkader Showing Scoring Touch For Detroit Red Wings

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The 2013 NHL season is starting to turn around for the Detroit Red Wings after a rough start for their standards. The Red Wings won again on Friday night and got the assistance of a player who many fans outside of Detroit may not know about — Justin Abdelkader. Abdelkader had his first career hat trick during the 5-1 win that moved the Red Wings to 15-11-5 on the year and into sixth place in the Western Conference.

Abdelkader is in his sixth season with Detroit and grew up in Michigan, so playing for the Red Wings must feel like home. He has six goals this season and only 24 for his entire career. The thing about Abdelkader is that he seems to be embracing a new scoring role over the last few games as he has scored five times now in the last three contests.

His job hasn’t been to score in bunches, but to stop Detroit’s opposition from getting on the scoreboard. At this point however, Abdelkader is showing himself as a scoring option on a much-improved Detroit team.

I don’t think we will be seeing Abdelkader scoring 20 or 25 goals in a season anytime soon, but this scoring burst right now has to be a breath of fresh air for the Red Wings. Detroit is just one point out of fourth place going into the weekend’s games and a dangerous Detroit team has to instill some fear in the other teams in the conference. The Red Wings will definitely enjoy Abdelkader’s scoring while it lasts.

Andy Schmidt is a columnist/writer for RantSports. Follow him on Twitter @ASchmidtSports, like his Facebook page or add him to your network on Google.