On Monday, Detroit forward Justin Abdelkader discussed the hit that earned him a two-game suspension and knocked Ducks defenseman Toni Lydman out of the lineup.
“I want to reiterate that on Saturday there was no intent to injure,” Abdelkader told the Macomb Daily. “I don’t mean to injure anyone, put anyone at harm.
“I have respect for every one of the players in this hockey league. It’s a privilege that we get to play in the NHL.”
The hit occurred late in the second period of Saturday’s 4-0 loss, with Abdelkader getting a five-minute charging major and game misconduct:This video is no longer available. Click here to watch more NBC Sports videos!
Abdelkader was subsequently suspended two games by NHL discipline czar Brendan Shanahan, who called the hit “violent,” adding the Detroit winger “made significant head contact” with Lydman.
The 26-year-old said the speed and physicality of his game played a role in what transpired.
“I play a hard game, I play physical. I’m going to still play my physical game, get in on the forecheck, finish checks, but I’ve got to be smart about it,” he explained. “The speed of the game, it happens so fast.
“It’s unfortunate what happened.”