Shoot Huds, shoot
"One of the things is when Huds plays with those guys (Zetterberg, Franzen), all he does is pass them the puck," said Babcock. "He's always deferring to Z (Zetterberg), deferring to Franzen. I think he's a good offensive player. I want him to shoot the puck. If he plays with Fil (Filppula) and Cleary, he'll shoot the puck."
Babcock's right. Hudler isn't shooting much.
With three shots on goal in the first three games, Hudler is ahead of only fourth-liners Kirk Maltby (two shots) and Kris Draper (one shot) in that category. And it's not as though Hudler's shots just aren't hitting the net. In addition to his three SOG, Hudler has had just one shot that missed the net and one other that was blocked.
I have been impressed by Hudler's passing ability and his hockey sense. But if it's shooting that he's been asked to do, Hudler hasn't performed well by that measure.
At the same time, Samuelsson's north-south style is what Babcock hopes will spark the Zetterberg line.
"Sammy's a big, strong guy who can really skate and make plays," said Babcock. "He'll get them to go more straight ahead than side to side."