Reason for testing different lines in practice
"The one thing about it was I had a good opportunity to see how it might be if I decide (to change up the lines)," said Babcock. "The other night in the game, when we needed to change the bingo balls around, I didn't like what we went to. So right there are that time, I said to myself, 'We'll change this up so I can have a look at a few different things.'"
The other night was Saturday's shootout win over Chicago. When Babcock shuffled the deck then, he would up with Tomas Holmstrom on the fourth line with Kris Draper and Derek Meech and Dan Cleary on the top line with Pavel Datsyuk and Marian Hossa. Babcock obviously didn't like the results.
So at practice this week, Babcock put Hossa with Zetterberg and Cleary, Samuelsson with Franzen (at center) and Hudler, Filppula with Datsyuk and Holmstrom.
"You always learn lots," said Babcock. "You learn who wants to play with who by their body English. There's lots of stuff you can learn. ... You can ask a guy and he won't tell you anything. You can just do it, watch and learn a lot."
Babcock said that what he's looking for in a line is this ... "having a net presence on every line, having a shooter on every line and someone who can make a play." Which means that the line of Holmstrom (net-front), Hossa (shooter) and Datsyuk (playmaker) is the template.
Babcock also said that he never considered reuniting Datsyuk and Zetterberg.
"Not once," said Babcock. "I know that works. I can go to that any time."