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Up-to-the minute updates and insights from the Red Wings locker room at home and on the road. By Chuck Pleiness of The Macomb Daily.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Reason for testing different lines in practice

Coach Mike Babcock said after the morning skate that his intention all along was to keep his lines the same as always. He just shuffled the deck at Monday's practice to see how players would react to each other.

"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."


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great post. I know we are all familiar with the line template... I refer to it a lot... but it's nice to see it in print. I don't know if I've seen a lot of print on that.

-- So Babs is getting a look at some lines that he can plug in if needed... has he put Datsyuk, Zetterberg, Hossa, Franzen, Lidstrom, Rafalski on the ice in a goalie-pulled, critical situation? -- would those be his six? or maybe Homer, Dats, Hossa, Franzen, Lidstrom and Zetterberg on the point?


December 10, 2008 at 12:52 PM 

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