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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, June 3, 2009

Datsyuk looks like he's returning

UPDATE: Babcock just said that Datsyuk is a game-time decision. "We have an optional skate tomorrow morning and we'll see how he responds after that and after today. I have to talk to (trainer) Piet (Van Zant) and see how (Datsyuk) looks." Datsyuk also said that he would be a game-time decision tomorrow.

That said, Datsyuk was practicing hard today, doing drills for the first time in a long time. The practice lines were shuffled as though they were preparing for Pavel being back. It sure looks like Datsyuk will be back unless his body takes a step backwards after today's workout.

Also, Babcock just confirmed that Draper is back in the lineup, but said that he doesn't know who's out. Well, it sure looks like Abdelkader is out. Leino and Maltby were Draper's wings in practice. Draper, Maltby and Leino were off the ice for a half-hour while Abdelkader worked out.

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Pavel Datsyuk is practicing right now as though he's going to play in tomorrow's Game 4. First, he's working through all the drills and looking good. Until this point, Datsyuk (foot) was just skating on his own, not doing drills.

Also, Datsyuk is centering a line at practice with Valtteri Filppula on one wing and Marian Hossa on the other. There is no reason to shuffle the lines like that unless the Wings believe that Datsyuk will likely be available.

So that said, here were the practice lines ...

Franzen-Zetterberg-Cleary
Filppula-Datsyuk-Hossa
Hudler-Helm-Samuelsson
Leino-Draper-Maltby

Lidstrom-Chelios
Kronwall-Stuart
Ericsson-Lebda

No Rafalski and no Holmstrom at practice. Obviously, the team is looking at Rafalski as playing in Game 4 and using Chelios as a placeholder. Holmstrom, it's tough to tell if he'll be playing from the practice lines. Homer took a big hit from Cooke seven minutes into Game 3.

Also of note is that Draper was centering the fourth line at practice, not Abdelkader. Draper might make his return after being a healthy scratch the past two games.

13 Comments:

Blogger John said...

What I think:

Хоккей прекрасна

Дацюк поэтому мы любим хоккей

and last, for the cephalofans:

выкинуть на осьминог

June 3, 2009 at 2:29 PM 
Blogger John said...

Maybe he'll translate these for you Bruce! Which, maybe he'll enjoy. Maybe he could be my reference when I apply for the wing's video job next time it's available.

June 3, 2009 at 2:31 PM 
Blogger John said...

Oh, and finally a comment in english, about english, for english: The line combo of H-D-F, is frightening to me as a defensemen. Not because I can't do my job and cover my guy, but because I don't know enough forwards who can help keep the third guy from scoring on this group.

I have never made a prediction before, maybe I make one: If Datsyuk centers Hossa and Filpula, they combine for six points during the game. Plus, Hossa is due for his game 4 double this game... they only need 4 more to make me right!

June 3, 2009 at 2:36 PM 
Anonymous Geki said...

Thanks so much for the news Bruce! Glad to hear Pavel is skating again, we surely miss him.

June 3, 2009 at 2:41 PM 
Blogger Stay-at-Home-Dad said...

Good news! A lineup shakeup should help re-energize the team.

June 3, 2009 at 2:42 PM 
Anonymous Athtar said...

Bruce,

Do you see any reason why Babcock insists on having Datsyuk and Hossa together?

I think at this point, it's fairly obvious that those two guys don't have a lot of chemistry for whatever reason and yet Babcock refuses to separate them.

June 3, 2009 at 3:49 PM 
Blogger Bruce MacLeod said...

Hey Athtar. I don't mind having Datsyuk and Hossa together.

June 3, 2009 at 3:55 PM 
Anonymous Hannibal said...

I can't figure out why Babcock keeps putting them together either when Datsyuk-Zetterberg and Filppula-Hossa-Franzen was so effective for a couple of games in the Anaheim series.

Any chance Holmstrom is a healthy scratch tomorrow? The guy has been totally ineffective this playoff. Only two goals in his last 30+ games dating back to the regular season.

June 3, 2009 at 4:08 PM 
Blogger Bruce MacLeod said...

Yes, there's a chance that Homer could be scratched. But I don't think he will be. He'd scratch Leino or Maltby, put Homer on the fourth line and use Homer on the power play.

Rafalski who also missed practice today will definitely be in the lineup.

June 3, 2009 at 4:14 PM 
Blogger JT Burns said...

Pavel and Marian must have some chemistry together as they played alot together this season and both had great numbers. I think Pavel should help out big time against Malkin. Hank vs Cindy and Pavel vs Malkin should make the Penguins a little nervous. They shut them down pretty well so far and Pavel hasn't even played so I think this should help them put the finishing touches on the series.

June 3, 2009 at 4:20 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hannibal - I imagine Z and Pav would be on different lines to have one defend Crosby and one defend Malkin.

June 3, 2009 at 5:32 PM 
Anonymous BobTheZee said...

Datsyuk and Zetterberg together can make one very effective offensive line. Datsyuk and Zetterberg apart can make two very effective defensive lines without much sacrifice of offensive potential (if any).

June 4, 2009 at 12:27 AM 
Blogger Avik Roy said...

Larry Murphy said last night on NHL on the Fly that Datsyuk didn't appear to have that explosiveness with his first step, though he eventually got up to full speed. Are you seeing evidence of that Bruce? If so, how does that affect Datsyuk's ability to defend Malkin?

June 4, 2009 at 12:20 PM 

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