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Guest Howard He Do It?!

Filppula to be paired with Zetterberg

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Good to see that Babcock is finally targeting the second line. It will be interesting to see when Osgood finally gets a start. I thought the game against Minny would be a good time to start him, but I guess that is not going to happen.

DETROIT -- Detroit Red Wings coach Mike Babcock has made a couple of changes in an effort to spark the second line, as Valtteri Filppula was moved up to provide the unit with more speed and Henrik Zetterberg with a playmaker.

That forces Drew Miller to center the third line, between Todd Bertuzzi and Jason Williams.

“Just got to get more working,'' Babcock said. "No matter what profession you’re in (what) you have to be proud of every day is a good effort, walking out of the rink feeling good about yourself. I don’t think you could do that as a team against Calgary (4-2 loss Tuesday) or Vancouver (6-3 loss on March 3). That’s too often in a short period of time, so obviously the coach isn’t doing a good enough job and neither are the players, so we just give them different looks and see if we can’t make something else go.’’

Babcock said the only lineup change for Thursday's game against Minnesota (7:30 p.m., FSN) will see Brett Lebda replacing Jonathan Ericsson on defense.

Jimmy Howard will make his season-high 14th consecutive start against the Wild, who are six points behind the Red Wings. Babcock said Chris Osgood will play again this season, but he hasn't decided when. Osgood's last start was in a 5-2 loss at Minnesota on Jan. 27.

“I thought Jimmy played really well last game, gave us a chance,'' Babcock said. "Jimmy isn’t going to play every game the rest of the year, that’s not possible.

"I think Ozzie’s had some real good practices in a row and battled hard and I told him his job is when he gets an opportunity to try and run with it. He understands that. I don’t know when that is. I didn’t make any promises.’’

Here are the lines they skated with Wednesday:

Franzen-Datsyuk-Holmstrom

Filppula-Zetterberg-Cleary

Bertuzzi-Miller-Williams

Draper-Helm-Eaves

Lidstrom-Rafalski

Kronwall-Stuart

Lebda-Lilja

Ericsson-Meech (scratches)

Howard (starting)

Osgood

MLive

Edited by Howard He Do It?!

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if we win with lebda in can we stop the ericcson experiment for the rest of the year? he was running around his own zone like a moron last night

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I'm hoping Filppula works with Zetterberg -- Z needs someone else to carry the puck on occasion and able to carry it into the zone.

I really think Zetterberg needs to start thinking like a sniper (getting into position vs. carrying the puck constantly and digging it out of corners) -- he's clearly not doing well trying to do everything.

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I'm hoping Filppula works with Zetterberg -- Z needs someone else to carry the puck on occasion and able to carry it into the zone.

I really think Zetterberg needs to start thinking like a sniper (getting into position vs. carrying the puck constantly and digging it out of corners) -- he's clearly not doing well trying to do everything.

+1 - that hunched over at the waist look doesn't quite suit him.

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I'm hoping Filppula works with Zetterberg -- Z needs someone else to carry the puck on occasion and able to carry it into the zone.

I really think Zetterberg needs to start thinking like a sniper (getting into position vs. carrying the puck constantly and digging it out of corners) -- he's clearly not doing well trying to do everything.

Normally I'd like to have Flip centering the third, so he could create great mismatchs vs guys who he has way more talent than, but right now we need Z to get going. I like this move, hopefully Z can start hitting the back of the net, as I think he was trying to do so much, especially with that bad wrist of his (It's obvious he's playing through some pain).

Here's hoping it works, I just hope our third line dosen't suffer from having it's catalyst removed. Regardless it would be good to see Flip get some legit linemates and 2nd line time.

I have been misquoted as saying that Flip was not a 2nd line caliber player on this team. I have never thought this to be the case, just that with our depth in center it would be better to spread out and roll 3 legit scoring line, and I still would be going with that if Zetterberg wasen't clearly playing hurt/below capable level. I know it is a disservice to Flip, but thats how I would want our team built. Good to see him get his due... I just hope our depth can handle it

Edited by EZBAKETHAGANGSTA

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Hopefully this works without hurting the third line. Flip and Zetterberg can we effective together I think so it should be interesting to see how this experiment works out.

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if we win with lebda in can we stop the ericcson experiment for the rest of the year? he was running around his own zone like a moron last night

I don't believe Ericsson was on the ice when those goals happened.

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if we win with lebda in can we stop the ericcson experiment for the rest of the year? he was running around his own zone like a moron last night

Was he? Because unlike Rafalski, Lidstrom, Stuart and Kronwall he didn't have a minus... so he couldn't have been as damaging as you say.

I don't believe Ericsson was on the ice when those goals happened.

You're right. The Lilja-Ericsson pairing wasn't on the ice for any of the 4 goals against.

Hockeymom1960 and RedKellyFan like this

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If this idea is going to work at all then Filppula must be aggressive in his own right. He can't defer to Zetterberg and wait for him to make plays just because he's Z and he "has dibs on every puck". Don't get me wrong, Fil should definitely play with some respect for Z, but he's also there to do a job. If Z is getting beat all over the ice then Fil has to use his speed and so forth to more or less take over.

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If this idea is going to work at all then Filppula must be aggressive in his own right. He can't defer to Zetterberg and wait for him to make plays just because he's Z and he "has dibs on every puck". Don't get me wrong, Fil should definitely play with some respect for Z, but he's also there to do a job. If Z is getting beat all over the ice then Fil has to use his speed and so forth to more or less take over.

And most importantly-- Z needs to take at least 6 shots a game. When he's shooting and generating chances he gets better and better. Z needs to take every shot he gets instead of thinking too much with the puck.

RedKellyFan and crotty99 like this

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line 3 looks brutal. this team really needs another top 6 goal scorer...hopefully that can be addressed after they inevitably miss the playoffs.

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And most importantly-- Z needs to take at least 6 shots a game. When he's shooting and generating chances he gets better and better. Z needs to take every shot he gets instead of thinking too much with the puck.

I agree.

As for the line combinations, much better. Id still like to see Helm and Miller flipped. Helm deserves more of a role on this team.

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I think we need to see:

Zetterberg-Datsyuk-Holmstrom

Bertuzzi-Filppula-Franzen

Cleary-Miller-Williams

Draper-Helm-Eaves

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line 3 looks brutal.

I agree. The line combos still puzzle me. I didnt think Flip and Bertuzzi were all that bad together. I think Miller was dragging down that line. I also think Helm and Cleary could work together.

Franzen-Datsyuk-Homer

Zetterberg-Filppula-Bertuzzi

Cleary-Helm-Williams

Eaves-Draper-ABs

Edited by wingsownnhl43

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This whole situation in which Mike Babcock is starting Jimmy Howard this much in a row and rendering Chris Osgood virtually ineffective by benching him this long, will bite in his ass eventually.

I really think is starting to look like some macho bulls*** by Babcock.

I mean, come on... he can't give the guy a start against Minnesota ?

Especially when there are signs that you're starting goaltender is beginning to struggle a little ?

Not even workhorses like Kipper, Luongo or Brodeur even, play this many without a break.

Is Babcock trying to humiliate Ozzie ? Cause it sure looks like it..

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It's going to be fun to see Osgood come in rusty, likely let in a softie, then have three threads started talking about how washed up he is...again.

I think at this point is the season it is too late to get Osgood going in any capacity. It is Howard or bust. Good luck, Babcock.

Edited by Doc Holliday

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It's going to be fun to see Osgood come in rusty, likely let in a softie, then have three threads started talking about how washed up he is...again.

I think at this point is the season it is too late to get Osgood going in any capacity. It is Howard or bust. Good luck, Babcock.

Don't you remember how many starts it took Ozzy to get back into a groove last season? The Wings could afford to then because they lead the league in scoring. What about now? They don't have the goal margins to devote games to warming a guy up.

RedKellyFan likes this

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Don't you remember how many starts it took Ozzy to get back into a groove last season? The Wings could afford to then because they lead the league in scoring. What about now? They don't have the goal margins to devote games to warming a guy up.

Well for starters I am agreeing that the Wings can't fall back to Osgood at this point.

Secondly Osgood was getting consistent starts (and wins) and started playing better when the playoffs came to play (and Conklin faltered).

Completely different year.

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Bertuzzi is USELESS without Datysuk. They played together most of the season, found some success, why not keep them together? Plus the lines would be more balanced. I love Cleary, but he's not a 2nd liner. Flipulla has the potential but he's not their yet. The Wings need a top 6 forward for next season, not another cent on D-men, even if Lidstrom retires.

Datysuk-Homer-Bertuzzi

Zetterberg-Flipulla/Cleary-Franzen

Edited by TheOwl

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THANK YOU BABCOCK. I'd still like to see him center the line as he seems to be 100x better at center than wing, but I wouldn't be surprised if Filppula was the center in theory but Zetterberg just took faceoofs. Filppula is right behind Datsyuk as the best puck carrier through the neutral zone.

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THANK YOU BABCOCK. I'd still like to see him center the line as he seems to be 100x better at center than wing, but I wouldn't be surprised if Filppula was the center in theory but Zetterberg just took faceoofs. Filppula is right behind Datsyuk as the best puck carrier through the neutral zone.

Agreed. Z is more versatile when it comes to playing wing or center. Use Flip as the center and Z on the left wing but use Z for faceoffs.

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Well for starters I am agreeing that the Wings can't fall back to Osgood at this point.

Why not ?

Everybody keeps saying that, but given the fact that his last start was mid-January, we'll never know !

And it's not like Jimmy Howard is playing lights out at the moment..

Edited by interminded

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Bertuzzi should be playing with Flip and Hank.

The bottom two lines should look like this:

Cleary - Helm - Draper

Miller - Williams- Eaves

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