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Should we try a new top Defensive pairing?

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I really like the team we have this upcoming season and would not be surprised if we took the cup again. It will depend on the health of the team and I also think it will depend on if Jimmy has ironed out some of his glaring problems... ie, huge rebounds and scrambling around the crease. I think if Jimmy hasn't fixed his issue's it could wear out our Defense come play offs and that got me to thinking if it may be time to try out a new top pairing and move Lids and Raffy to the 2nd paring? This would be ideal to preserve them for the play offs while at the same time giving us all a taste of what our top pairing could be once Lids retires? What do you all think of this strategy? Its not that I think Lids and Raffy can't handle it anymore but time does take its toll slowly but surely.

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Last year the time on ice/game for the top four were:

Lidstrom = 25:25

Rafalski = 24:13

Stuart = 23:10

Kronwall = 21:54

Not a lot of difference there.

Edited by CenterIce

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to me what is most needed is a switch up of pairings. its not so much about who gets the most minutes, but switching pairings up so players can compliment each others skill sets and also so that younger players can play with and learn from the older players.

T.Low, Branton87 and Hockeymom1960 like this

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Last year the time on ice/game for the top four were:

Lidstrom = 25:25

Rafalski = 24:13

Stuart = 23:10

Kronwall = 21:54

Not a lot of difference there.

Thanks for those numbers.. I was not aware. The numbers are not dramatically different but perhaps over the course of the year it could add up? I still think it would be best to start now to plan for the gaping wound that will be left when Lids finally calls it a career. Lids does so much that I think the whole make up of the team may change. Better to plan ahead.

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I do wonder if its time to pair Kronwall with Lidstrom - he's going to be our top-pair defencemen in a year or two anyway, maybe time to ease him whilst he's still got Nick alongside him. And he certainly won't get beat on the outside as often as Rafalski.

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to me what is most needed is a switch up of pairings. its not so much about who gets the most minutes, but switching pairings up so players can compliment each others skill sets and also so that younger players can play with and learn from the older players.

I agree.

(I do think it's funny though, that I want Dats and Z put back together because they make such a great pair, but I want Lids and Raffi split up to spread their puck moving skills to more lines).

I really excited to see this team take the ice.

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Lids Ericsson

Stuart - Kronwall

Raffi - Salei

To have Rafalski out with Hudler/Modano/Cleary for better puck distribution for a killer 3rd line scoring threat...nice.

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Lidström - Ericsson

Kronwall - Rafalski

Salei - Stuart

20 mins/game for each pairing and ericsson gets to play with the best to hopefully mould him into a force on defense. maybe switch kindl in place of salei throughout the year to get him some good experience. with guys like lids, kronwall, rafs and stuart, having rookies/sophmores paired with talent like that eases your mind a lot.

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I do wonder if its time to pair Kronwall with Lidstrom - he's going to be our top-pair defencemen in a year or two anyway, maybe time to ease him whilst he's still got Nick alongside him. And he certainly won't get beat on the outside as often as Rafalski.

i was thinking the same thing for a while, but kronwall is pretty steady back there and can play with anyone. it would almost make more sense to have lids out with the weakest link (ericsson) to help his game along to a much higher level before lids retires. that is also planning for the future. the wings are gonna have lots of young dmen in the next few years with the likes of kindl, smith, almqvist to add to the already solid D roster of kronwall, stuart, rafs(for a few more) and to a lesser extend ericsson. i'm excited to see the potential that the wings have in their system. hopefully they ALL work out and the wings have a ridiculously potent young as hell blueline...that wins cups...

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Stuie is not a 3rd pairing d-man but I think

Lids-Kronner

Stuie-Raf

Ericsson-Salei

Which I guess that 3rd pairing is where everyone s***s their pants and understandably so. But Stuie cannot take 3rd pairing minutes and hopefully Big E grows a sack with Salei next to him. dry.gif

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I am conflicted about this issue, while I think Ericsson would benefit from playing alongside Lidstrom full time, I cannot justify in my mind putting Rafaksli, Kronwall, or Stuart on the 3rd pairing, unless the 3 D pairings all get about the same minutes each game (which is doubtful). I think it is time to split Lidstrom and Rafalski, I would switch Kronwall and Rafalski to give the top 2 pairs more balance.

Keep Lidstrom and Rafalski together on the power play, but split them even strength. Lidstrom/Kronwall and Stuart/Rafalski looks great to me, and I guess I will have to close my eyes and huddle in a corner whenever the 3rd pair is on the ice :hehe:

Edited by McAwesome

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i was thinking the same thing for a while, but kronwall is pretty steady back there and can play with anyone. it would almost make more sense to have lids out with the weakest link (ericsson) to help his game along to a much higher level before lids retires. that is also planning for the future. the wings are gonna have lots of young dmen in the next few years with the likes of kindl, smith, almqvist to add to the already solid D roster of kronwall, stuart, rafs(for a few more) and to a lesser extend ericsson. i'm excited to see the potential that the wings have in their system. hopefully they ALL work out and the wings have a ridiculously potent young as hell blueline...that wins cups...

Not really, imo. I don't want to watch a 40 year old Lidstrom spend an entire season covering up for Ericsson's stupid mistakes. You'd be sacrificing a lot of goals with that paring methinks.

Edited by Broken 16
CenterIce likes this

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I am almost thinking this could be redundant to put Ericsson on these pairings anyway. Probably Kindl soon enough if he keeps up his s***. Hell, Doug Janik is a solid option on the bottom pair.

Edited by HankthaTank

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Last year the time on ice/game for the top four were:

Lidstrom = 25:25

Rafalski = 24:13

Stuart = 23:10

Kronwall = 21:54

Not a lot of difference there.

Not like in 02-03.

Lidstrom - 29:20

Fedorov - 21:10

Chelios - 24:14

Hull - 18:07

Yeesh, Nick.

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I am not to worried about what pairings they decide to use. I can't see Howard cracking that much this year even if he does have a sophmore slump I don't think it will make much of a difference. The hardest thing for Howard this year will be trying to stay occupied during the long stretches of boredom. I have a feeling that this year is going to be alot like the 07/08 season and the 08/09 season where Detroit controls the puck about 80% of the time. If the Wings stay healthy I can't see Howard having very many nights of 30 plus shots. Just look at the forward lines there is not one line on there that doesn't have atleast one two way forward on it. Most of the forward lines have two, two way players on its and the fourth line has all 3 lol. Combine that with the D-core we have and it makes a really strong defensive team. There is alot of talk how offensive of a team the Wings are but very few people realize the defensive strenghts the Wings have. Zetterberg, Datsyuk, Filpula, Franzen, Cleary, Modano, Eaves, Helm, and Abdelkader are all strong two way players. Another benefit of having so many two way players on the team is it open up more scoring options for the D. Considering our d is filled with offensive d-man this is really good. Lidstrom, Rafalki, Kronwall, Stuart, and Ericsson can all score. So essentially we do not only have 3 strong lines but we have 3 strong line packed with two way forwards who can cover the d well they jump up in the play. This team has all the potential to be force in the NHL. It has all the piece just need to stay injury free and this team could be cup champs.

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None of the pairings will work as long as Rafalksi continues to pinch in at the wrong time, give pucks away, and look like a total buffoon out there in his own zone.

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Lidstrom-Kronwall

Stuart-Rafalski

Kindl-Salei

+ Ericsson

Lidstrom-Kronwall

Stuart-Rafalski

Kindl-Salei

+ Ericsson

That´s exactly, what i want to see!

Lidstrom - Kronwall

Rafalski - Stuart

Ericsson - Salei/Kindl

Lids will still have about 25 mpg, cause our 3rd line will make so much pressure, that we will have much more PP-opportunities than last year!

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I don't really see a point in making any changes except Kindl/Ericsson. I mean I wouldn't be mad if Kronwall switched with Rafalski but I don't really see the point of it.

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I don't really see a point in making any changes except Kindl/Ericsson. I mean I wouldn't be mad if Kronwall switched with Rafalski but I don't really see the point of it.

It's an open forum and opinions are obviously allowed (I think hehe.gif) but how come?? I'm wondering. Raffi and Nick haven't had that chemistry for the last couple of years.

Edited by HankthaTank

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Stuie is not a 3rd pairing d-man but I think

Lids-Kronner

Stuie-Raf

Ericsson-Salei

Which I guess that 3rd pairing is where everyone s***s their pants and understandably so. But Stuie cannot take 3rd pairing minutes and hopefully Big E grows a sack with Salei next to him. dry.gif

Not to mention the 3rd pairing will be out with the Abdelkader line a lot! I agree the top two pairings need to split up since although subtle, Lids and Raffi have lost a step and don't have the physical element to their game Kronwall and Stuart have. It's a great set-up if everybody can stay healthy and you would still be able to keep your top PP pairing.

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It's an open forum and opinions are obviously allowed (I think hehe.gif) but how come I'm wondering. Raffi and Nick haven't had that chemistry for the last couple of years.

I'm confused. Are you asking me how come I think it's pointless or am I reading this wrong?

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I'm confused. Are you asking me how come I think it's pointless or am I reading this wrong?

I was asking how come you think it's pointless yes.

EDIT: definitely wasn't thinking when that one was typed my apologies.

Edited by HankthaTank

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