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Babcock to Change Defense Pairings

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No way in this world Babs has time but sometimes I kind of wonder if he reads LGW.com. I mean, reuniting Pav and Z, splitting Nick and Rafi. What's going on with him? Hehe.

In all reality though I think he might be letting the players have more input for this year since they're a lot healthier and better overall.

I'm not exactly sure how I feel about the Nick and Rafi split though.

The situation is good for Kronwall since he always seems to play with good confidence when aside Lidstrom. They'll need Kronwall to get a good start to build confidence.

The situation can be good for Rafalski since he'll get the puck a lot more and that always seems to build confidence for players like him. We might see him play a little closer to the level he was at during the Olympics. At the same time, if Rafi gets to play with the puck more then does that mean more frustrating turnovers and giveaways?

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I like this a lot, for several reasons.

Rafalski - has noticably slowed the last couple of years and gets beat to the outside far, far too easily. I don't see him as a top pairing defenceman anymore

Kronwall - Despite the poster above me says, at some point this guy is going to have to a top-pair guy. May as well stick him alongside Lidstrom before he retires and its all too late. And lets not forget, he was playing terrific before the injury last year. I just hope he refinds his shot, because it was the best I've ever seen him shoot it - hard and accurate.

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I don't quite understand the bolded part. Who does he want what from a young guy?

Remove the "(forwards)" and it makes more sense I think. He's talking about how he wants Nick and Raffi to have a younger guy next to them, maybe to keep them on their toes or to give them new energy. Atleast that's my take.

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To be honest I kinda see the Lidstrom/Ericsson pairing as having the same results as to what we had seen in 2006 when Lidstrom was paired with Lilja.

I'd much rather see Lids/Kronner, Stewie/Rafs, and Eric/Sal as our pairings.

I'm hoping with that we can get the Ericsson from the 09 playoffs. I believe the level he played at during that playoff year was his max potential.

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Disagree. Ericsson was money in the 09 playoffs, 3rd best d-man IMO. I dont think he'll play like that again, but I think he can rebound this season.

Don't get me wrong. He played well. But I, personally, expect more from him.

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It's like Babcock came to LGW and said, "You know what, I'm going to give you people what you want".

Thank-you Mike.

He's going to sign 10 enforcers?

I like this a lot, for several reasons.

Rafalski - has noticably slowed the last couple of years and gets beat to the outside far, far too easily. I don't see him as a top pairing defenceman anymore

Kronwall - Despite the poster above me says, at some point this guy is going to have to a top-pair guy. May as well stick him alongside Lidstrom before he retires and its all too late. And lets not forget, he was playing terrific before the injury last year. I just hope he refinds his shot, because it was the best I've ever seen him shoot it - hard and accurate.

You must not have watched the Winter Olympics where he won the award for the best d-man in the tounament. You know the tornament composed of the best hockey players in the world. But you think that he has noticably slowed? yea, ok

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Guest Stolberg   
Guest Stolberg

you must not have watched the 82 game NHL season where his play wasn't anywhere close to where it was during the Olympics<br>

Edited by Stolberg

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Thankyou Stolberg. He won best D-man because he got on a hot scoring streak - given that he can still pass & shoot, thats not surprising. He' still a half decent player, and will deservedly be on our 1st PP unit.

But if you think he hasn't lost a step or 2 since he first signed........I don't know what else to say.

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