Anybody else think that maybe the reason we're seeing these half assed line combos out of Babs is because of some sort of dissatisfaction with Holland and the personnel he's brought on board the last couple of seasons? A la Billy Bean or something. Babcock's been calling for top six forward and top pair d-man help, and I guarantee he wasn't thinking Mikael Samuelsson and Carlo Colaiacovo when he said that. Perhaps this is his way of showing that he's not really been dealt the hand he wanted.
Also, on an unrelated note: Kudos to the defense for once again playing a pretty good game. I like the way these guys are shaping up.
If Babcock did that, he would be fired the very next day. He and Holland get along, so this is not intentional. Babcock must not see any other options. He wants a large body on every line, so Mule is with Hank and Brunner. He wants Pavel to have some muscle and skill. With Bert and Fil out, Babcock feels the muscle is Abby and tyhe skill is Cleary. Evident this is not working but he has limited options. I expect to see Abby moved down and Mule mover into the spot. If not Mule than Andersonn. I do like Tatar more but it appears Babcock feels he cannot handle playing against top 6 talent. The end game here is Bert with Pavel and Fil. The 3rd line is then Sammie, Helm and Cleary, with Andersonn Abby and Eaves, Miller, Tatar or Andersonn rounding out the 4th line.
I agree on the D. The Kindl bashers are like the Howard bashers, they just need something to complain about. Kindl played over 20 minutes of hockey, was solid in all ends, with noted control on the PP and if not the best hit of the net, #2 with the pasting in OT. He needs a solid stay-at-home big man to complitment his style of play. He and Lash are very well suited for each other. Keep them as the bottom pairing and let these 6 roll, with Cola at #7. < The team now has a top 6 of homegrown D that can stay together for the next 5 years or so. I say 5 giving Kronner until age 37. The other 5 are all under 30, 6'2" or more and 200 lbs plus (OK Smith needs a big meal, but this is the best size the Wings have had in some time. The skill set is there.
Jonathan Ericsson 6' 4" 221 Mar 2, 1984 29
Jakub Kindl 6' 3" 216 Feb 10, 1987 26
Niklas Kronwall "A" 6' 0" 190 Jan 12, 1981 32
Brian Lashoff 6' 3" 212 Jul 16, 1990 22
Kyle Quincey 6' 2" 207 Aug 12, 1985 27
Brendan Smith 6' 2" 198 Feb 8, 1989 24
The succession plan is also promising.
RWC #05 Ryan Sproul (+1) D 6.03 186 20 Sault Ste. Marie (OHL)
RWC #07 Xavier Ouellet (–) D 6.00 187 19 B.-Boisbriand (QMJHL)
RWC #08 Mattias Backman (+6) D 6.02 169 20 Linkoping (SEL)
I like this D and I like it a lot. I understand they wanted Suter or Weber, as did every other team out there. This result may be, over-all, better. A deeper group, without a ton of money dumped into a single player.
This D is locked up, contractually through 13-14 (noting Kindl and Smith are RFAs).
The challenge for this team today is at forward.
Edited by heyfolks, 04 March 2013 - 03:53 PM.