One thing is certain: there will be some kind of shakeup. How often have we tried to put together good lines only to have one or two players make one line totally garbage. We can have two-and-a-half or three good lines and the other one is always terrible because of some random player who doesn't quite fit somewhere. If Babcock returns, we'll need to move Weiss because he's usually the odd man who can't play in the bottom two lines. If he leaves, Weiss should stay and be used as the 2C where his skills benefit the team the most.
Some players are going to have leave, even if we don't want them to. Not really any room for the kids unless they are bottom six talents. I'd hate to see Mantha or someone play on the fourth line and go nowhere.
Weiss is a big question mark. He puts up points, but can he be a 2C like we need? If not, he needs to be moved for a bonafide 2C. Sheahan and Helm don't cut it. We've got so many freakin' centers.
On defense I'd love to see:
Kronwall- New Guy
I think that'd be a hell of a setup, if the New Guy is a bonafide top 2 defenseman.
They actually didn't play all that bad. This was definitely not one of the most frustrating games to watch. If there is such a thing as a "normal" loss, this was it. Wouldn't be concerning except that they're once again battling for a bottom playoff spot.
After the way Babcock has treated recent acquisitions over the past couple years I've got to wonder if players will stop coming here later in their careers. Weiss is still a decent player who can out up points and instead Babcock just decides his season is basically over because he's not a defensive wall. Kind of frustrating. Babcock might be brilliant but even hard workers will start to worry that if they come here it's only a matter of time before they are benched in favor of some scrubs like Andersson.
I haven't gotten to watch a lot of games the second half of the season, but I just can't imagine what Weiss did so badly to justify being permanently benched. Not every player can be 100% defensively sound at all times. We're close to becoming (if we haven't already become) the Minnesota Wild of the '00s, defense-first, score only when the other goalie screws up.
Babcock really irritates me in this regard. Weiss had the reputation of a hard-working, reliable guy. Whatever his problems were, Babcock has hardly used him in the top six role that he's actually capable of playing. At the very list put him on an offensive third line. There is no reason Weiss should be sitting while Andersson plays.
Datsyuk coming back will be huge, and missing Kronwall and Cole is going to hurt. I'd say call up Marchenko instead of using Kindl.
Can I just take a moment to say how happy I am that we got Cole and Zidlicky? I just looked through box scores and since joining the Wings they both have 4 points in 6 games (including today's so far). And I didn't really pay attention but I think their assists are all primary, too.