You may be right on this. However, and I'll probably get blasted for this, one of the VERY FEW criticisms that I have of Babcock is that he plays with the line combinations constantly. To the point that guys are playing with different pairings every few nights. In a game where chemistry and timing matters as much as hockey, it seems to really bog some guys down. I don't know if that's the reason they haven't been as good together, but I don't really care for it, and certainly you don't see other teams tops lines doing it (at least not nearly as often).
Yeah but Babs has always done that ever since he's coached here and the Euro Twins were fine from 06-08 and arguably parts of 09.
So what's changed? Only Pav and Z themselves in ways perhaps including but not limited to:
1. I feel like Zetterberg is trying to rely more on his smarts and intelligence to get him through games, especially the regular season, and less and less of the tenacity and determination that he showed as a young up and coming player. He's getting a little older, doesn't want to be injured and thus has to really pace himself if he wants to battle for a cup. He'll step up his energy if he really has to like when Datsyuk got injured this past year but if the Wings got all their horses then he's just preparing himself for the playoffs. And I don't want to come off as criticizing him at all. Perhaps that's the best way for him to go about his business, everything considered.
2. Datsyuk has become much more dominant everywhere on the ice. The guy just seems to be everywhere taking care of everything and we all want to see him like that. He's just gotten so much better.
With these sorts of factors in play I guess it shouldn't be a surprise that they don't play as well together. Perhaps they've just simply grown to the point where they don't instinctively rely on each other as much. And that's perfectly fine.
Ladies and gentlemen, David Letterman presents the top ten things worth more useful than Jiri Hudler:
Number 10... A bag of pucks. Number 9... A couple rolls of pink tape. Number 8... A set of Christian brand hockey sticks. Number 7... A pair of Daoust skates. Yeah. Daoust skates. Number 6... Any hockey equipment made by Cooper. Number 5... A sheet of NHL official team logo pogs--Hellooo! Number 4... World Champion Icehockey for the Commodore 64. Number 3... A pre-owned boxed set of the Mighty Ducks movies. Number 2... A 20% off coupon at the HenrikZetterberg.com store. Hey-yo! And the number 1 thing that's worth more useful than Jiri Hudler... Link Gaetz's rookie card!!!
An article on RWC about Gustav Nyquist where Jimmy Nill said, ôStatistically, any player below the third round is not supposed to make the NHL" sparked my curiosity about forwards selected after the 3rd round who scored 40 points or more, which to me says they at least spent time in a top-six role.
Boston Bruins Michael Ryder. Drafted by Montreal in 1998 (8/216). Rich Peverley. Undrafted. Signed by Nashville in 2007. Mark Recchi. Drafted by Pittsburgh in 1988 (4/67).
Calgary Flames Curtis Glencross. Undrafted. Signed by Anaheim in 2004. Rene Bourque. Undrafted. Signed by Chicago in 2004.
Carolina Hurricanes Jussi Jokinen. Drafted by Dallas in 2001 (6/192).
Colorado Avalanche David Jones. Drafted by Colorado in 2003 (9/288). Milan Hejduk. Drafted by Quebec in 1994 (4/87).
Dallas Stars Jamie Benn. Drafted by Dallas in 2007 (5/129).
Detroit Red Wings (Woo! ) Pavel Datsyuk. Drafted by Detroit in 1998 (6/171). Henrik Zetterberg. Drafted by Detroit in 1999 (7/210).
Florida Panthers Mike Santorelli. Drafted by Nashville in 2004 (6/178).
Los Angeles Kings Dustin Penner. Undrafted. Signed by Anaheim in 2004.
Minnesota Wild Andrew Brunette. Drafted by Washington in 1993 (7/174).
Nashville Predators Patric Hornqvist. Drafted by Nashville in 2005 (7/230). Martin Erat. Drafted by Nashville in 1999 (7/191). Sergei Kostitsyn. Drafted by Montreal in 2005 (7/200).
New York Islanders PA Parenteau. Drafted by Anaheim in 2001 (9/264). Matt Moulson. Drafted by Pittsburgh in 2003 (9/263).
New York Rangers Ryan Callahan. Drafted by NY Rangers in 2004 (4/127).
Philadelphia Flyers Kris Versteeg. Drafted by Boston in 2004 (5/134). Ville Leino. Undrafted. Signed by Detroit in 2008.
Phoenix Coyotes Eric Belanger. Drafted by Los Angeles in 1996 (4/96). Radim Vrbata. Drafted by Colorado in 1999 (7/212).
Pittsburgh Penguins Tyler Kennedy. Drafted by Pittsburgh in 2004 (4/99). Chris Kunitz. Undrafted. Signed by Anaheim in 2003.
San Jose Sharks Ryane Clowe. Drafted by San Jose in 2001 (6/175). Joe Pavelski. Drafted by San Jose in 2003 (7/205).
St. Louis Blues Matt D'Agostini. Drafted by Montreal in 2005 (6/190). Andy McDonald. Undrafted. Signed by Anaheim in 2000.
Tampa Bay Lightning Teddy Purcell. Undrafted. Signed by Los Angeles in 2007.
Toronto Maple Leafs Mikhail Grabovski. Drafted by Montreal in 2004 (5/150).
Vancouver Canucks Alexandre Burrows. Undrafted. Signed by Vancouver in 2003. Mikael Samuelsson. Drafted by San Jose in 1998 (5/145).
Washington Capitals Mike Knuble. Drafted by Detroit in 1991 (4/76). Brooks Laich. Drafted by Ottawa in 2001 (6/193).