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Abel to Yzerman

Break Up The MLB Line?

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

The Detroit Red Wings’ lack of secondary scoring has coach Jeff Blashill contemplating spreading the wealth by breaking up his dominant top line.

Dylan Larkin, Anthony Mantha and Tyler Bertuzzi have been a roll since the final few weeks of the 2018-19 season and are off to a hot start. They have combined for 11 goals in six games. Problem is, the rest of the team has accounted for only six goals....

The Red Wings need to spark Andreas Athanasiou and Taro Hirose, who have skated with Luke Glendening on the second line. Athanasiou, who missed much of preseason with an injury, has no goals and one assist in four games. Hirose, a Calgary native looking forward to his first NHL game in his hometown, has no goals and two assists in six games.

Blashill moved Hirose to the third line, with Valtteri Filppula and Christoffer Ehn, in Wednesday’s practice in Calgary. Adam Erne did not practice due to an injury that has him listed as question for tonight. Frans Nielsen, who returned from injury in Tuesday’s 5-1 loss at Vancouver, was centering Athanasiou and Glendening.

“We need more out of more lines,” Blashill told media after practice. “Ultimately, we may have to tinker with that top line if we can’t get more going out of more lines, so we’ll see. The (Jacob) de la Rose line (with Darren Helm and Justin Abdelkader) has been good.”

read on

from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,

As the Detroit Red Wings try to gain their footing on a swing through western Canada, one unfavorable option is to tinker with the top line.

The Wings have lost their past two games, stumbling defensively and stalling offensively. Dylan Larkin’s line with Anthony Mantha and Tyler Bertuzzi has carried the workload, and Jacob de la Rose’s line with Justin Abdelkader and Darren Helm has been effective at both ends of the ice, but the other lines have been quiet.

Andreas Athanasiou is too skilled to have only one assist in four games. His line with Taro Hirose and Luke Glendening hasn’t created enough offensively. At Wednesday’s practice, Athanasiou was back with Frans Nielsen, a combination that has a history of clicking.

continued

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Comments

Figaro's avatar

No.

How many years have we dealt with “We’re going to put X with Y to get them going” and X never gets going.  You’ve got a good line.  Don’t screw it up.

Posted by Figaro from Los Alamos, NM on 10/17/19 at 08:18 AM ET

Avatar

No. No. No.

Things are working far too well with that top line to mess things up. You break it up and what will probably happen is Larkin, Mantha and Bert become less effective too. These 3 have a great chemistry together and a good sense of exactly where the others will be when they are ready to pass.

I know they need to get the other lines scoring but breaking them up is not the right approach. Juggle any of the other 3 lines first. Try a player from GR on one of the other lines.

Posted by evileye on 10/17/19 at 11:01 AM ET

Steeb's avatar

My one praise of Blash this year is that he hasn’t busted out the Line Blender

(tm

so far. But it looks like it’s not far away. ::sigh::

Posted by Steeb on 10/17/19 at 11:27 AM ET

Avatar

Uhh…

“Filppula can shoot, Hirose can shoot. Whether they want to shoot all the time or not is a different story,” Blashill said. “Maybe it’s better to put them with guys that don’t want to shoot. Then they have to shoot.”

They have to shoot? Won’t they just pass themselves to death until they turn the puck over?

Posted by AZWinger on 10/17/19 at 11:50 AM ET

Avatar

Do not break up that first line, it works, I believe this would be foolish even though after that first goal last game they were shut down. Don’t fix it if it ain’t broken. I’m a AA fan but I think at this point the team would be better served as I stated in an earlier post that I think Hem-AA-Erne might work. I’ve noticed AA and Matha play similarly in our defensive zone only Mantha’s line can get him the puck while AA’s line can’t. Last game AA started checking offensively the last 3-5 minutes of the game and it made a difference. Why so late, still healing, don’t know. Big problem with this team is no forechecking, teams freely exit their own zone. Detroit hurries back and ends up screening their own goaltender. We have quick enough players in a lot of matchups to stay one on one and smother the puck carrier so he can’t get a shot or good shot or pass off. Quit playing passive hockey, start acting instead of reacting.

Posted by stateofmifan on 10/17/19 at 12:31 PM ET

Avatar

“Filppula can shoot, Hirose can shoot. Whether they want to shoot all the time or not is a different story,” Blashill said. “Maybe it’s better to put them with guys that don’t want to shoot. Then they have to shoot.”

The words of a professional coach.

Posted by CharDeeMacDennis on 10/17/19 at 12:35 PM ET

Primis's avatar

How many years have we dealt with “We’re going to put X with Y to get them going” and X never gets going.  You’ve got a good line.  Don’t screw it up.

Posted by Figaro from Los Alamos, NM on 10/17/19 at 09:18 AM ET

It’s so predictable that it is sad.

Posted by Primis on 10/17/19 at 12:47 PM ET

Avatar

That top line is about the only reason a fan has to watch a game right now.

Posted by SevensForTed on 10/17/19 at 12:58 PM ET

SYF's avatar

Well, if they want to put another scorer on that line:  Zadina.

Posted by SYF from impossible and oddly communally possessive sluts on 10/17/19 at 03:22 PM ET

WingedRider's avatar

NO!  Far to early.  Ras is doing very good in GR, Zadina no so much

Posted by WingedRider from Saskatoon, SK on 10/17/19 at 04:15 PM ET

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Ras is doing very good in GR, Zadina no so much

Agreed. But they also had Svech in the press box and keep starting Ehn who has…oh wait let me count…ZERO points.

Posted by AZWinger on 10/17/19 at 04:37 PM ET

Avatar

Sure, break up that line.  Don’t want Mantha hitting 40 goals in a contract year anyway.

Posted by EthrDemon on 10/17/19 at 04:53 PM ET

Hootinani's avatar

Great idea.  Anything that helps convince Yzerman to send Blash packing is fine by me.

Posted by Hootinani from the parade following Babs out of town on 10/17/19 at 06:38 PM ET

WingedRider's avatar

Posted by AZWinger on 10/17/19 at 05:37 PM ET

Agree! Still can’t understand why Svech was called up to eat hot dogs.  He needs ice time to regain any lost game experience or is he hurt again?

Can he be sent down and avoid waivers?

Strange!

Posted by WingedRider from Saskatoon, SK on 10/17/19 at 11:46 PM ET

ilovehomers's avatar

Yes, Svech is waiver exempt this year.

So it makes sense in one way to bring him up; wont be lost on waivers. Get NHL pay for a few days!

But it was a week+ and he doesnt get in? But Biega does? A 31 year old AHLer?

Thats a kenny move if I ever saw one.

Posted by ilovehomers on 10/18/19 at 06:07 AM ET

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Welcome to Abel to Yzerman, a Red Wing blog since 1977.  No other site on the internet has better-researched, fact-laden and better prepared discussions than A2Y.  Re-phrase: we do little research, find facts and stats highly overrated and claim little to no preparation.  There are 19 readers of A2Y. No more, no less. All of them, except maybe one, are juvenile in nature.  Reminding them of that in the comment section will only encourage them to prove that. Your suggestions and critiques are welcome: wphoulihan@gmail.com