Abel to Yzerman
by IwoCPO on 01/09/13 at 09:47 PM ET
No. He didn't say that. Not even to Helene via text or message over the PS3. But this will be cool for the three days Babcock actually keeps the line together...
Babcock said he'll use his two-best players, Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg, on the same line at the start of the season, which is expected to begin with games at St. Louis Jan. 19 and Columbus Jan. 21, barring a change in the schedule.
“They've been playing (in Europe) and they're in shape,'' Babcock said. “They play good together. Last year they started out slow, never got going.''
He said 26-year-old rookie Damien Brunner will start on that line. He's the leading scorer in the Swiss league, where he has formed great chemistry with Zetterberg.
And, just like all 19 of us, our Uncle is absolutely convinced Johan Franzen will be ready to go right from the jump and sustain a high level of play through August 11th when Gary says the Finals will end.
Valtteri Filppula, who's expected back soon from his sprained knee, will center the second line with Johan Franzen and Mikael Samuelsson. Filppula is coming off career highs in goals (23) and points (66). Franzen has scored 57 goals the past two seasons but has been inconsistent. The club is hoping Samuelsson, back after leaving in 2009, can make up for some of the offense lost with Jiri Hudler's departure.
“That gives us two Grade A top units,'' Babcock said. “Zetterberg and Datsyuk are going to be a tandem, as will Franzen and Filppula. The wingers can rotate.''
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