Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Alanah McGinley on 05/19/08 at 02:39 PM ET
Some questions for Detroit Red Wings coach Mike Babcock:
Q. I’m not sure how willing you are to divulge military secrets, but any chance you might split up Datsyuk and Zetterberg at times in the game?
COACH MIKE BABCOCK: Absolutely. There’s always a chance. No, we’ve gone both ways. I’m kind of a big believer that good, good players like that, they haven’t scored in a couple games, they’re due.
I thought we had lots of opportunities last game. So I’m more into, Let’s go about it, let’s do it a little harder for a little bit longer and we’ll take our chances.
Q. You had Hudler on the second line there. Can you talk about what he can provide. Maybe a little bit of a boost for the unit there?
COACH MIKE BABCOCK: Well, I had him there this last game, though. I started one way, but I went the other way after he scored and I thought he was shooting the puck. The other thing I thought is Draper and Dallas Drake did a good job on the forecheck, turned a lot of pucks over. Maltby is on that line. Not quite as dangerous as a guy like Sammy, who really shoots the puck. That’s why we have done that. It gives my other group, with Maltby and Helm, two real good skaters, and McCarty.
On the road, matchups aren’t as easy to get. Especially if it’s as hot as I perceive it’s going to be here today, I want to have four groups at 40 seconds apiece, not three groups at 60 seconds apiece.
Q. Is Lilja in for Chelios tonight?
COACH MIKE BABCOCK: No, that’s not for sure. Chelios’ leg wasn’t doing very good. That will be a game-time decision, if he can go or can’t go after here this morning.
Q. With the last line change for the Stars tonight, do you think that will be a big advantage for them to get the Toby Petersen line out against Datsyuk and Zetterberg?
COACH MIKE BABCOCK: If they can shut them down, it will be an advantage. What happens in the game on matchups, sometimes we get too hung up on this, but if you score first, you’re in the lead, you control matchups better more often because the other coach is trying to get his offense out there. Often what happens in games where you’re behind, you don’t play as many people. You got to play the guys who can score.
When you are ahead, you can be more patient with your matchup. I don’t know if that makes sense to you. And so, like I said to you, our game plan is to take our chances with our group. We think we got some pretty good players.
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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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