The Malik Report
by Paul on 01/21/13 at 02:26 PM ET
from Aaron Portzline of Puck-Rakers,
"They're going to be a lot better tonight, and everybody knows it," Blue Jackets defenseman Jack Johnson said. "Everybody is making a big deal out of losing Lidstrom, and it is a big deal. He's the best defenseman to ever play the game. That's a huge loss. But there's a lot of other proven, excellent players over there, too. They're still a real good team."
The Blue Jackets have undergone sweeping changes, too. Red Wings coach Mike Babcock was asked if he quite knew what to expect of his Central Division neighbor.
"Obviously no Nash," Babcock said, referring to ... well, ya know. "But by moving Nash they acquired depth.
"They’ve been a team on the rise, even though people on the outside don’t see that. They’ve been a team getting better each and every year. They had injuries last year and things got off kilter. But they’re a team that’s been getting better and better. Their top four D with Johnson, Wisniewski, Tyutin and Nikitin – suddenly they have a top 4 D that you look at and say ‘Geez, that’s a top-4 D.’
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