The Malik Report
by Paul on 03/29/14 at 01:28 PM ET
from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,
The Wings are focused on getting off to a good start - something they failed to do Thursday against Montreal - and on playing tighter defensively after allowing nine goals the last two games.
“You can’t give up as many goals as we’ve been giving up and have success,” coach Mike Babcock said. “We’ve got to be better on the back end, better in net, and obviously more efficient up front.”
Helm has been moved up to the top line because Legwand has struggled the past stretch; the hope is Helm can use his speed to help his talented wingers. “We just want him to play simple hockey, take care of the puck, and get on the forecheck,” Babcock said. “The guys he’s playing with are different type of players that he normally plays with, but the reality is, he’s just got to do his job.”
Smith, a native of the area who estimated he’d have a dozen people at the game, laughed when asked after the morning skate how dangerous the Leafs might be.
“Extremely dangerous,” he said. “It’s like that wounded bear that you can’t put down for the last little bit, and they have a lot of extra power. You’ve got to make sure that you come out hard, because right now, it’s kind of do-or-die for them. It’s going to be a very difficult game.
“Everything I hear on the radio, it’s ruthless. It’ll be interesting to see what the atmosphere is like, and it’s going to be fun. It’s such a big game.”
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