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Wings’ Skating In Columbus

via Ansar Khan tweet,

Wings lines at skate in Columbus: Franzen-Legwand-Nyquist, Tatar-Sheahan-Jurco, Abdelkader-Emmerton-Alfredsson, Miller-Glendening-Bertuzzi.

Updates coming as needed.

added 11:47am, Khan again...

First power play: Bertuzzi-Nyquist-Franzen up front, Kronwall-Alfredsson at points; 2nd: Legwand-Sheahan-Jurco up front, Tatar-DeKeyser back

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SK77's avatar

Franzen-Legwand-Nyquist, Tatar-Sheahan-Jurco, Abdelkader-Emmerton-Alfredsson, Miller-Glendening-Bertuzzi

On this week’s episode of Survivor, find out which of the remaining 12 forwards gets voted off the island with a 4-6 week injury.  confused

Posted by SK77 on 03/11/14 at 11:52 AM ET

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You just know Alfredsson was licking his chops when he signed with Detroit, just waiting for the opportunity to play on a line with Abdelkader and Emmerton.

Posted by Valek from Chicago on 03/11/14 at 12:02 PM ET

Paul's avatar

Babcock says Howard starting, Kindl still scratched.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 03/11/14 at 12:08 PM ET

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I am generally a fan of Babcock, but the usage of Alfredsson on a line with Abby and Emmerton (or Glendening) is a borderline stupidity. Not only it does not make any hockey sense, but also shows tremendous disrespect to Alfy. Even with the limited options we have, we still can have Franzen centering Nyquist and Alfy. Legwand can center Abby and Bert. Win-win situation as Legwand will be a lot better than Alfy on a grinding line and Alfy will be better than Legwand on a scoring line.
Another thing I do not understand is Babcock obsession with having a forward on a blue line on a PP. I understand when it’s a player like Alfy who has a righthanded rocket from there, but putting Tatar there does not make sense to me. Tatar is a great player and he has a good shot from the hashmarks, NOT from the blue line. On the other hand Smith has a very nice shot from there and has offensive potential, but never tried on a PP. When we are so shortanded upfront, we can still win games, but PP is absolutely crucial. Even on Sunday, when we played rather poorly, we still had 2-3 PP opportunities to tie the game, but created nothing.

Posted by VPalmer on 03/11/14 at 12:22 PM ET

von Awesome's avatar

Babcock always says he listens and holds with high regard the input of his veteran players. He’s compared Alfredsson to Lidstrom. Do you ever think Alfie might have suggested it? Alfie is a scoring threat regardless of who he is on a line with, albeit he is much better with skilled and more offensive players. The problem on that line seems to be Abby’s reluctance to go to the net, or at least he’s not being very effective at it.

And unless something has changed, I do not believe Babcock has run the PP in a long time. He usually defers that to one of the assistant coaches.

Posted by von Awesome on 03/11/14 at 12:27 PM ET

MurrayChadwick's avatar

I am generally a fan of Babcock, but the usage of Alfredsson on a line with Abby and Emmerton (or Glendening) is a borderline stupidity.

I disagree, Franzen has proved to be a better wing. If they really thought he was serviceable at Center, we could’ve picked up a wing instead of over paying for Old Legs Wand, who will have little chance of be resigned becayse of the glut of centers when healthy. 

Also by stacking one line, the opposition can toss out their best unit to shut them down, and then put their 2nd best on the kids, with the other two lines of essentially “leftovers” would warrant little attention. At least this spreads what little wealth we have out, and makes a team use their 2nd best unit to cover Alfie’s line or the kid’s line.  The hope is Abby and a young buck at center can forecheck a few pucks loose for Alfie, and stack them up when we have the PP opportunities. Not ideal, and not Afie’s idea when signing here, but injuries are what they are.

Posted by MurrayChadwick on 03/11/14 at 12:36 PM ET

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Posted by VPalmer on 03/11/14 at 12:22 PM ET

You’re in favour of line combinations based on respect?

Legwand-Franzen-Nyquist combined for 11 points against Vancouver and Tatar-Sheahan-Jurco have played really well together.  Sorry to Alfredsson, but what Detroit needs with a depleted roster is to use the best line combinations, not the combinations that are most respectful to the veterans.  We know that the above two lines can work well together, so why would anyone want to mess with them?

And Legwand is the only everyday NHL centre on the roster right now, making him the third line centre is simply a product of not thinking.

Posted by Garth on 03/11/14 at 12:38 PM ET

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I am generally a fan of Babcock, but the usage of Alfredsson on a line with Abby and Emmerton (or Glendening) is a borderline stupidity.

Just like all the complaints, me including, about Abby playing with Pav. What was Babcock thinking? As it turned out, that was Pav’s choice.
So we don’t know anything that goes on in the coaches’ office or in the locker room.

Posted by George0211 on 03/11/14 at 12:40 PM ET

Primis's avatar

I am generally a fan of Babcock, but the usage of Alfredsson on a line with Abby and Emmerton (or Glendening) is a borderline stupidity.

Posted by VPalmer on 03/11/14 at 12:22 PM ET

FWIW, I am *not* a huge Babcock fan, and I think it’s probably the right call.  He has to limit Alfredsson’s Even Strength minutes.  Has to.  Save him for PP minutes when they can.  He h is not in a stage of his career where he can just pick up and eat minutes because other big guns are out.


So show of hands, everyone who at the start of the season saw our 4 C’s down the stretch being Legwand, Sheahan, Emmerton, and Glendening, raise your hands….. anyone… anyone?....  in fact,  is there a SINGLE GUY of those 4 you would have seen as being in the lineup?

Posted by Primis on 03/11/14 at 12:51 PM ET

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So show of hands, everyone who at the start of the season saw our 4 C’s down the stretch being Legwand, Sheahan, Emmerton, and Glendening, raise your hands….. anyone… anyone?....  in fact,  is there a SINGLE GUY of those 4 you would have seen as being in the lineup?

Posted by Primis on 03/11/14 at 12:51 PM ET


I did and I also won the powerball 6 times in a row cheese

Posted by George0211 on 03/11/14 at 12:53 PM ET

calquake's avatar

  So show of hands, everyone who at the start of the season saw our 4 C’s down the stretch being Legwand, Sheahan, Emmerton, and Glendening, raise your hands….. anyone… anyone?....  in fact,  is there a SINGLE GUY of those 4 you would have seen as being in the lineup?

  Posted by Primis on 03/11/14 at 12:51 PM ET


I did and I also won the powerball 6 times in a row cheese

Posted by George0211 on 03/11/14 at 12:53 PM ET

I didn’t and now I’m homeless… but I don’t want anyone to know so I’m sleeping outside of a Ticketmaster. wink

Posted by calquake on 03/11/14 at 01:08 PM ET

MurrayChadwick's avatar

in fact,  is there a SINGLE GUY of those 4 you would have seen as being in the lineup?  Very begining no, but a month or so in, I thought Glenny had dispaced Anderson, making him expendable in a trade.

Posted by MurrayChadwick on 03/11/14 at 01:41 PM ET

RedMenace's avatar

Gah, Paul, what did I say about merging threads? :-p

Actually, I’m sure a few people have me “Ignored,” so the updates obviously wouldn’t get through…

Posted by RedMenace from the Church of Jesus Lashoff on 03/11/14 at 01:55 PM ET

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And unless something has changed, I do not believe Babcock has run the PP in a long time. He usually defers that to one of the assistant coaches.

Renney was brought up to improve the PP, but I do not see any new ideas. It’s the same PP with 4 forwards and shots coming from a blue line with very little action down low (and that was the same when Dats and Z were healthy). So, it’s either Renney is not as good as advertised or Babcock just does it his way.
I love the way we are competing on most nights without 2 best players, but I feel better structure on a PP will go a long way to us winning more games.

Posted by VPalmer on 03/11/14 at 02:01 PM ET

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Also by stacking one line, the opposition can toss out their best unit to shut them down, and then put their 2nd best on the kids, with the other two lines of essentially “leftovers” would warrant little attention

My point is exactly the same, that we need to spread the wealth, but we just do not have the personnel to do it with all the injuries and to me the line of Abby/Glendening/Alfy is just not a line that could possibly score. They are not a grinding line, nor a scoring line. Just 3 players moving in all different directions without any purpose. I have no problems of playing a grinder with 2 skilled guys (Abby or Bert were borderline serviceable playing with Dats and Z), but playing 2 grinders with 1 skilled guy basically kills the skilled guy and we cannot afford to kill those few skilled guys who are left after all these injuries. I understand that Franzen is better at a wing, but out of 12 forwards on the roster now, we have probably 3-4 who can be counted on to score goals and if even if one of them in buried on a line that has no chance to create any offense, I think we are wasting that player.

Posted by VPalmer on 03/11/14 at 02:11 PM ET

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You’re in favour of line combinations based on respect?

No, I am in favor of line combinations that make hockey sense.

And Legwand is the only everyday NHL centre on the roster right now, making him the third line centre is simply a product of not thinking.

Not sure why your opinion is “correct” and my opinion is a product of not thinking. We are all DRW fans (some new ones and some like me for 25 years) and we all want this team to do well and I think a product of not thinking is making a grinder out of one of the few skilled players on the roster.

Posted by VPalmer on 03/11/14 at 02:19 PM ET

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Alright I very very rarely post on here but I read almost every entry and many of the comments and this kind of stuff just cracks me up. All I ever hear is people complaining about Babcock playing old vets instead of fast young guys. And then Alfredsson gets moved to the third line and people are complaining about a lack of respect to veteran players. It’s hilarious.

Posted by Diggler from Marquette, MI on 03/11/14 at 03:09 PM ET

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No, I am in favor of line combinations that make hockey sense.

Yet you argue against lines that we have seen working well together in favour of ones you think might work.

Posted by Garth on 03/11/14 at 03:12 PM ET

TreKronor's avatar

It’s a “third line”.  The Wings don’t have a tendency to necessarily label their lines and play them in that order.  Not to mention the lines always change during a game.

I mean, no matter how one draws it up, someone is going to be pissed with Alfie’s linemates.  But it isn’t like there are a whole lot of great options right now.  I’m just happy he is healthy enough to play.

Posted by TreKronor on 03/11/14 at 03:16 PM ET

MurrayChadwick's avatar

Abby/Glendening/Alfy is just not a line that could possibly score.

  Against the opposition’s 3rd line, and 3rd d pairing, why not? And if they face 2nd pairings, all the better for the kids, who would get the 3’s.

Alfie is getting the top PP time which is what he was really brought in for, PP and depth scoring.  I also think he might be nursing something, why Putiken was brought up and then sent down, and they are pairing him with two guys who can muck it up and play defense. 

Look, the wings as an organization chose not to move Franzen to center for a single month,  and it cost them a 3rd to 2nd round pick and one of our top prospects to fill a position we will find ourselves overfilled in the offseason, that’s not a coaching decision, that’s the organization, as a whole, making that choice.  Then another center goes down, and they still do not move him from center, obviously there is a reason.

Posted by MurrayChadwick on 03/11/14 at 03:17 PM ET

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So, it’s either Renney is not as good as advertised or Babcock just does it his way.

Or it’s a team decimated by injuries.

Posted by Garth on 03/11/14 at 03:18 PM ET

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Yet you argue against lines that we have seen working well together in favour of ones you think might work.

With all due respect, Abby/Glendening/Alfy is not working, not even close. If that was just a grinding line of let’s say Abby/Glen/Miller, it would not matter, but we are burying a player there who can score and that is my whole point.

Posted by VPalmer on 03/11/14 at 03:21 PM ET

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And then Alfredsson gets moved to the third line and people are complaining about a lack of respect to veteran players

It’s just me, everybody else is happy with Alfy there. And the age of the player does not matter, you either can still play (like Alfredsson) or cannot (like Cleary).

Posted by VPalmer on 03/11/14 at 03:24 PM ET

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With all due respect, Abby/Glendening/Alfy is not working, not even close.

With all due respect, when your team is decimated by injuries and you have a first and second line that are actually working, you don’t break one of them up to make the third line better.  You let the third line be the third line until you get some of your injured players back and the team gets back some of its depth.

Posted by Garth on 03/11/14 at 03:27 PM ET

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Or it’s a team decimated by injuries.

I never thought I would live to the day when Columbus is considered a favourite in a game with DRW, so, of course, injuries to the best players matter, but our PP was stagnant and without any new ideas when everybody was healthy also. I cannot imagine you can do worse if you let’s say try Smith on a blue line instead of Tatar and Tatar at the hashmarks. Just because Smith has a better shot from a blue line and Tatar has a great shot from the hashmarks. PP has to have options no matter who is in and who is out. It cannot be just 1 play, which is Kronwall’s shot from a blue line.

Posted by VPalmer on 03/11/14 at 03:36 PM ET

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you have a first and second line that are actually working, you don’t break one of them up to make the third line better.  You let the third line be the third line until you get some of your injured players back and the team gets back some of its depth.

You might be right (well, the whole forum and Babcock agree with you). Legwand is a very good player, but to me the first line is working because Franzen is on an unbelievable roll in the last 20-25 games no matter who he plays with. Nyquist is hot too. In 3 games with Legwand, there were OK against Colorado, great against the Devils and not so good against the Rangers. I do not think switching Alfy and Legwand will have any negative effect there. But I do think putting Legwand between Abby and let’s say Bert will give us another line who will have a purpose. They can do the cycling down low and Legwand and Abby will cover for Bert defensively. You can even make them a second line and then you have the kids tearing up as the third line against weaker opposition.

Posted by VPalmer on 03/11/14 at 03:52 PM ET

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So you don’t just want to take the top line apart, you want to take the hottest player (Franzen, by your own admission) and make him play centre instead of wing?

Why not have Kronwall centre a line with Abdelkader and Howard on his wings?

Posted by Garth on 03/11/14 at 04:46 PM ET

calquake's avatar

I’m just happy he is healthy enough to play.

Posted by TreKronor on 03/11/14 at 03:16 PM ET

Understatement of the year.

Posted by calquake on 03/11/14 at 04:48 PM ET

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...since neither abby or glendenning seem to be able to score, yet both can work down low for the puck, then their focus should be on getting alfie about ten shots tonight…..it’s up to alfie to get his ass to the sweet spots and linger….shake the defense and get to the spots where hull and stamkos make their living…..they could be rather effective against the jackets’ lesser lines…..i’m very cautiously optimistic….

...perhaps it’s the dental trauma, or age, or mr. mztlplx, but alfie has not been much of a factor in a large majority of his games…..depleted roster ??....maybe…. he certainly looks like a player in the twilight of his career, though….hell, he and weiss could be our big offseason pickups…....next year..

Posted by dingus from the salty great lake on 03/11/14 at 04:52 PM ET

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So you don’t just want to take the top line apart, you want to take the hottest player (Franzen, by your own admission) and make him play centre instead of wing?

It’s not like the first line have some great chemistry that we should not interfere with. They have been together for 3 games. Franzen has been hot for 25 games no matter who he played with. Whether he will remain hot or not does not depend on Legwand being or not being there.

Why not have Kronwall centre a line with Abdelkader and Howard on his wings?

I have been reading this forum for several years and you are a knowledgeable smart poster. I do not think you can win many arguments with this type of childish response so uncharacteristic of you.

Posted by VPalmer on 03/11/14 at 05:00 PM ET

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Franzen has been hot for 25 games no matter who he played with.

But he’s been playing on the wing.  And again, you want to change a line that had 11 points against Vancouver (and sorry, the Rangers game is moot, the entire team sucked), AND you want to give the team’s hottest offensive player a different assignment.

All because you don’t like Alfredsson being on a supposed 3rd line.

Posted by Garth on 03/11/14 at 05:06 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

Alfredsson is definitely having post-Olympic burn out an I’m sure his dental issues aren’t helping, but it’s not exactly time to go and shoot Old Teller or something because he’s had a rough couple of games.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 03/11/14 at 05:11 PM ET

gowings's avatar

Posted by SK77 on 03/11/14 at 11:52 AM ET


That was just hilarious….and truly scary at the same time

Posted by gowings from MTL on 03/11/14 at 05:43 PM ET

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Alfredsson is definitely having post-Olympic burn out an I’m sure his dental issues aren’t helping, but it’s not exactly time to go and shoot Old Teller or something because he’s had a rough couple of games.
George, first of all, thank you for your hard work and for being such a passionate fan.
I do not think Alfy is tired or injured. I think he has a lot more to contribute, but you cannot expect a skilled player like him to be effective playing with 2 grinders who are not skilled to score or pass.

Posted by VPalmer on 03/11/14 at 05:51 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

That’s the other issue for Alfredsson—he has NO chemistry with Glendening, and he’s not Pavel Datsyuk, so he can’t put goals in off of Abdelkader the same way. I would’ve loved to see Babs put Alfredsson with Bertuzzi and Andersson while he was healthy, but as we all know…

The coach is incredibly stubborn about his line combinations.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 03/11/14 at 05:57 PM ET

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—-But he’s been playing on the wing. 

It’s a good point and I understand some risk involved.

——And again, you want to change a line that had 11 points against Vancouver
—- You probably mean against the Devils

—- and sorry, the Rangers game is moot, the entire team sucked.
—-if you think the game against the Rangers does not matter, than the game against the Devils should not matter too, it was an absolute fluke those 7 goals we scored.

—-All because you don’t like Alfredsson being on a supposed 3rd line.
—-Nothing to do with Alfy and a line #. All have to do with a simple notion that players have to be given the best opportunity to maximize their potential to help the team. Playing a skilled player with 2 grinders kills that skilled player and we have very few now to spare.

Posted by VPalmer on 03/11/14 at 05:57 PM ET

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Emmerton is a little more offensively skilled than Glen, so maybe Abby/Emerton/Alfy will look better.

Posted by VPalmer on 03/11/14 at 06:06 PM ET

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The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.