Right now, it's clear things aren't click yet for Detroit. Weiss was -4 last night, Alfie was -3. What can be done? Khan(!) gives Babbles some obvious suggestions.
Options for Babcock include inserting one or both of his healthy spare forwards, Tomas Tatar and Jordin Tootoo.
Now we all know Tootoo isn't going to do jack sh!t. Putting Tatar on the second or third line would be wonderous. But, don't forget about this guy.
Once again, he's tearing it up in the AHL already.
We need offense and we have two guys who absolutely have lit it up in the AHL the past few years not skating with the team.
If I had my way, these are our team's top 12 forwards (after the break):
Datsyuk - Zetterburg - Abby
Franzen - Weiss - Alfie
Nyquist - Andersson - Tatar
Cleary - Sammy - Bert / Miller
Sorry Emmerton, but you're useless. I don't get why you are still in the line-up. And absolute no-go on Tootoo. Eaves, well, I think he could be interchangable for anyone on the 4th line.
You put that line-up on the ice and you'll score.
Zetterberg - Datsyuk - Abdelkader
Nyquist - Andersson - Tatar
Miller - Eaves - Alfredsson
Cleary - Weiss - Tootoo/Bertuzzi
1st lineup reasoning: Our top two players with one of our more promising young guys. Abby can keep up with them enough, and seems to play well enough with Dats and Zetts that continuing keeping them together could show results. Abby has that physical presence with good positioning while Dats and Zetts speak for themselves.
2nd line reasoning: They are the franchise's future along with Helm/Abby. Put them on the 2nd line together and watch the tenacity and skill just fuse throughout the season. They are quick, talented, and persistent as opposed to Franzen's slow, lazy, apathetic play. Unless Franzen plays like a madmen when he's capable of putting up a goal or more every game I think he doesn't deserve a roster spot. All three of these guys deserve time over Franzen as things currently stand.
3rd line reasoning: Alfie deserves time, but he needs to play with some youth to give him the pep back into his step. Miller and Eaves play hard every night, have sound positioning, play both ways - just like Alfie - so this third line would be a well-rounded, PK-type defensive shutdown line. The top two lines are more production oriented but that doesn't neglect the fact this third line composition couldn't occasionally put up numbers due to matchups.
4th line reasoning: Weiss is a decent center man despite my typical leaning to despise his general gameplay. However, put him with some board and corner grinders like Cleary/Tootoo/Tuzzi and Weiss might actually see some goals on a 4th line matchup against most of the teams in the leagues. Cleary and Tuzzi have the hand skills and passing to setup Weiss while also matching the intensity and physicality a 4th line usually demonstrates.
There's plenty more to say about each of my lineup decisions, but hopefully some of you diehard fans get the picture.
I don't know about you guys, but to me, Franzen seemed slow and confused out there last night...I don't know if he had a big meal before the game, or he's preparing for winter hibernation, but he just seemed sluggish and labored in trying to do anything...Starting to question that guy's initiative.
I love how the Wings have to be forced into fielding their best team. They can't do it on their own.
i'm with you on those lines, but they have to drop someone first. emmerton, sure, but then when eaves comes back someone else has to go. and then when helm comes back, another player has to go.
you know how this organization likes to tell us what we want to hear? "we're going to make moves at the deadline. i mean, draft night. make that july. probably during the preseason. nope, definitely the trade deadline." i think they're doing that with nyquist now. they say he won't be in GR for very long, but probably won't be coming up until the playoffs.
You don't give Tootoo enough credit. I bet he would do more offensively than Cleary has so far. Plus he always skates with speed and intensity, something we haven't seen consistently from this team so far. Tootoo can actually put up points of given the chance. It just seems Babs isn't up for giving people chances. I hope Tootoo gets some ice time soon.
@brandik1313 i saw that at the end, but early on he was actually racing to the puck on some icing calls. but then, as you pointed out, in the third he kind of stood around and swiped at the puck if it was close by.
@marti783 I think they know this isn't their best lineup but with the shitstorm they created in regards to the roster and cap, moving players around is extremely difficult.
@JOHNxJOHN I agree he brings intensity, but it is a uncontrolled ball of intensity. I don't know about the points thing, I guess he's not Brad May, but I don't know if there is much more. I actually like Cleary in a third/fourth line role. He's slow, but he's one of the few guys who know, when in doubt, crash the stupid net.