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Draper in, Miller out for Red Wings

Wednesday, 05.04.2011 / 1:47 PM

By Brian Hedger - NHL.com Correspondent / 2011 WCSF: San Jose-Detroit Live Blog

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2011 WCSF: San Jose-Detroit Live Blog
Draper in, Miller out for Red Wings
Calling it his only lineup change "at this time," Wings coach Mike Babcock announced after Wednesday's morning skate that veteran forward Kris Draper will play in Game 3 (8 p.m. ET, VERSUS [JIP], TSN2, RDS [JIP]) on the fourth line, with Patrick Eaves and center Darren Helm, while Drew Miller will be a healthy scratch for the first time in the series.

That means Mike Modano also likely will be a healthy scratch, for the third straight game, unless Babcock decides to put him into the lineup shortly before the game.

Draper, who will turn 40 on May 24, said sitting for the first two games a tough thing to swallow.

"I'll be honest with you, it's probably been one of the toughest things I've had to do in my career," said Draper, who is playing his 20th NHL season and 17th in Detroit. "Just like everybody else, I love this time of year. I love playing playoff hockey, but with that being said, I just tried to do all the right things for Game 1 and Game 2. Tried to do everything right. It's disappointing when you're not playing and it's frustrating when you lose a couple games. I guess Mike felt like there was going to be a change and I get to go tonight."

So what was it like having to sit and watch the Wings struggle offensively?

"You feel like … helpless," Draper said. "I try to do as much as I can to talk to the guys between periods, encourage guys, encourage the players and talk about some stuff that maybe guys saw. I just hung around the dressing room for both games. The bottom line is that everybody wants to be a part of this time of year and when you're not playing, it bothers you because you want to be a part of it. But it's not about me. It's not about one individual."

Likewise, he's impressed with how Modano has handled sitting so far. Modano, 40, has played just one game in the playoffs thus far and has said this could be his last NHL season.

"Mo's been unbelievable," said Draper. "For a guy who's going to be a first-ballot Hall-of-Famer … Mike's done so many good things at this time of year and very similar, he and I both really enjoy playing playoff hockey. But we have a lot of depth on this team, and that's the one thing you realize."

Quote of the Day

Not only is it a great idea, but if you don't [start using analytics] you're going to fall behind. You have to be on the cutting edge. It was [Arizona Coyotes assistant general manager] Darcy Regier who said, 'If you didn't invent it, you have to be the second- or third-best copier, because if you're fourth or fifth you've got no chance.'

— Detroit Red Wings coach Mike Babcock on his interest in advanced statistical analysis