DETROIT -- The subject isn't even open to discussion right now.
Detroit Red Wings coach Mike Babcock insisted he's not going to break up his top line by making star forwards Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg his top two centers, something he's done in recent seasons. Though he briefly split the duo for a game Oct. 26 against the New York Rangers, don't expect to see it again in the near future, including Friday against the Washington Capitals at Joe Louis Arena (7:30 p.m., NHLN-US).
"Yeah, [I did it] for about seven minutes," Babcock said Friday after an optional morning skate. "I'm not doing it."
Instead, the Red Wings will have to find secondary scoring other ways. Zetterberg and Datsyuk are too effective playing next to each other and alongside power forward Todd Bertuzzi.
That top line has combined for 10 of the 18 goals Detroit has scored in the past six games, not to mention 12 assists. Detroit also went 2-1-3 in those games, but the Red Wings haven't won on home ice for a full month (0-1-5) and continue to have issues getting goals from their other three lines and defensemen.