"I haven't gotten that far ahead yet," Babcock said. "I think there are lots of people still battling. We'll see how it works out in the next couple of days."
Actually, the only battle is for the 12th forward spot, but since Justin Abdelkader
stayed on the ice for extra work Monday and both Patrick Eaves
and Kirk Maltby
were off with the rest of their teammates, it's fair to think that Abdelkader will be the odd forward out, at least for Wednesday's game in Karlstad. The Wings brought 13 here with them.Pavel Datsyuk
was centering Tomas Holmstrom
and Johan Franzen
. Henrik Zetterberg
was between Dan Cleary
and Todd Bertuzzi
. Valtteri Filppula
had Ville Leino
and Jason Williams
on his flanks and Kris Draper
was between Eaves and Maltby.
Datsyuk, Holmstrom and Franzen were on one power-play unit with Nicklas Lidstrom
and Brian Rafalski
on the points. Zetterberg, Cleary and Bertuzzi ran the other power play with Niklas Kronwall
and Williams manning the points.
The defensive pairs should be Lidstrom and Rafalski, Kronwall and Brad Stuart
, and Brett Lebda
and Jonathan Ericsson
. Derek Meech
is also here as the seventh defenseman.
"He knows who plays well together," Cleary said of Babcock. "And, sure, we have lines now, but as the season goes on you never know. You could have an injury or some guys could be slumping, but he'll know right away how to adjust the lineup because he knows who plays well with who. He has a real good pulse on the lineup.
"As players, and I think I can speak for everybody, we love having that familiarity of knowing what the lines are going to be so we're comfortable and confident going to the rink and on the ice."