Oh, my Red Wings! The lines seem to be starting to come together, and things are starting to click a little......but......
Granted, last night's shootout loss at Chicago followed the loss of Franzen and some shuffling of lines, but the Wings have always shuffled lines and often just because they could. What the Wings haven't always done is scrambled in their own zone, given up odd-man chances, and had defensive breakdowns. Especially against the Blackhawks.
The Wings looked unprepared, and now with Franzen out 3-4 weeks, they have to re-tool the top two lines to make things work. Though it's only two games into the regular season, people expect more and better from the Hockeytown crew. Chicago should have been a win, especially with a 3-1 lead, but it seems that the boys from Motown aren't quite as good at the puck-possession game and defending a lead by playing "keep-away" and attacking when the opportunity presents itself as they used to be.
There is plenty of reason for optimism with Lidstrom, Zetterberg, Holmstrom, and Rafalski racking up the points, but the plus/minus could use some help. Let's hope over the next, short homestand that Babcock gets some solid line combinations working well and a little more defensive responsibility hammered home. Rafalski should be good at helping bring home the latter.
Now it's the Datsyuk/Franzen/Holmstrom line that has a hole.....who should fill it? I've always though that Holmstrom/Franzen was a redundant combination in any case.....move Samuellson up with that line and fill his spot on the Zetterberg line with Hudler. Make the call-up and fill Hudler's spot with Downey or Grigorenko.
As for the goaltending, can Hasek stand up to the youngsters like Kane, Crosby, or Stastny? [img:right][/img]