Mike Babcock is shaking it up.
His lines, that is.
Per mlive.com, Detroit’s head coach has split up star forwards Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg ahead of Friday’s home game against the Wild.
The Red Wings are 1-2-0 in their first three games and have scored just four goals along the way.
“You just can’t keep doing things the same,” Babcock said. “They played together today [at practice] on the power play, they were apart on regular shifts, and we’ll see what happens tomorrow.”
Datsyuk joined a line with Todd Bertuzzi (returning from the flu) and Valtteri Filppula; Zetterberg skated with Johan Franzen and Damien Brunner.
The Wings are also expected to have third-line center Darren Helm (back) in the lineup tomorrow.
Related: Babcock sees “opportunity” in all the Wings’ injuries
This hasn’t been the best night for St. Louis sports fans.
Obviously, the MLB’s Cardinals getting bounced from the playoffs is a bigger deal, but the Blues face bad news, too.
While they’re currently leading the Calgary Flames by a score of 4-3, they’ll need to hang on without Kevin Shattenkirk, whose night is over thanks to a lower-body injury.
There’s no word yet on how severe the issue might be.
Naturally, the Blues must hope that it’s minor, as Shattenkirk is one of the NHL’s truly underrated assets on the blueline.
Stephanie (@MyRegularFace) tracked down a moment when the injury may have happened:
It’s not all rosy for the Flames, either, as Lance Bouma suffered an injury as well.
In some ways, it really felt like their first-round series.
For all the talent on both ends of the rink with the Detroit Red Wings and Tampa Bay Lightning, each squad can really smother opponents defensively when things go that way.
Through two periods, the two teams were very quiet. Things really picked up when Justin Abdelkader unleashed a big hit, a moment that injected enough life into the proceedings for the Red Wings to eventually build a 3-1 win.
Maybe they’re slipping under the radar a bit compared to previous iterations of the team, but it’s interesting that the Red Wings are now undefeated in three games.
They’ve been impressive at times, too, outscoring opponents by a combined score of 11-4.
Call it a refreshing time after Mike Babcock or merely carryover from a subtly solid run last season, but either way, the Red Wings may just be able to keep up their end of a brewing rivalry.