Despite describing his club’s effort in a Game 5 loss as “poor,” Red Wings head coach Mike Babcock won’t be making any lineup changes for tonight’s Game 6 against the Blackhawks.
“You mean put different people in?” Babcock said, when asked if there would be any changes. “No chance.”
The question was likely posed in response to Detroit’s line-shuffling throughout the opening round against Anaheim, as Jordin Tootoo, Mikael Samuelsson, Brian Lashoff and Todd Bertuzzi were all in and out of the lineup. Heck, Carlo Colaiacovo didn’t make his postseason debut until Game 6.
This round, the roster has been much more consistent.
Bertuzzi was replaced by Drew Miller after a Game 1 loss, and that’s pretty much been it for changes.
The likes of Colaiacovo, Miller, Patrick Eaves and Cory Emmerton have all solidified their spots in the lineup, and that won’t change as the Wings look to eliminate Chicago at Joe Louis tonight.
That said, some did figure Babcock would tinker with his lineup after reviewing the tape of Saturday’s 4-1 loss.
“I watched it here this morning and on the plane, we weren’t very good,” Babcock told MLive.com. “They were much more competitive than us, much quicker than us, way more desperate.
“We were poor.”
Scottie Upshall has parlayed his training camp tryout into a contract with St. Louis.
On Monday, the Blues agreed to a one-year, two-way deal with the veteran forward, worth $700,000 at the NHL level. The deal comes after Upshall spent all of training camp and the preseason impressing the Blues his speed and skating ability, no small feat for a 31-year-old veteran with over 500 NHL games on his odometer.
But where Upshall fits in the Blues lineup — and within the organization — remains to be seen.
The club has plenty of depth up front and Upshall isn’t coming off a terrific campaign, having scored just eight goals and 15 points in 63 games with Florida last season. That said, he showed enough to be just one of a handful of veterans on PTOs to score a contract.
Lawson Crouse is going back to junior. The big 18-year-old winger confirmed it today on Twitter.
Crouse was drafted 11th overall in June by the Florida Panthers. Despite the club’s belief that Crouse could make “an immediate impact” on the roster, he finished the preseason with just two shots and one assist in three games.
Crouse will return to the OHL’s Kingston Frontenacs, with whom he’ll look to improve on his modest point totals from last season.
“I don’t think there’s any pressure on the kid,” coach Gerard Gallant said last week. “If he doesn’t make the team this year he goes back to junior … and will have a lot of success.”