Franzen in Thursday night if he feels well. Abdelkader could be in if his ribs don’t explode and an alien chest-burster scene takes place. So that leaves me with this question for most of my Red Wings friends and readers, who are really great (or say they think) at playing the role of head coach Mike Babblecock. Who do you sit Thursday night at home against Calgary?
I am a Red Wings optimist, as JJ would say, so I find it difficult to sit someone. But I do try and go over, in my head, the last few games I’ve seen of each player in my head. The obvious candidates are fourth liners, Miller Helm or Eaves. I can’t sit Eaves after watching the Phoenix game live and in person and seeing him draw penalties with speed charging to the net. I can’t sit Miller because of his penalty killing. I would love to say I could sit Helmer because he’s underwhelmed at even strength, but the kid is great on the PK and has even set up a shorty for us.
Third line? Cleary is going balls out for us and looks great. Modano has a goal already, I’ve seen him backcheck well, and can quarterback the second PP unit and do it pretty well. Hudler? Maybe.
The second line doesn’t need touched and that’s a fact because Bertuzzi isn’t afraid to go after the families of anyone who doesn’t think they’re doing a great job right now, which they are. Keep it up BFF line.
That leaves me with the circus. Pavel Valerievich and Zetterberg are incredible together, as always. But Homer has also underwhelmed, and it’s a Circus any way you cut it; so what if we put Cleary up with Pavel Valerievich and Zata, sit Homer and look for someone to blend in with the Modano-Hudler line…someone like Helm? Then place Abby in with Miller and Eaves?
I’m no coach, and I certainly don’t wanna jack with the lineup like Dave Lewis did and make crazy nonsensical combinations that have no prayer of showing success, so I’d like your input as well.