Injuries have continued to pile up for the Detroit Red Wings, and it’s created some unique line combinations.
Taking a look at the four forward lines for the Red Wings, there are glaring holes without Henrik Zetterberg, Darren Helm and Stephen Weiss as options. The defensive lines aside, Mike Babcock has had to get creative with his lineup card.
Pavel Datsyuk’s return on Tuesday night gave Detroit a boost on the top line. He skated alongside Daniel Alfredsson and Justin Abdelkader in Thursday’s bout with the Tampa Bay Lightning.
With 18 points in his last 15 games, Johan Franzen’s scoring surge has him centering the second line with Todd Bertuzzi and Gustav Nyquist.
Tomas Tatar has seven points in his last eight games and skated on Joakim Andersson’s wing with Drew Miller on the third line.
The fourth line consisted of Daniel Cleary and Mikael Samuelsson, centered by Cory Emmerton.
All four of these lines have to play responsible, hard-nosed hockey if Detroit wants to come away with two points during their upcoming schedule. Keeping in mind that these lines are temporary, it’s important for each to impose their will while remaining accountable in their own end.
Looking ahead, here is one improvement that each forward line will need to make.