The Detroit Red Wings came out of the All-Star break and dropped their first two games of the second half. The Wings fell victim to defeats courtesy of the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Florida Panthers on back-to-back nights.
With the Lightning and Panthers both being division foes, it took the Red Wings out of the second spot of the Atlantic Division and dropped them down into the wildcard race for the Eastern Conference. It surely wasn’t a pretty way to start the second half of the season.
This past Saturday, the Red Wings seems to wake up a little and took down the New York Islanders 5-1. Head coach Jeff Blashill shook the lines up big time in an attempt yet again to try and find some consistency. Calling up speedy forward Andreas Athanasiou from Grand Rapids seemed to give the Wings some energy on the secondary lines. Another part of the gameplan that seemed to be evident throughout the night was the reuniting of Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk.
As seen through their years wearing the Winged Wheel, when Hank and Pav hit the ice together, they seem to feed off one another and do magical things with the puck in ways that only they can. It was seen clearly by Blashill that it was the right move to make:
“They did a good job,” Blashill said. “What did we call them – Eurotwins? I thought there were moments when you saw that, where they played off each other well.
“I told them this isn’t going to be a short-term thing, and I don’t know what long-term means, but we’ve got a good home stand here, let’s see if they can feed off each other.”
I know a simple mix of a line doesn’t solve everything, but I feel pretty comfortable having Zetterberg and Datsyuk on the ice together. Their track record when they are together speaks for itself in how they are able to make such an impact on a game.
What do you think, Nation, do you like the adjustment made by coach Blashill to pair up the “Euro-Twins” again?