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Mike Babcock looks into shuffling his defensive pairs around

Sep 17, 2010, 12:54 PM EDT

With the Red Wings not having won the Stanley Cup the last two seasons, head coach Mike Babcock is looking to tweak things with his defensive pairings. The Freep’s Helene St. James finds out that Babcock is going to shuffle things around defensively having Nick Lidstrom pair up with Niklas Kronwall and Brian Rafalski team up with Brad Stuart.

This comes off curious because Kronwall is a bit more of a high-risk defenseman prone to making a bad jump on a play early in the defensive zone leaving his partner hung out to dry. Brad Stuart played very capable defense last year but often looked poor when trying to compensate. Pairing Kronwall up with an older yet still mentally brilliant Lidstrom could be Babcock’s way of trying to rein Kronwall in a bit from putting himself out of position. After all, making Brad Stuart look bad is one thing, making the team captain look bad is another thing entirely.

  1. Scott Gafner - Sep 17, 2010 at 2:06 PM

    I think it has more to do with having the best available defenseman to cover for when Kronwall does try to pinch, not limiting how much Kronwall will do so.
    In fact, I think this may be Babcock’s way to give Kronwall free reign.

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