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Honeymoon over? Legwand dropped to third line in Detroit

Mar 28, 2014, 2:10 PM EDT

DavidLegwandDetroit Getty Images

David Legwand‘s first nine games in a Detroit uniform were pretty good — he scored two goals and five assists, and was getting top-line minutes at center.

The last three games? Not so good.

Legwand is pointless with an ugly minus-6 rating, and Detroit has lost all three while managing to secure just one of a possible six points. For a team in the thick of a playoff chase, that’s not good enough — and that’s partly why Legwand was dropped to the third line, getting just 12:36 of ice time in Thursday’s defeat to Montreal.

“So-so,” is how Legwand described his play with Detroit thus far, per the Macomb Daily. “There is room to improve and be better in certain areas in the game.”

Thursday’s minus-3 effort against was the straw that broke the camel’s back (or, more specifically, broke Legwand.) He’ll reportedly stay down on the third unit for Saturday’s big game against Toronto, skating alongside Daniel Alfredsson and Joakim Andersson.

“We didn’t play very good so we changed things during the game,” head coach Mike Babcock said. “We’re just staying with what we finished with.

“I didn’t think he was great [vs. Montreal] but he was in a club with some other veteran guys that weren’t very good either so you know we weren’t good enough any way you look at it.”

It’ll be interesting to see how Detroit and Legwand respond to this recent poor stretch, as the stakes are pretty high for both right now. The Wings are fighting to extend their postseason appearance streak to 23 seasons while Legwand, a pending UFA, is playing for a new contract.

  1. rbbbaron - Mar 28, 2014 at 2:12 PM

    With each game that Jarnkrok is playing down in Nashville, this deal is looking worse and worse.

    • Idaslapter - Mar 28, 2014 at 2:47 PM

      Jarnkrok got his first NHL goal last night. Looking good for Nashville.

  2. tmoore4075 - Mar 28, 2014 at 2:13 PM

    He was bad last night. Sadly got to view it in person. But to be fair, most of the team didn’t look good, especially in that first period, they were freaking awful. They played much better with the lines like this, so maybe it can carry over and he can improve too.

  3. smarshall3789 - Mar 28, 2014 at 3:02 PM

    I still like the trade he’s a natural center he’s what they needed! Who really expected him to be a star he’s going to stay and going to be a good 3rd and 4th line center for depth and someone who could fill in on top lines when needed!

    • rbbbaron - Mar 28, 2014 at 3:25 PM

      This is pretty clearly a rental. All things equal, signing Legwand would be pretty stupid given how much depth the Wings have down the middle. Granted, Holland seems to be making a habit of terrible off-season signings, so maybe it’s not all that far-fetched from Holland’s side…otherwise Legwand hasn’t indicated he’d like to sign in Detroit (and why would he? Why settle with being a bottom six forward when he could probably land a better contract and top-six role elsewhere).

  4. nobandwagoners - Mar 28, 2014 at 3:23 PM

    I haven’t seen maybe more than two Detroit games this year (that’s my caveat) but playing on a line with Alfredsson and Andersson doesn’t sound too much like a demotion, even if that is what it is. That sounds like a pretty good “third” line – maybe a second line for many teams. Unless Alfredsson has really lost a step in the last year?

    • rbbbaron - Mar 28, 2014 at 3:27 PM

      Alfredsson had a decent first-half of the season, but lately he’s been showing his age– well, compared to the kids, just about everyone on that roster has been showing their age…

      • canadianguest - Mar 28, 2014 at 5:16 PM

        Before that last game, Alfredsson had 6 points in his last 6 games.

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