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Zetterberg’s poor play sparks Red Wings shakeup

Continuing with the theme of coaches who are actually working at improving their team after some disappointing losses, Detroit coach Mike Babcock is shaking up the lines a bit in an effort to spark better play in one of the Red Wings’ best players.

13 points in the last 12 games? Not good enough, Henrik Zetterberg.

“After getting back from the shoulder injury, it’s been better,” Zetterberg said. “After the Olympic break I felt good. I just have to get more points on the board to help the team win. I don’t really count chances, but I’ve had enough to where I should be able to score some goals.”

“We need him to be better,” Babcock said. “That doesn’t mean he has to carry the weight of the world around on his back. Just dig in and find a way to be better, to be harder. Hopefully as a coach I am putting him with players he needs to help him out.”

The Wings are putting Valtteri Filppula up with Zetterberg and Dan Cleary, which should strike fear into the hearts of any opponent. Normally Babcock prefers to have his firepower spread out a bit but with Zetterberg in such a bad funk then obviously drastic measures were needed.

Zetterberg can’t let a serious shoulder injury be his excuse for such a disappointing season; he has just 18 goals in 58 games this year, well below his over-30 average of the past four seasons. This is the time of the year where he’ll have to buckle up and start putting the puck in the net. Anything less than a point per game from here on out is unacceptable.

If this string of poor play continues, then I’d expect Babcock to move Zetterberg down to the third or fourth line and get some players into the top-six rotation who can actually score on a consistent basis.

Please note that this entire post was dripping in sarcasm.