Originally written on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 3/5/15
Stanley_cup_finals_3190
           Justin Abdelkader celebrates with the one-knee fist pump                  (Photo credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports) Mike Babcock has always been a coach who frequently likes to mix up his lines, and now his latest first-line combination of Gustav Nyquist, Henrik Zetterberg, and Justin Abdelkader is appearing to be a genius move for the Detroit Red Wings. The decision to make this his top-line initially took place on January 11th when the Wings took on the Los Angeles Kings, but it took some time for the three to gel together. Detroit went 2-3-0 and only scored six goals as a team in the first five games following the decision to play Zetterberg, Nyquist, and Abdelkader together. Since then, this has been the Red Wings’ top-line in four of the past six games (Zetterberg missed two games with an injury). Over the course of those four games (1/22 vs. Chicago, 1/24 vs. Montreal, 1/31 vs. Washington, and 2/2 at Washington), the Wings have a 3-0-1 record while scoring 16 goals. Of the team’s 16 goals in these games Zetterberg, Nyquist, and Abdelkader have all been on the ice for eight and 11 have occurred with at least two of them on the ice. Not only are they just one the ice when these goals have been scored, they are the ones creating the chances and racking up points. Zetterberg has seven assists and eight total points, Nyquist has scored six goals and recorded nine points, and Abdelkader has a goal and three assists of his own. Follow me on Twitter @isports_Jordan Filling up the score sheet isn’t the only reason why this line looking like a magnificent decision, the talents of these three players compliment one another exceptionally. The only criticism to be made about Nyquist’s game is that he holds onto the puck for too long at times, looking for the perfect pass. Playing alongside Zetterberg, who is one of the league’s best passers, allows him to step aside from having to be his line’s facilitator. Nyquist can now focus more on creating plays with his speed in the open ice, whether he has the puck or not. Abdelkader has the offensive skills to be the prominent goal scorer of a third-line, but that isn’t where he excels the best at. His game is best suited to play the role of the hard-nosed tough guy who does all the little things in order to create scoring chances. Whether it is to set screens or clean up the rebounds, he is great at getting to the front of the net. Then when it’s his time to score, he can always be counted on to bury it into the back of the net. Zetterberg is best suited on a line that features another prominent goal-scorer, he is exceptional at passing players open and it takes another great hockey-mind to visualize and anticipate the passes that Zetterberg makes. Nyquist fits into his game as a perfect compliment. Zetterberg has developed into a great leader who can either score three goals or assist on three goals, on any given day. Babcock’s move to play these three together is really starting to pan out and he should continue to do so when Pavel Datsyuk returns to the lineup. Follow us on Twitter and read more Red Wings news, rumors, and opinion on our Detroit Red Wings team page
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Jon Jones thinks he can beat Cain Velasquez

Larry Bird jokes about pose of Dominique Wilkins’ statue

Barry Switzer urged Cowboys to draft Murray with great quote

SF Giants file brief in support of gay marriage to Supreme Court

Jay Cutler available to teams in trade

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Brian Hoyer praises Johnny Manziel for checking into rehab

Dockett: I would have signed with Cardinals for less money

Report: Darrelle Revis' decision to come down to Patriots, Jets

Maurice Jones-Drew announces his retirement from NFL

Ndamukong Suh is biggest prize, risk in free agency

Associated Press will have 'robots' writing game stories

Five areas the Eagles must address this offseason

WATCH: Craig Sager emotional in warm welcome back to TNT

Likeliest landing spots for Ndamukong Suh

Tigers pitcher Alfredo Simon drives a chrome Mercedes

WATCH: Ronda Rousey breaks guy's ribs who doubts her ability

Michelle Beadle’s campaign to be cast in ‘Sharknado 3′ pays off

Ten teams who have tightened the belt

Dodgers will have a tough time dumping Andre Ethier

Brian Cashman: Derek Jeter should be final Yankees captain

Tom Brady, Rory McIlroy to play round at Augusta National

No one knows who will win the 2014-15 NBA MVP

Giants TE on plane that slid off runway in New York

Red Wings News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Larry Bird trash talks Dominique Wilkins’ statue

Likeliest landing spots for Suh

Jay Cutler available to teams in trade

Ronda Rousey breaks guy's ribs

Ten teams who have tightened the belt

Mayweather waited for Pacquiao to get old, right?

Maurice Jones-Drew announces his retirement from NFL

Ndamukong Suh is biggest prize, risk in free agency

AP will have 'robots' writing game stories

Manning officially returning to Broncos

No one knows who will win the MVP

Pop rips notion of NBA Finals in July

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.