The Detroit Red Wings shake up their lines

The Detroit Red Wings are not making the playoffs, but they’re trying to maximize the impact of these last few games. Can some new looks set them up for next year?

Dana Wakiji of detroitredwings.com reports that the Detroit Red Wings are shaking up the lines tonight. During the morning skate this morning in Minnesota, These were the team’s lines.

Tyler BertuzziHenrik ZetterbergGustav Nyquist

Justin AbdelkaderDylan LarkinAnthony Mantha

Andreas AthanasiouFrans Nielsen – Darren Helm

Luke WitkowskiLuke GlendeningDavid Booth

The Wings first line had been humming along, but the Wings need to get something going throughout the rest of the lineup. They’re looking to get a more consistent presence in the dangerous areas in front of the net.

According to Ted Kulfan of the Detroit News, the team got a boost on its powerplay from Frans Nielsen‘s veteran presence. The team is trying to avoid the unforced errors that have been plaguing them. Nielsen was part of a unit with Zetterberg, Abdelkader, Nyquist, Kronwall. In the first game of this experiment, Friday, Kronwall lit the lamp.

Peter J. Wallner of Mlive.com takes a look at the change on the Horizon for the Grand Rapids Griffins. The Wings had 11 picks in last year’s draft, and have as many as 11 more in this June’s draft. The Griffins have been one of the AHL’s powerhouse teams traditionally but their veteran makeup could be changing as these players come of age.

Helene St James of the Detroit Free Press did a mailbag. Some fans are still holding out hope of a playoff appearance. St James thinks that in the long run, it would probably be better for the team to keep losing and come up short. Using the point totals from last year the Wings need 28 points in 18 games. A 14-4 run is not impossible but at this point, it’s difficult to hold out faith for. The loss of Thomas Tatar’s production particularly makes that a difficult thing to imagine.

Daniel Garza of octopusthrower.com reports that Jared Coreau of the Griffins won the AHL goaltender of the month award for February. Coreau had a .951 save percentage and a 1.46 goals against average. He has gone 20-10-4 in 36 games with the Griffins and should make a push next year for the backup job.

Defenseman Jonathan Ericsson missed Friday’s matchup in Winnipeg. He will be in the lineup tonight.