The line is one of the biggest that the Detroit Red Wings have had in recent seasons. But size is all that they have to show for now.
The team's third line of Dan Cleary, Joakim Andersson, and Todd Bertuzzi has a combined zero points, and a combined rating of a minus-8. Worse, none of the three have been on the ice for a goal.
But that's not a reason to hit the panic button, according to Mike Babcock, as it's still early in the season.
“I thought they were OK in Boston,’’ Babcock said. “Are you saying ‘Are they ever going to get a point?’ Yeah, me too."
“I just think do good things and good things tend to happen. Every year we get excited about Pav (Datsyuk) never scoring in this game (early in the season) and look at the record book at the end of the year and he has 80 points every year."
“Let things evolve here and it’ll work out. I think they (third line) have played pretty hard."
Cleary essentially echoed what Babcock said.
"It’s been OK." He said. "Obviously, you want to be good at both ends, but it’s three games in; not that concerned.”
Andersson believes that the line can still play better.
"We started the first game pretty good; we did play pretty good in the preseason together,'' Andersson said. "None of us are really happy with how we played last game and maybe not the game before either. We know we can do a lot better.
"We need to play strong on the puck and play more down low in their end and get there more often. I’m not happy that we’ve been on the ice when the other team has scored.''
All three players are at least 6 feet tall and tip the scale at at least 200 pounds, which is something that Babcock likes for a line.
“Real good size, so we need to be physical, we need to be on the forecheck, we need to grind, we need to be at the net and we have to bang some pucks into the empty net,’’ Babcock said. “Do all those things and good things will happen to you. Bert and Clears have played on the power play most nights, too. They’ve had opportunity.’’
The trio will remain together through at least Thursday's game against the Phoenix Coyotes.
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