The Detroit Red Wings' defense doesn't have the puck-moving ability it possessed for the past two decades, requiring the club to alter its approach.

They're not as crisp or as entertaining, but all that matters is whether they will be effective.

“We're just in the process of trying to figure out a way for this group to play and be successful,'' coach Mike Babcock said before Wednesday's 4-3 overtime loss against the St. Louis Blues at Joe Louis Arena. “We're not as pretty to watch as we once were, but that doesn't matter anyway. You got to find a way to win games.''

The Red Wings still have some good puck-movers in Niklas Kronwall and Ian White, as well as injured players Brendan Smith and Carlo Colaiacovo. But, the blue line has undergone a transformation the past couple of seasons.

“We don't move the puck (as well),'' Babcock said. “When you got (Nicklas) Lidstrom, (Brian) Rafalski, Stewie (Brad Stuart) and Kronner, they go back, they turn the corner and they fire it to someone who hasn't had to work quite as hard to be quite as close, to be in the exact position.

“We can't play like that. We have to be closer and tighter and more available and better defensively, and sometimes it's not very pretty, but that's just the way it is.''

When your defense isn't able to make those quick, accurate stretch passes like it did before, tighter spacing between defensemen and forwards is needed, allowing for shorter passes.

“That's got to be a focus,'' Babcock said. “We got to help everybody. I always ask them to find their game within our game. This year as a coaching staff, more so than ever, we've had to find a game to coach that is their game. So we had to find out what they were first, and we're still trying to do that so we can be successful.''

They would prefer to maintain their puck-possession style and not dump and chase.