This edition of the Red Wings, in case you haven't noticed, will be different than recent ones.

Sure, with Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk, there will be moments of offensive brilliance.

But largely, because of the retirements of Nicklas Lidstrom and Brian Rafalski the last few years and the trade of Brad Stuart, there's less skill and experience on defense.

That's why coach Mike Babcock and his staff have been trying to define exactly what the Red Wings have, and figure out the best way to play going forward.

One thing is for sure, in Babcock's estimation.

"We don't move the puck," Babcock said. "When you have Lidstrom, Rafalski and Stuart and Kroner (Niklas Kronwall, now the elder statesman on the Wings' defense), they go back and turn the corner and fire to someone who hasn't had to work as hard to be as close and be in the exact position. We can't play like that.

"We have to be closer and tighter and more available and better defensively. Sometimes it's not very pretty, and that's just the way it is."

Despite a rash of injuries to start the season, the Red Wings' defense actually has stabilized and played well in recent games.

But it also has benefited from this tighter style, which makes life easier for the defensemen.

"We have to be tight. I've always wanted it but we could get away from it before," Babcock said. "That (protecting the defense) has to be the focus, for sure. We have to help everybody, that's what a team is. A team is helping everyone be the best they can possibly be within the constraints of the team.

"What I always do is ask them to find their game within our game. This coaching staff, moreso than ever, we've had to find a game to coach that is their game. We've had to find out what they were first and we're still trying do that, so we can be successful."



From The Detroit News: http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20130214/SPORTS0103/302140390#ixzz2KtGLty4b