Wings coach Mike Babcock on second line: “You don’t do anything and then things change.”

DETROIT – The Detroit Red Wings’ second line of forwards will indeed play together for the first time this preseason.

Daniel Alfredsson will skate with Johan Franzen and Stephen Weiss tonight against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Joe Louis Arena.

This will just be Alfredsson’s second preseason game and first at home.

“It feels good to get into a game,” Alfredsson said. “It’s going to be exciting to play in this building for the first time. We’re going to have a good lineup, looking to have a good effort.”

Alfredsson had been bothered by a tender groin of late.

“Weissie and I have been here for a little bit,” Alfredsson said. “They know the systems, feel more comfortable overall. As far as the game goes, we just want to get going where you don’t think too much out there. In and out and just focus on playing. That’s what we’re trying to do today.”

The length of time this line, which didn’t win over Wings coach Mike Babcock, will all depend on how quickly they can build chemistry.

“They did nothing,” Babcock said of their time together in training camp. “That’s what gives you pause, you don’t do anything and then things change. Now they haven’t got a chance to play together so that’s an unfair assessment, but we need an assessment because we need production out of every group.

“To me it should be set up good,” Babcock continued. “I think Weiss has turned himself into a really good two-way player, he understands what’s going on. Alfie can shoot the puck and Mule’s a big, big man that can skate and win battles down low and can find people with the puck. He should be finding Alfie and Alfie should be shooting it. To me it has all the ingredients of a line, but you have to become one.”

Weiss and Alfredsson were the Wings’ two big signings this offseason.

“I’m sure there will be corrections from the coaches here and there but overall I got a pretty good understanding of what they’re doing here,” Alfredsson said.


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