DETROIT >> Wings coach Mike Babcock talked about needing more from his veterans after Thursday night’s loss to the Montreal Canadiens.
One of those players he was calling out is David Legwand.
“So, so,” Legwand said Friday after practice at Joe Louis Arena when asked to assess his performance since joining the Wings. “There is room to improve and be better in certain areas in the game.”
Legwand was dropped from the team’s top line in the second period Thursday to the third line, which is where he’ll begin the game Saturday night in Toronto
Legwand was also a minus-3 in the loss.
Over the last three games, Legwand has been a combined minus-6, which makes him a minus-8 with the Wings.
“We didn’t play very good so we changed things during the game,” Babcock said. “We’re just staying with what we finished with.”
Legwand will skate alongside Daniel Alfredsson and Joakim Andersson.
“You have to go out there and do what we can do to help the team out in whatever way possible,” Legwand said.
He played the fewest minutes (12:36) he’s played with the Wings since they traded for him at the deadline.
“It’s a different system and a different group of players,” said Legwand, who’ll be an unrestricted free agent this summer. “It’s getting used to a few different things and things I have to adjust to, but you have to be a professional about it and do it the right way. It’s crunch time, there are nine games left and every point matters.”
In 12 games this season with the Wings, Legwand has two goals and five assists.
“I think he’s been good, I didn’t think he was great (Thursday) but he was in a club with some other veteran guys that weren’t very good either so you know we weren’t good enough any way you look at it,” Babcock said.
Babcock’s top line is now Johan Franzen, Darren Helm and Gustav Nyquist, while the Kid Line remains intact of Tomas Tatar, Riley Sheahan and Tomas Jurco.
“(The veterans) weren’t good,” Babcock said. “You’ve just got to play better, that’s all there is to it.”
With nine games left in the regular season the Wings still control their own destiny.
“Your season pretty much boils down to nine games,” Legwand said. “We control our own destiny pretty much and it starts (Saturday) night with beating Toronto and continuing Sunday (against Tampa Bay). We can get two big wins over the weekend and move on from there and put this other stuff behind us.”