DETROIT >> The Wings’ two young centers – Luke Glendening and Riley Sheahan – have struggled mightily in the faceoff circle this series.
“I haven’t been very good,” Glendening said. “I’ve got to be better.”
“Yeah obviously winning draws, you get possession of the puck so they’re big for us and they’re something that we definitely have to do better,” Sheahan said. “We just gotta kind of match their intensity and kind of strategize off of what they do.”
In Thursday’s 3-2 overtime loss in Game 4 to Boston, Glendening won just one of eight faceoffs (11 percent).
“I think everyone else is doing well on our team,” said Glendening, who’s won just 30 percent of the draws through four games. “I think I’m the weak link here. I’ve struggled in the faceoff circle and that’s hurt our team.”
Sheahan is at 38 percent for the series.
“We try to help them with it every day,” Wings coach Mike Babcock said. “We go over it and over it and over it. We show them tendencies. The problem against Boston is they’ve got some good faceoff guys. If you’re Glendening, the coach is the guy who keeps putting you out there against (Patrice) Bergeron. He’s one of the best players in the world. If Pavel (Datsyuk) goes head-to-head with him it’s 50-50. So I don’t know if that’s a big surprise. In saying all that, though, why would you play him against him? Well, what’s my other option? So what we’re doing is Glennie’s mentally tough. He’ll dig in and find a way. We’re hoping it’s sooner than later. We’re hoping it’s not three years from now.
“The same with Riley Sheahan,” Babcock continued. “They’ve got figure out a way to have the puck instead of chasing it. It’s a lot of D-zone time when you’re chasing it. You saw two power play goals last night. I think one took four seconds and the other one took four and half seconds or something. That means you lost the face-off. Faceoffs are a big deal in the game. They add up.”