Datsyuk out Thursday; Babcock not ready to announce rest of lineup

DETROIT >> Quick update from Wings practice at Joe Louis Arena on Wednesday.

Pavel Datsyuk (shoulder) is officially out of the lineup for Thursday’s season opener against the Boston Bruins.

It appears Andrej Nestrasil will be in the lineup, but it’s not official.

“Why don’t we just announce the lineup tomorrow so if anything changes I don’t have to change my mind,” Wings coach Mike Babcock said.

Nestrasil was skating on a line with Darren Helm and Gustav Nyquist.

As for the sixth defenseman, it’ll be between Jakub Kindl and Brian Lashoff. Both split time at practice with Kyle Quincey.

The rest of the forward lines and D-pairing remained the same: Abdelkader-Zetterberg-Franzen; Tatar-Sheahan-Jurco; Miller-Glendening-Andersson; Kronwall-Ericsson; Smith-DeKeyser.

“When you look at our roster from opening day last year to this year, I’ve had some people say that the roster is the same, but there are six forwards different so it’s night and day different from what it was,” Babcock said. “It’s a much quicker team, a much more useful team. If we’re fortunate to have Pav and Z play, and stay healthy, we’re a better team that way.

“It’s just growth,” Babcock continued. “Now, you’ve done it once, you’ve got to do it again. There’s a whole bunch of guys that have done it one time. So time is going to tell. I know they’ve worked hard and competed in the summer to get stronger and quicker and they’re more confident now and it just has to translate on the ice.”

The Bruins, who open the season Wednesday, beat the Wings in five games in the first round of last year’s playoffs.

“They thumped us,” Babcock said. “They absolutely thumped us. We didn’t play as good as we thought and they’re a real good team. We played them twice in exhibition and five times at the end of last year. I know Claude (Julien) real well and lots of the players so we have a good understanding how we’re going to play and they have a good understanding how we’re going to play. Now we just have to see who’ll compete for the puck more and who wins.”

The teams also met twice during the preseason.


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