During today's press conference, Red Wings coach Mike Babcock shared some interesting quotes concerning the status of both Kris Draper and Pavel Datsyuk as the team prepares to head to Pittsburgh for games 3 and 4.
When asked about the status of Draper, Babcock replied:
"Drapes was ready to go yesterday...I don't know what I'm doing. I'm not a big change guy especially when things are going good. We'll see."
Babcock finds himself in an interesting situation as it pertains to Draper, who is a high-octane energy guy, who obviously contributes to the squad both on and off the ice. However, Draper struggled statistically this season, which has obviously given both Babcock and GM Ken Holland pause for consideration for young talent like Ville Leino and Justin Abdelkader. That being said, with the series shifting to Pittsburgh (where the Pens will have last change before face offs) having a defensive minded grinder like Draper on the ice may pay dividends if the Wings find themselves trying to protect a lead late in the game.
Speaking of defensive minded players, some potentially sobering news on the status of Pavel Datsyuk. When asked by the press about Datsyuk's status for Game 3, Babcock had this to say:
"They haven't told me anything, and I don't expect anything new today."
The short of it? Datsyuk will be re-evaluated tomorrow, but it doesn't sound like his status is really improving. I wouldn't expect to see him dress for Tuesday night's game.
The Wings are scheduled to meet with the media in Pittsburgh within the hour, so continue to check back with WIM for the most up-to-date news and information.