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Red Wings’ Blashill cautious on line shuffling

Gregg Krupa
The Detroit News

Detroit — Scotty Bowman shuffled lines at will, and often to make a point to players.

When offense lagged or defensive structure broke down, Mike Babcock rarely hesitated to change the alignment of the troops.

It was so routine, Drew Miller once observed reporters writing down Red Wings lines from a listing on a whiteboard and said, “What are you doing that for? It’s only going to change.”

Jeff Blashill said he has done a bit less juggling than Babcock in his coaching career. And he said he expects it might stay that way.

“I would say, if you look at my history in Grand Rapids and ask the players, I probably don’t shuffle them as much as what Mike did. I can’t say for Scotty, because I wasn’t around with him,” said Blashill, the second-youngest coach in the NHL and who is coach for his first NHL game today against Toronto and Babcock, the coach who hired him in Detroit.

“I’d say I probably won’t, as much as Mike did. But I think we’ve also left ourselves, with the way the lineup is, with lots of different moves we can make.

“I always go into games with ideas of moves that I would make, if needed.

“If needed, we’ll make those adjustments.”

Kindl OK'd for Wings' opener, Ouellet demoted

Ferraro works opening

Landon Ferraro might have the most reason among the players for excitement tonight: It is his first opening game with the big club since the Wings drafted him 32nd overall in 2009.

He will play on the fourth line with Luke Glendening and Drew Miller.

“I don’t know,” he said, when asked about Opening Night butterflies. “I’m just excited to get going.

Making the roster was “a little bit of excitement, but it was more of a relief.”

“It’s a lot of years coming into this,” he said. “I’ve put in a lot of work, and I’ve finally put myself in a spot to be here. Now, I’ve got to make sure I do my job every night.”

Ferraro’s father, Ray, a former NHL player and currently a broadcaster, will be calling the game in Canada.

“Honestly, I think he’s a little more nervous,” Landon Ferraro said. “You know, if something good happens, he’s probably not going to want to say too much about it. But if I turn the puck over or let someone score on me or something, he’s not going to want to rip me on national TV.”

There is always a father’s tough love, though.

gregg.krupa@detroitnews.com

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