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Babcock hopes Leino learns by watching

Tuesday, 11.3.2009 / 11:46 AM ET / News
By Dan Rosen  - Senior Writer
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Babcock hopes Leino learns by watching
Ville Leino, considered a rookie despite being 26, remains one of the guys Mike Babcock and the Red Wings are counting on to supply some of the goal scoring that was lost when Marian Hossa left for Chicago and Johan Franzen blew out his knee.

Leino, who had 5 goals and 9 points in 13 games last season, has largely been a disappointment with only 2 goals on just 14 shots, one assist and a minus-2 rating in 11 games.

Babcock made Leino a healthy scratch for Saturday's game in Calgary, saying he wasn't playing hard enough so he needed a game to watch, but more than likely he'll be back in the lineup Tuesday against Boston.

Leino skated in Monday's practice as the left wing on the fourth line with Justin Abdelkader and Kirk Maltby. Babcock seems extremely curious to see how Leino responds to the benching.

"I think he's just figuring out that the players he's playing against are pretty good and they can snuff you out if you don't battle hard, move your feet and play gritty and get to the net," Babcock told "I think he probably got a shot across the bow the other night when he didn't get to play. Most of us, when things don't go well, we dig in and respond. We're all going to have setbacks, it's how you respond to them."


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