Red Wings Team Report
There seems to be a lot of Red Wing fans out there that are itching to share their opinions about the team. I figured I’d provide that opportunity while sharing some of my opinions about the Wings, and their chances in this year’s playoff.
Detroit has lost just once in the last 18 games (16-1-0-1), and they seem to be cruising towards the playoffs. The main reason why the Wings have found so much success as of late, is the Datsyuk, Zetterberg Hull line. They have been unbelievable, and have produced some of the prettiest goals I have seen in a while. If it wasn’t for the chemistry of this line, the Wings would be half as good right now. Datsyuk has really broken out of his shell, and is becoming one of the best stick handlers in the league. I wish that he would shoot more, but whatever he is doing seems to be working for him. Zetterberg had a slow start to the season, but I’m sure he needed time to get used to the North American game. He has really started to produce, and is probably the favorite to win the Calder this year. Goals are coming from all over the place as well … Hull’s line can’t produce all of the five goals the Wings seem to be scoring every game. Everyone on the team seems to be having a great year (Except maybe Robitaille … but he has seen a dramatic reduction in minutes, and is playing on the fourth line. He did have a goal last night though), heck, Holmstrom has 19 goals, and will probably have his first 20 goal season.
This doesn’t mean much though. Last year the Wings tumbled into the playoffs, and beat a team (Vancouver) that entered on a tremendous roll. Obviously, no one can take their success for granted, especially the players. I think that this season will be an extremely tough run, for whoever wins the cup. I can see many teams that have the ability to take the Wings out. Six come to mind; the big four in the west, and then Toronto, Philly, and Ottawa. The injury situation for each team will play a major roll, and for that reason the race for the cup will be wide open. Hopefully Yzerman will be ready to play by the time the playoffs roll around, because he is such an important player, especially in his ability to lead by example. He seems to be pretty slow right now, but this is his training camp. His season doesn’t start until the playoffs. I’m sure that a two legged Yzerman will be better than a one legged Yzerman. I don’t want to see him get hurt though.
Schneider has been playing well. The trade seems to really help the team immediately. Before we got him, the defense seemed to be the weak spot on the team. Now it is considered pretty strong. It can only get better once Fischer gets back. Hopefully he will be ready to play after a while out of the loop. I like the trade the Wings made. I hate to see Avery go. He was a fan favorite in Detroit, and always seemed to have an opinion. He had the spunk that makes a great roll player. However, in order to get a great player, you have to give something up. I wish him good luck in LA, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him wear an “A” or a “C” in the future. Kuznetsov was a big guy, and had promise for that reason, but his development has been very slow. I’m not too worried about giving him up. Hopefully he’ll turn out to be a good defenseman. He was a good guy, and served as the team translator. I wish him the best of luck as well.
What about the presidents trophy? I don’t really care about it. Let Ottawa have it. All I care about coming out on top in the west. If ever there is to be a seventh game, that’s when the home ice advantage comes in handy. I don’t think the wings are playing for that trophy; they certainly aren’t going to wear out their team going for it. They will just play their game, concentrating on staying on top of the west, and the standings will do what they will.
I’m looking forward to another Stanley Cup run, it is always my favorite time of the year, whether the wings are still in it or not. It is much more exciting when the wings are in it though, being a Wings fan and all. We are going to have to have a great performance, and probably a little luck to win, but I think the wings are as ready as any other team. We have “the pattern” on our side though, don’t we. ;o)