First off I'd like to say that its good to be back. I don't think that there truly ever could be anything that could keep me away from the sport I love so dearly.
That said, We have ourselves a game tonight, the first of 48. Its been quite a long time since we've seen the winged wheel in action, so lets take a minute and break a few things down...after the jump.
Many people are calling for the Wings to crumble this season like every season before that. This time things have gotten a little more real with the departure of one of the greatest players of all time.
I'm going to take a more optimistic approach. Yes we lost Lidstrom, but that doesn't mean the team falls off the map. They are still pretty amazing when you really take a look..
We may have one of the deepest pools of forwards in the game. Brunner looks like he may be the real deal, and playing on a line with Datsyuk and Zetterberg can only help. Follow that up by a line consisting of Franzen, Filppula and Samuelsson and were already not looking to shabby. Most people don't like Sammy, but the fact is he is a bigger, stronger all around better upgrade over Hudler.
The bottom six when fully healthy consists of a third line that can score in Helm, Bertuzzi and Eaves/Miller. and a 4th line much nastier than anything wings fans have seen in some time with Abdelkader, Tootoo and Miller/Eaves.
Round that out with a few guys down in Grand Rapids that could easily fill in on any teams top line with guys like Nyquist, Tatar and Jurco i'd say that look like a recipe for filler guys like Emmerton and Mursak to get packaged or waived out of town.
Back to the game. St. Louis is a team that many are picking to win the Central and some even the Cup. Personally I don't see it. This team is basically the same as they were last year which by all accounts to me seem like a fluke where they rode some hot goaltending that just will not be duplicated again.
They have little offense, and must rely on a defensive core that lost one of their better guys to us. Oh but wait they signed Redden, a guy who the Wings didn't feel was good enough to unseat Kindl.
We won't see Helm, Bertuzzi or Kindl tonight, but I do think were going to see some magic from new guys Brunner, Smith and Tootoo.
Are you ready?
We don't have Lidstrom anymore, but no one else has anyone like him so its not as if we are weaker, were just a little more on their level. We still have Z and Pav. That's much more than most teams. Not to mention We have no clue just how good Smith may be
I don't agree with the "predictions" people are placing on the Wings to fail either. Will they be tested? Sure, but what team won't? This is my own pet theory explaining why everyone is hyping up how "weak" the Red Wings are going to be this season. Consider a fortress wall. That wall has a good foundation, was built with time, and care and was built by dedicated craftsman to withstand serious assaults from marauders. A good fortress wall will last many, many years. But, if a key brick from said wall was to fall out or get broken, it could possibly risk the structural integrity of the whole wall. When planning an attack, what's the first place an opponent is going to go for? The weak spot. The Red Wings are that fortress wall. The marauders are the other teams in the NHL. That key brick from that wall was Lidstrom, so of course, all the marauders see that "weakness" and are trying to exploit it. They feel that the Red Wings are vulnerable now, and they may be-to a point, but they are far from being helpless.
Let's Go Wing!!
Can't wait for the game tonight, so excited hockey is back. I don't believe all the doom and gloom that is being predicted for the Wings this year either, and I don't think Z will let it happen in his first year as captain. I'm hoping Kenny has a trick or two up his sleeve and somehow signs Subban and we win the cup over NYR in six games.