2011-2012 Preview: Detroit Red Wings

Posted: September 10, 2011 by forever&staalways in Detroit Red Wings, Season Preview
Tags: , ,

Last season: 47-25-10, 104 points, 3rd in the West (Central Division Champions), eliminated in the second round by the San Jose Sharks 4 games to 3.

Additions: Ian White, Ty Conklin, Mike Commodore, Garnet Exelby.

Losses: Chris Osgood, Kris Draper, Brian Rafalski, Mike Modano.

Offense: Silky-mitt veterans of Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg are ready to lead not only the Wings, but the league in goals and points. There are others, of course, that will contribute; men like Tomas Holmstrom, Valtteri Filppula and Johan Franzen. Though aging, like the rest of the team, the majority are big point posters.

Defense: The return of the seemingly immortal Nicklas Lidstrom leaves the team’s defense sound. The forty one year old reupped with the team on a one year deal. Behind him on the blueline will be veterans Brad Stuart, Niklas Kronwall and Mike Commodore. The “youngins” of the group are Jonathan Ericsson, Jakub Kindl and Ian White. This solid, though greybeard, group will hold down the fort for the Red Wings.

Goaltending: The three time Stanley Cup champion Chris Osgood has called it quits after seventeen seasons. Taking his place in net is Jimmy Howard, who played 63 games last year, collecting 37 wins along the way. Making his second stint as a Wing is Ty Conklin, who will be serving as Howard’s back up.

Prediction: Though the men under the team’s losses were big name guys, I believe the Red Wings are capable of winning the Central Division title and being a threat in the playoffs as they have been for almost twenty years.

Standout player: Justin Abdelkader.

This Michigan native should put up 30 points again as a winger for Henrik Zetterberg. Entering his fifth season in the league, he’ll be coming into his own, and will be exciting to watch on the Red Wings second line.

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