FanSided's 30 In 30 NHL Previews: Detroit Red Wings


Center Pavel Datsyuk helps lead the Red Wings towards what they hope is another Stanley Cup; it's probably felt like forever in Detroit (Image courtesy Picture Depot)

Another day, another FanSided NHL season preview; today’s examines the Detroit Red Wings, who won seven playoff games last season; however, after mounting a comeback from down 3-0 in the series against San Jose, they could not come away with game seven, and lost in the second round.  The team still has plenty of veteran talent, and will look to continue their success from over the last two decades in this year and beyond. Over at Octopus Thrower, Monica McAlister previews 2011-2012 for her ‘Wings; here’s one excerpt from the defensive side of things.

New faces on defense are Mike Commodore and Ian White.  Commodore had a falling out with the Columbus Blue Jackets and ended up being bought out of his contract. Which works out great for Detroit because now he is on our blueline rather than going against him.  I’ll be honest.  I remember hating the guy in the 2009 Playoffs. Though I think him ending up on the Wings bench in that series may have just been some foreshadowing for where he was bound to end up.  Ian White comes via the San Jose Sharks after they couldn’t get him locked up before he hit the UFA market.  One of the top sought after Free Agents this summer the Red Wings snagged him for the next two years.

To read the rest of this Red Wings’ season outlook, click here.

The Devils will play Detroit once this year; strangely, it’s the last road game of the season (and second-to-last game as well), on April 5th at Joe Louis Arena.  Obviously, if the ‘Devs are fighting for a playoff spot at this point, it will be a huge game.  A rematch of the 1995 Stanley Cup Final is never unintriguing, and I have enjoyed watching probably the best two teams of the past two decades on the same ice.  While I used to dislike those Red Wings, they are one of a few teams that still plays a classic, pre-lockout style of hockey, so I hope they continue to find success, at least in their own conference.

So, how about Detroit this season?  In my opinion, while there is not a lot of youth that could potentially breakout, there is plenty of depth amongst the forwards, and the likes of Datsyuk and Zetterberg lead a very solid group.  Defensively, Nicklas Lidstrom is back, and a couple of additions were made to an already strong blue line core.  Jimmy Howard is back between the pipes for Detroit, and they have great trust in him as a quality goalkeeper; veteran Ty Conklin is a nice backup option as well.

Overall, while this team is relatively old, I do believe they are one of a handful that should be looking for a Stanley Cup championship this season.  They should receive plenty of production spread out amongst their lines, and are solid special teams-wise as well.  The Red Wings do not have too many weaknesses; while some could be concerned about tired legs towards the end of the season, this has not been an issue in the past.  In the end, Detroit should be battling for a top seed in the Western Conference, and eventually for yet another chance to hoist the cup.

Tomorrow’s preview features the Edmonton Oilers, who, after earning another first overall pick (selecting Ryan Nugent-Hopkins this time around), look to rise out of the NHL’s basement this season.

-Drew