Saturday, June 01, 2013

Thanks For Coming Out, 2013 Detroit Red Wings

On the verge of missing their first playoffs in forever, the Detroit Red Wings were able to actually get to the 7th game of the second round, though getting beat in overtime by the Blackhawks. While many thought they overachieved, these are the Red Wings and that's a tradition that never gives up.

The core of the Red Wings offense is going to be together for a long-time-- especially if they re-sign Pavel Datsyuk to a long-term deal this off-season--but for some reason, they have been able to develop players to fit into their system for years. Many were skeptical of what Damien Brunner could bring to the table, but he could be one of the first European free-agents to make a big impact in the NHL, so long as he sticks to the Red Wings system. Up and down, the Wings filter in and out cogs in order to fulfill their needs.

It's hard to fill the void that Nicklas Lidstrom left, but the Wings are trying with Niklas Kronwall and Jonathan Ericsson. Kronwall does bring the physical side and Ericsson the defensive side; but they are hard-pressed to have the full package player that Lidstrom was. With only Kronwall, Ericsson, and Jakub Kindl playing over 40 games, the stability of their defense is something that that could be called into question as the years go on.

There are many who call Jimmy Howard elite, but I don't know if I believe that he's the Joe Flacco of the NHL. While Howard's number are decent, is that because of the system or his skill?? Many believe that Martin Brodeur was so good because of the system and scheme he was behind, but people give Howard the benefit of the doubt. Chris Osgood was able to win Cup rings with this Red Wings team in front of him, but Howard so far has zero. I refuse to believe that he's in that upper echelon of goalies without a ring or Conference championship to show for it.

Many questions also surround Mike Babcock's future, as he has a couple more years with the Red Wings. Even if Babcock were to leave, the Wings have always been a team that has been able to replace coaches with relative ease, sans the Dave Lewis experiment. Should Babcock go in a couple years, the brass of the Wings should be able to fit in another cog to the machine-- much like their player roster-- in order to keep a successful franchise going.

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