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Will Detroit Sink or Swim in Lockout Shortened Season?

With the NHL lockout over, NHL players that were playing overseas are flooding back to North America in anticipation of NHL training camp starting in a few days. That includes a few Detroit Red Wings players.

Henrik Zetterberg, Valterri Filppula, Pavel Datsyuk, Drew Miller, Jan Mursak, Damien Brunner, Jakub Kindl and Cory Emmerton were some of the Detroit players that played in Europe while the lockout was in progress, and almost all of them have returned to Detroit.

Datsyuk is staying in the KHL until he and his agent know when training camp is starting, and the status of Damien Brunner is unknown. He is currently playing for Zug in the Swiss league, but will likely end up in training camp in Detroit.

Handful of Updates

In what is going to be the longest offseason in Detroit Red Wings recent history since 2006, there are still things happening that will affect the team going forward. More on Patrick Eaves' condition, the World Championship, Jakub Kindl and Dan Cleary's knee,

Grading The Wings

It's the time of year where General Managers that are not in the playoffs assess their team's talent and see what needs to be done. Writers can do that too! The Checking Line - Red Wings Edition team of Kyle Busch, Rachel Bellono, Eric Huffman, A.K Bennett, Robert D'Aurelio and Justin Doddie gave every player on the Red Wings a grade and what they thought of their seasons

Change Wanted and Needed

I predicted that the Detroit Red Wings would go down in six games to the Nashville Predators. I didn't expect them to beat the Preds, but I did expect a great effort. Boy, was I wrong.

At a time where playoff hockey is the focus in Detroit, the Red Wings totally disappointed. Nashville steam rolled Detroit in five games and the Wings are already in golf mode. Being down 3-1 in the series, the Wings turned in their worst performance of the playoffs. Reading through some fan replies, it is obvious that some people have no idea who to place the blame on, but I can help them out in this instance.

Gill Out, Black Aces Recalled

Hal Gill will be out of the Nashville Predators lineup for Game Four, still battling a lower body injury. The hulking 6 foot 7 Gill would give the Wings fits, blocking even MORE shots than they already have throughout the series.

The Red Wings have also toyed with moving Dan Cleary up to the top line, for what reason? I don't know. Cleary is a third line player at best. He doesn't score and isn't a setup man, so having him up on the top line while Gustav Nyquist rots with Cory Emmerton and Tomas Holmstrom makes no sense to me. Speaking of rookies, elevel Grand Rapids Griffins were called up to be Black Aces for the playoffs.

Skating in the Music City

Strap yourselves in, the Stanley Cup Playoffs start tonight! The Detroit Red Wings will take on the Predators in Nashville in Game 1 of the Western Conference Quarterfinals. This is the third time the two teams have met, with Detroit winning both series in six games (2004, 2008). Many hockey 'experts' are predicting a series win by the Predators, making the Red Wings an underdog, something that they aren't used to being and something they might not be.

Cleary, Bertuzzi Out, Conner Recalled

Chris Conner has been recalled from the Grand Rapids Griffins due to an injury to Todd Bertuzzi. Bertuzzi had missed four games with a groin strain and only logged twelve minutes of ice time in Detroit's 3-2 shootout loss to Chicago yesterday afternoon.

Dan Cleary is also still out of the line-up with persistent knee issues. He had fluid drained from it a couple times during the season, but Mike Babcock says he should be ready for game one against the Nashville Predators.

The Wings' line-up for game one is shaping out to be a pretty intriguing one;

Wings Win Despite Inconsistent Effort

I thought this would be a recap that highlighted what the heck is wrong with the Detroit Red Wings. It still will be, but more importantly, they still control their own fate after a 3-2 shootout win in St. Louis tonight. Johan Franzen showed up for his last two shifts and scored twice and Todd Bertuzzi won it in the shootout. David Perron and Andy McDonald scored for the Blues.

The Wings now sit 4th in the West with 101 points, one up on Nashville. Noth teams have two games left.

The game was a chess match until the third period, where things got weird. Jimmy Howard and Brian Elliott were both spectacular in net, but in the third, both were solved twice.

Ryan Reaves...

Injuries Are Not an Excuse

I'm not buying the 'Red Wings have too many injuries' argument any more. This might be the shortest recap I will ever write. Injuries are part of the game. Everyone is a pro hockey player. Battle through adversity. Play hard, grind it out and win by getting scrappy.

The Detroit Red Wings looked like the dead things in an embarrasing 4-0 loss to the lowly Anaheim Ducks and did none of those things mentioned above.

Since I'm not feeling like thinking about this game that much, here's a list of things that I learned about our boys in red tonight/thoughts that came across my mind:

1. They played like the softest team in the league

2. Joey MacDonald ...

Sharks Wary of Streak

The San Jose Sharks have knocked the Detroit Red Wings out of the playoffs in the Western Conference Semifinals two years in a row. Their regular season success has been dominant against Detroit, and when the Sharks visit Joe Louis Arena tomorrow, they know what's at stake.

The Red Wings have not lost at home for 22 consecutive games. Their record at JLA is an amazing 25-2-1. 

Expect the Sharks to proceed with caution as Detroit has been unstoppable at home. Mike Babcock has even said he doesn't think the Wings are playing their best hockey, just managing to win games.

The Red Wings will get a huge boost with the return of goaltender Jimmy Howard from a brok...