I'm going to begin this little piece by saying that Jiri Hudler honestly did surprise me this past season. Let it be known that I thought his stint in the KHL had wrecked his form beyond repair and that any strides forward he had made previously with Detroit had all been lost.
Then last year rolled around and we got a mostly decent 50-point producer who looked like he had begun to find himself again. A perfect split between goals and assists with 25 each, had Happy Hudler finally gotten his groove back? Perhaps he has, but we now find ourselves at a crossroads: Hudler's contract is up, and he is now an unrestricted free agent. Now it is up to Kenny Holland and the Red wings brain trust to decide if it's worth pursuing an extension for Jiri or if it's time to move on and let Hudler test the waters of free agency.
Needless to say, the early playoff exit to the hands of Nashville Predators was disappointing to Red Wings fans. Don't fret, there is some glimmer of redemption happening as we speak in the form of international play.
With the Red Wings booted out of the playoff early for the first time since 2006, questions swirl around the players, coaching, and management. During the Wings’ 21 year playoff streak, they won Western Conference Championships, Presidents Trophies, six Cup Final appearances, and four Stanley Cups. Much of the credit goes to the general manager: Ken Holland.
This applies to so many things in regards to last night's game.
Detroit seemed to dominate the flow of play tonight, but Nashville's been eating their Lucky Charms and have somehow squeezed out another cheeky victory in which we were forced to witness brief--albeit gaping--defensive lapses by Detroit and stupid terrible luck at the worst possible times leading to chances and, in some cases, goals. As if that weren't bad enough, the Hockey gods deemed it fitting to pull a fast one on the Wings, calling back what seemed like the 1st goal of the game, which would have given Nashville a 1-0 lead! The kicker: It was an 'Intent to blow' call!!
Hell hath frozen over!!
...for about a minute and a half, until Nashville came right back in and scored again, truly making it 1-0.
The Red Wings are toast. Well, at least according to some hockey fans on Twitter (most of which are Predators fans). With social media playing a prominent role in both analysis and over-exaggerations, every Facebook wall post, tweet, or blog should be taken with a grain of salt. What matters the most is the on ice play.
I'll be the first to admit the Red Wings aren't in the best scenario right now and that they have dug themselves into a hole. It's really frustrating when the opposing goalie stops everything you throw at him and the home team gives up a couple of softies. However, I do not believe the Red Wings are dead in the water. I still have faith they can make this at least a seven game series. After the jump, you can see the fans who think less of Detroit's resolve.
The Detroit Red Wings have one chance to make a statement to fellow playoff-runners, the New Jersey Devils. Tonight will be the lone time that the Wings and Devils will meet. After last season’s run and comparing their teams this season, it will be an interesting match-up.
Last season, Detroit won two of the only games played against the Devils. The Devils were able to score one goal each game, while the Wings soared at three and four goals a game. However, the season for the Wings has been a roller coaster. With recent injuries, the Wings have not been playing their best. The Wings have had a 4-4-2 record in their last ten games, while the Devils are looking a lot better with...
The last seven games haven't been the best games the Detroit Red Wings have played, but they are definitely the best seven games rookie Red Wings forward Gustav Nyquist has played (1 goal, 5 assists). Wings fans should feel ecstatic because they can watch a star grow, from the age of 22, which may as well be considered an infant by Red Wings management.
Fans no longer have to keep their fingers crossed, watching Henrik Zetterberg, Johan Franzen, and Pavel Datsyuk and hope they continue to produce into their 30s. It seems the Red Wings have truly found their new "Euro-Twin". It wasn't too long ago that we were watching Zetterberg and Datsyuk when...
The Red Wings return home to face off against the Washington Capitals at 7:30 PM tonight. The injuries continue to mount for Detroit as Johan Franzen (back spasms) and Darren Helm (MCL sprain) have joined several others on the injured list. Detroit's Central Division title hopes are fading quickly and now the focus is on keeping a lead over Nashville for the 4th seed and home ice advantage in the first round.
Washington is battling Florida for the Southeast title and its possible the division winner will be the only team from the Southeast to make it into the playoffs. The Caps are 8th in the East and currently 5 points back of Florida and 2 points ahead of division rival Wi...
Detroit rounds up their road trip tonight, facing the San Jose Sharks at 10:30PM. Their last ten games have been quite rough, standing 3-6-1. San Jose is not all that much better at 3-4-3. Who will be able to come out on top in this last regular season meeting?
The Wings beat the Sharks in their last meeting on February 19th, where the Wings won their 23rd consecutive home game. However, the Sharks won two of the three meetings this season. The Wings have one major advantage. Two words: Pavel Datsyuk. That’s right, Datsyuk has announced his return to the ice for the game tonight and I could not be more thrilled. The injury stricken team has been suffering without him.