Pavel Datsyuk

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Geek Week: A Look Back at Opening Week 2013

It's nice to go into a weekend and be able to smile with regards to one's favorite hockey team.

Welcome to Geek Week, a week-in-review article where the Detroit Red Wings go under the microscope and we take a closer look at some key points that arose over the last 7 days. Last week was opening week for the lockout-shortened 2012-2013 NHL season, and the Red Wings were likely well aware heading into the start of this campaign how significant each game would be.

So how did the Wings do in their first week back? Take a look.

Who is Damien Brunner?

Damien Brunner is the new kid on the block that everyone is talking about. He is the player that scored the only shootout goal on Monday nights game and scored the only Red Wings goal at the Wings home opener on Tuesday. The questions on everyone's mind is: who is Damien Brunner and where did he come from?

Damien Brunner to the Rescue, Red Wings Win in Shootout

Detroit Red Wings have somewhat of a comeback from their last game against the Blues on Saturday night. Safe to call it a victory? We think so. The Wings started strong. The first period gave a surge of energy to Red Wings fans everywhere. "We have our Wings back" was a common theme across social networking sites tonight. However, the Wings seemed to have a battle ahead. The game ended in a tie, sending the Wings to overtime and a shootout.

The Blues' Clues: What St. Louis taught Detroit in Season Opener

Well now, that was...something. That was definitely something.

What -it- was, sadly, was the Red Wings' first game of the season against the highly touted St. Louis Blues, and boy was it a stinker. Detroit came into this opening game with all the same question marks that loomed before and during the lockout. By the time the game was over, those question marks just hovered a little more menacingly over the head of Hockeytown. With five special teams goals--four on the power-play and one short-handed--the Blues absolutely handed it to Detroit this evening, cruising along to a 6-0 victory.

NHL Lockout: Three Teams that could Benefit from Shorter Season

The NHL lockout looms only two days away, or to put it more ominously, “The Day after Tomorrow.” It seems that most pundits agree that the players and owners will be unable to reach an agreement before the September 15 expiration date.

Still, it is unlikely that the league will cancel an entire season again. They survived the first P.R. disaster but with no real on ice solutions to offer, a second cancellation will bring the curtains down on the NHL. A shortened season, however, is a real possibility.

Here are three teams that might benefit from a shorter schedule.

The Dallas Stars- The Stars were in playoff contention for most of 2011-12 before fading t...

NHL Lockout 2012: An Argument for Contraction

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Undoubtedly, hockey fans thought back to this adage in 2004: For the second time under Gary Bettman the league suffered a work stoppage.

When all seemed glitzy and good following the '04-'05 lost season, Roger Daltrey’s belted chorus “We won’t get fooled again” was apropos.

Fast forward seven years and we are staring another lockout in the face. Blame Bettman all you want- indeed all of this has transpired under his watch- but there is a greater problem underlying the Collective Bargaining Agreements.

When the league locked out in 2004 the main issue (and there were plenty) was the gr...

Free Agency 2012: Should the Red Wings go after Alexander Semin or Shane Doan?

With Zach Parise locked up in Minnesota for the next 10 years, the list of remaining free agent power forwards has trickled down to only a handful, and the Red Wings are looking for someone to fill in a gap without having to sacrifice their own players in a trade for a forward still locked in a contract.

A Closer Look At Plus-Minus

The object of a hockey game is simple. Score more goals than your opponent. I know earth shattering, right? Anyways, if your team manages to score more goals than it has scored against it, it hopefully will have a chance to compete for Lord Stanley’s Cup in the playoffs. I say hopefully because the teams that outscore the most over the course of a season don’t always end up making the playoffs based on which division they play in, blowouts inflating differentials, or other chance factors. Below in the chart you can see the results from 2006-2012 with each dot representing a team’s goal differential vs. how many points it collected over 82 games. As seen by the high R2 va...

Is Puck Possession Dead?

As hockey fans gear up for the Western and Eastern Conference Finals, a few common themes among the remaining teams resonates: trap style play, tight checking, and a reliance on elite goaltending. Every year after the Stanley Cup is lifted, the champs are analyzed as to why they won, and other teams then spend time scouting youngsters and spend cap space on UFAs that resemble the Cup winning roster. The NHL is definitely a copy cat league. For the past five years, teams have been trying to mimic the style of play of the Red Wings, Penguins, and Blackhawks. After all, why wouldn't want you to copy what wins? But take a look at the puck possession-like teams that are eliminated: Detroit, Chicago, San Jose, Vancouver, Pittsburgh. Both Conference Finals will send shock waves through the NHL, and the Red Wings better be paying attention.

After Mike Babcock's puck possession team lost to the Oilers in '06, their style of play didn't change at the root, however; they were told me be more physical and work harder in the dirty areas. That paid off the next three years by making to the Conference Finals in '07, Winning it all in '08, and coming within 1 goal at a chance to win it all again in '09. Now, it sure seems Red Wing hockey needs to be re-evaluated. Ken Holland and Mike Babcock should be watching every game of the playoffs from here on out. The Western Finals have been settled, and it will feature the Phoenix Coyotes and the LA Kings. These two teams skate hard, trap, are defensively responsible, and heavily rely on their goaltenders to steal games. (By the way, is it not a coincidence that the year Phoenix lets Bryzgalov go they make it this far? He's never been a proven playoff goalie, and probably never will be.) The same goes in the East; The Devils (who are the definition of the trap) are waiting to face either the New York Rangers or the Washington Capitals. The Rangers have consistently been a defensively disciplined team with a couple of decent scoring lines, but overall block tons of shots and make things easy for their world class goalie Henrik Lundquist. The Capitals on the other hand, were born a puck possession team when they inherited forwards Ovechkin, Backstrom, and Semin. Since Dale Hunter took over as head coach, he has somehow got them to play a style of hockey whereby no all-stars are praised, but an entire team can reap rewards from teamwork. Players like Jay Beagle, Matt Hendricks, and Joel Ward are laying their bodies on the line for their coach, and Ovechkin is learning a valuable lesson.

International Play Serves As Redemption For Early Exit

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.