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.
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...
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.
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.
It's that time if year again, but this year it has come painfully early. The Detroit Red Wings have been eliminated from the Stanley Cup playoffs, dropping their 1st Round series with the Nashville Predators. It is the first time since 2006 VS the Edmonton Oilers that the Red Wings have exited the playoffs in the opening round. This loss is exceptionally painful to deal with. Detroit's play looked stagnant and uninspired, scoring only 9 goals over the course of the 5-game series, at some points barely making Pekka Rinne break a sweat.
Henrik Zetterberg is an all-star player, in the past and present. “Z” or "Zetty the Grizzly Teddy" has landed 68 points in the 81 games he has played this season. The assistant captain’s career has been very successful thus so far, making him a eligible candidate for the potential position opening up at the end of this season: captain.
Nicklas Lidstrom was deemed captain in 2006 after the famous Steve Yzerman retired. However, before Lidstrom was named, rumors spread that Zetterberg may be up for the title. No one is complaining about the “C’ sewn on #5’s jersey, but it seems even more likely that &ldq...
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...
There are almost two years until the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia however the gears of preparation are well into use. Canada has tapped Red Wing legend Steve Yzerman to return as executive director for Canada. Wings GM Ken Holland will be a key member of Yzerman's support staff, however it's doubtful Yzerman and Holland will be the only two people with Red Wing ties at Sochi.
Of course rosters change and the Red Wings are in for a moderate overhaul over the next two seasons but there are some shoe-ins to be Olympians, some players who would be on the bubble if selections were today and some youngsters that may push for a bid as they develop.