Originally written on Fox Sports Detroit  |  Last updated 10/14/14
Regardless of what happens during their last two preseason games, the Red Wings have played an uneven brand of hockey. Some of Detroits inconsistencies can be attributed to a swollen roster, resulting in a mishmash lineup of inexperienced players laced with proven veterans. Injuries have played a factor, too, but in reality, they'll allow the Wings to become cap compliant and reach the 23-man roster limit, which will be a temporary solution to a convoluted situation. That said, when the Wings begin their 88th NHL season Wednesday against Buffalo, these are the three main concerns that should have their fans a bit worried. 1. Daniel Alfredssons and Stephen Weisss learning curve: Its not a secret that the Wings have been offensively challenged for the last few seasons. The addition of Alfredsson and Weiss is being viewed by many as the elixir to Detroits goal-scoring woes. Only problem is, Alfredsson's been nursing a tender groin and has hardly played, while Weiss has looked lost. The Wings were counting on Weiss to gel with Johan Franzen, but the Mule has been slow getting out of the starting gate, which has hampered any chemistry between the two. Eventually, Alfredssons groin will come around and Weiss will get comfortable with his new surroundings, but it could take a dozen or so games, meaning that the Red Wings' Eastern Conference debut could begin slowly. 2. Depth on defense: Detroits young defense was a pleasant surprise last season, and theres no reason to believe it wont pick up where it left off in May. Danny DeKeyser, Jakub Kindl, Brendan Smith and Brian Lashoff should keep improving. But what really needs to happen is, veteran stalwarts Nik Kronwall, Jonathan Ericsson, and Kyle Quincey must remain healthy. If any blue-liner goes down, Detroits backup plan is a handful of several talented, but untested rookies in Grand Rapids. One of the major drawbacks of having so many forwards on the roster is, the Wings haven't been able to add a veteran defenseman yet. Attrition through injuries, trades, etc. will eventually allow Detroit to add a veteran defenseman sometime during the season. 3. Backup goalie Jonas Gustavsson: The Monster has been a major dud in Detroit. He was hurt for large portions of last season, and is again on the shelf with a groin strain to begin this season. Its imperative that Gustavsson heals soon. Jimmy Howard is only human, and with three back-to-back games in the first five weeks of the season, workhorse Howard will need some time off. Rookie goalie Petr Mrazek needs to play and continue to develop in Grand Rapids, so serving as Howards backup limits his playing time significantly. Gustavsson also needs to show that he belongs in the NHL. The Wings will give him every opportunity to prove his worth, but there's an omnipresent feeling that he needs to step it up soon. With an astute management team, an excellent coach and a competitive determination unequaled by most pro teams, Detroit will ultimately be fine; however, the "real" Red Wings will take longer to arrive than originally anticipated.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Chandler Jones to miss a month with hip injury

Lance Briggs left Bears' locker room to avoid the fighting

Could the Seahawks have gotten more for Percy Harvin?

Five storylines to watch in the 2014 World Series

Favre delays Lambeau return due to Bart Starr’s health

Cowboys release Michael Sam from practice squad

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Fan in critical condition after being beaten before Bears game

Ben Roethlisberger rips the media

Tim Tebow: Gators don't have offensive leadership, lack heart

Colts punter asks Antonio Brown not to kick him in face

NFL: Luke Kuechly should not have been ejected

Report: Okla. St. players fell asleep in drive-thru, arrested

Matt Flynn had a blast at Pearl Jam concert

Report: Back injury could end Nathan Horton's career

Report: Ray Rice files grievance against Ravens

UEFA Champions League midway report: Groups E – H

PHOTO: Fans place Manning’s 509 football in Hall of Fame

Jets sign Jeremy Kerley to $16M 4-year extension

10 teams that should try to trade for Yoenis Cespedes

Lego stadiums: turning a childhood hobby into a business

Bayless: Kobe's sexual assault trial gave him 'edge' and 'sizzle'

Blackhawks make leukemia patient's dream come true

College football's post-Week 8 Playoff projection

Ortiz surprised military families with World Series tickets

Red Wings News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Rice files grievance against Ravens

UEFA Champions League midway report

Cowboys release Michael Sam

Bayless: Kobe's sexual assault trial gave him 'edge'

10 teams that should try to trade for Yoenis Cespedes

Five storylines to watch in the 2014 World Series

Ben Roethlisberger rips media

NFL Power Rankings Week 7

Pistorius sentenced to five years

Lane Kiffin trashed in political ad

Details of War Machine's suicide letter leaked

Angry Jimbo Fisher cuts off interview

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.