Found February 04, 2013 on

For the last 21 seasons, missing the playoffs has been something the Detroit Red Wings haven’t had to endure. Now 23 years removed from their most recent snub from the postseason, the Red Wings have the task of fulfilling the high standards that Hockeytown fans demand. But they will have to do it with a team that looks a whole lot different than it has in the last two decades. They will have to beat out other playoff contending teams like Chicago, Nashville, Minnesota, Los Angeles, Vancouver and others.  And they’ll have to do it without the likes of Nicklas Lidstrom, Tomas Holmstrom, Jiri Hudler and Brad Stuart. There is no Steve Yzerman on this new Red Wing team.  You will not find Brendan Shanahan on the 2013 roster, nor will Sergei Federov win the Hart Trophy.  Chris Osgood will not come out of retirement to make another game-saving stop to win the cup, and Kris Draper won’t lace up the skates to reunite the Grind Line. This 2013 team will have to find a way to win without these NHL greats, and they’ll have to do it soon in this lockout-shortened season. Captain Henrik Zetterberg will try to be the next great leader in Detroit, following the footsteps of Lidstrom and Yzerman; two of the best captains not only in Red Wings history, but in the history of hockey.  I believe that Zetterberg has the determination to bring another Stanley Cup to Detroit, but does he have enough firepower beside him? The talent of Detroit’s top six forwards is among the best in the league.  With Zetterberg, Pavel Datsyuk, Todd Bertuzzi, Valtteri Filppula and Johan Franzen, Detroit’s front six is formidable.  With rookie Damien Brunner also making an impact on the Zetterberg line, the scoring and skating ability is there for Detroit’s top two lines. Where the Wings lack is not at the front, but in the back. The next two lines for Detroit have produced little to nothing, and not a single Red Wing outside the top six has a positive rating on the year.  Injuries have played a role, that’s without a doubt, but injuries have played no factor in Justin Abdelkader’s -3 rating and zero points. Jordin Tootoo has been the lone bright spot for Detroit’s bottom six, as his physical play and tenacity have sparked not only his line, but his entire team.  Tootoo has Kronwall must elevate his play and shore up the Red Wings’ defense knocked people around, which I anticipated, but I didn’t anticipate him being such a good skater.  He’s made an impact on this team in no time at all. That’s more than can be said for anyone else in the bottom six. And to make things worse for Detroit, their defense has been lackluster at best.  Playing with a patchwork defense that has lost Carlo Colaiacovo, Ian White, Jonathan Ericsson, and now Brendan Smith to injury this year, the Wings back line has looked very sketchy at times.  Getting healthy will help, but if Niklas Kronwall continues to play foolish hockey and take penalties, Detroit will struggle to win.  Kronwall plays far too aggressively, Kyle Quincey can barely skate, and much of the remaining defenders are inexperienced to say the least. Detroit will need huge performances from young players Brian Lashoff and Jakub Kindl if they hope to make the playoffs. Goaltending issues also plague the Wings.  Jimmy Howard has proven himself to be a good goalie, but he can’t play all 48 games for Detroit.  Thus far, Howard has started and finished every game, save the season-opening blowout in St. Louis in which Howard was pulled.  Jonas Gustavsson was acquired in the offseason to ease the load on Howie’s shoulders, but he was injured while playing against the Blues.  With no other experienced option, the Red Wings have had to turn to Howard in every game. And the extensive playing time has shown in Howard’s play. I’m not blaming Jimmy, but he’ll be the first to tell you that several pucks have gotten away from him in the last few games. I’ll finally answer the question I asked in my headline. No. The Red Wings have a great deal of talent, but while many Western Conference teams got better in the offseason (i.e. Minnesota), the Red Wings took a step backward. Can Detroit make the playoffs?  Sure they can.  But to assume as much would be foolish, with parity in the NHL at an all-time high.   Follow me on twitter @ScottPeceny Upcoming Schedule Tuesday vs. Calgary: 7:30, FSD Thursday @ St. Louis: 8:00, FSD Saturday vs. Edmonton: 2:00, CBC, FSD Sunday vs. Los Angeles: 12:30, NBC


Sipple: Pavel Datsyuk’s lawsuit against local businessperson is a reluctantly-filed one

Yesterday, the Detroit News's Mike Martindale reported that Pavel Datsyuk's suing a local businessperson who's been selling memorabilia with Datsyuk's likeness on them for some time now, and today, the Detroit Free Press's George Sipple spoke to Datsyuk's lawyer, who wants people to know that the lawsuit is not a, "Find someone who's may or may not...

Red Wings recall Petr Mrazek, Tomas Tatar, and it sucks to be McCollum

I can only offer a "wow" to this news from MLive's Ansar Khan, via RedWingsFeed: The Detroit Red Wings have recalled forward Tomas Tatar and goaltender Petr Mrazek from the Grand Rapids Griffins, general manager Ken Holland said. Mrazek's promotion could enable the Red Wings to give Jimmy Howard a much-needed break. Howard has started all eight games this...

Red Wings Monday practice post in progress: Tomas Tatar’s on the second line, MacDonald skating

Updated at 11:25 AM: So much for Tatar playing with the "bottom six" forwards: The Red Wings officially recalled Tomas Tatar and Petr Mrazek from Grand Rapids this morning, placing Brendan Smith (shoulder) on the IR to make room for Tatar and swapping out Tom McCollum for Mrazek, and while there is a modicum of good news in the injury department as the Wings' practice...

Wings' Smith has sprained shoulder

The Detroit Red Wings have taken another hit on defense. Detroit put rookie Brendan Smith on injured reserve Monday and he will be out two to four weeks with a sprained right shoulder. The Red Wings also sent goaltender Thomas McCollum to the AHL's Grand Rapids Griffins. They called up and forward Tomas Tatar from the Griffins along with goalie Petr Mrazek to eventually give...

Red Wings overnight report: imbalanced scoring and an ‘off limits’ Renney interview

The Detroit Red Wings took Superbowl Sunday off after sustaining a blow to their collective confidence in the form of a 4-2 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets on Sunday, and the team's decision to recall both Petr Mrazek and Tomas Tatar on Sunday evening suggests that the team doesn't anticipate Jonas Gustavsson (groin), Mikael Samuelsson (groin), Jan Mursak (shoulder) or...

Red Wings Sunday afternoon news: on Smith and Brunner

The Detroit Red Wings are recharging their batteries after wrapping up their second of 12 sets of back-to-back games in the form of a 4-2 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday night. The Wings will play 13 more times over the course of February's final 24 days, with 4 games over the course of 6 nights scheduled for this upcoming week and next weekend, so the Wings rather...

Wings' Smith out with hurt shoulder

DETROIT (AP) The Detroit Red Wings have taken another hit on defense. Detroit put rookie Brendan Smith on injured reserve Monday and he will be out two to four weeks with a sprained right shoulder. The Red Wings also sent goaltender Thomas McCollum to the AHL's Grand Rapids Griffins. They called up and forward Tomas Tatar from the Griffins along with goalie Petr Mrazek...

Red Wings-Flames quick take: inefficient and unacceptable

The Detroit Red Wings knew that they'd be facing a fired-up Flames team that had lost a 3-2 shootout decision after surrendering the game-tying goal in the final seconds thereof on Saturday, and knew that they'd have to push much harder and play much better than they did in the team's awful 4-2 loss to Columbus... And instead, the Wings kinda rolled over and died, but...

Detroit Red Wings: Homer, Sweet Homer

DETROIT, MI – JANUARY 22: Tomas Holmstrom #96 of the Detroit Red Wings sits next to Executive Vice President & General Manager Ken Holland as he announces his retirement before the NHL home opening game against the Dallas Stars at Joe Louis Arena on January 22, 2013 in Detroit, Michigan. Dallas won 2-1 (Photo by Dave Reginek/NHLI via Getty Images) By Rhys Richards (@RREsq...

Video blog: Tatar, Mrazek called up to Wings

The Detroit Red Wings make a good move by calling up forward Tomas Tatar and goalie Petr Mrazek from the Grand Rapids Griffins.

Dueling arena banjos: don’t expect Red Wings’ follow-on rink to break ground this year?

The competing storylines about the Red Wings' desire to build a follow-on rink to replace Joe Louis Arena, as part of a $650 million mixed-use development which will be located between Cass and Woodward Avenues just north of I-75, have become something of a contest of late. On Sunday, Crain's Detroit Business's Bill Shea told us that the probably corporately named rink...

Red Wings’ Brendan Smith out 3-4 weeks (shoulder)

Detroit Red Wings defenseman Brendan Smith said he will miss 3-4 weeks with a “normal AC sprain” in his right shoulder. Smith, 23, suffered the injury Saturday against Columbus in a collision with the Blue Jackets’ Derek MacKenzie. “It didn’t really hurt right away but then I skated to the blue line and the shoulder felt a little weird,” Smith said. “I don’t...

Red Wings-Flames game-day update addendum: videos and stuff

Updated 2x at 3:53 PM: I tried to cram an unbelievable amount of information into the Red Wings-Flames game-day update post, but the video parts didn't fit, so here's Ken Kal's game-day preview from the Wings' website, in which Kal speaks to Jimmy Howard, Danny Cleary and Niklas Kronwall about capitalizing on the Wings' home-heavy first-half schedule... ...

Flames Extinguish Red Wings; 4-1

DETROIT, MI – The crippled Red Wings were handed their 2nd straight loss on Tuesday night at the hand of the Calgary Flames. It wasn’t so much that the Red Wings played a poor game, the Flames just played better. They did everything that a road team could want in this game. They scored early, [...]
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