Originally written on Nightmare on Helm Street  |  Last updated 11/16/14

DENVER - OCTOBER 24: Niklas Kronwall #55 of the Detroit Red Wings warms up prior to facing the Colorado Avalanche during NHL action at the Pepsi Center on October 24, 2009 in Denver, Colorado. The Avalanche defeated the Red Wings 3-1. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
So what are we looking at right now in terms of defense heading into this next season?

Kronwall-White
Quincey-Ericsson
Smith-Kindl

Question marks?  Sure.  But there are worse top 6 in the league...despite all of the complaining in the Red Wings' universe.  Remember Brett Lebda?  Remember Derek Meech? 

Kyle Quincey had a mediocre (at best) end to the season...that doesn't mean he won't turn back into the stud he was in Colorado that made us all sad we got rid of him.

But the real driver of the back end will be none other than Detroit's own home-grown Punisher...#55 Niklas Kronwall.

Make the jump for more.

Whether or not they strap the "C" on his chest - Kronwall's role on this team is about to get magnified exponentially.  Anybody got a problem with that?

[youtube]Jka30csqyV0&feature=related[/youtube]

Kronwall seems to be getting better and better with time.  It took Nick Lidstrom 10 seasons to win his first Norris Trophy.  Kronwall has played in 8 regular seasons thus far.  Sure - Lidstrom already had 423 points in 8 seasons while Kronwall only has 217...but they're different players playing in different times.  Could we be looking at a one-two punch with Smith for Calder and Kronwall for Norris?  Not bloody likely...but we can dream.

[youtube]cLca3e5QYTY[/youtube]

I'm not saying that Kronwall is going to go out and win 7 Norris Trophies in the next decade or so...but he his becoming a much more well-rounded player.

[youtube]1Fsl70exRfo[/youtube]

The dude can do more than just crush people into dust.  He had a career-high 15 goals last season.  What's even more promising is the fact that he played in all 82 games.  Something he had not done in his previous 7 seasons with the club.

Is Kronwall showing toughness and durability?

[youtube]-flAEgKsrUc[/youtube]

...let's see you get up from that.  (Oh and I love Darren Pang.)

But nobody comes to NOHS here to see videos of Kronwall GETTING hit.  Let's get to what he all have come to love...

Here he is sticking it to Parise and Suter's buddy in Minnesota:

[youtube]SfX5BwDKjq0[/youtube]

You know who didn't like that?  Ryan Clowe.  Who started running his mouth about it?  Ryan Clowe.  Who was next on the Punisher's list?  Ryan Clowe.

[youtube]weFx9DMiros[/youtube]

The hit so hard it almost knocked Engblom off his toolbox.  I remember scaring my wife by jumping up and screaming my excitement for this one....2nd favorite hit of all time (next to Havlat getting Kronwalled).

More ice time means that Kronwall will have much more time to do stuff like this.  And these aren't rookies or scrubs that he's laying waste to.  They're top 3 forwards.  They're All-Star participants.  They're Frank J. Selke Trophy winners...

[youtube]ZKSoNMIIcWY[/youtube]

So as we head into the season knowing that we're going to be seeing a lot more of #55 in Red and White on the ice...be glad.  This season isn't just Brendan Smith's coming out party...it's Niklas Kronwall's turn to take the reigns as a top 2 D-man for this club.  And that spells trouble for every top 3 forward that goes against the Wings this year.

Believe in Detroit...because they can hit.

Hard.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Floyd Mayweather, Manny Pacquiao close to deal for fight

TJ Lang: Suh wanted to fight me after stepping on Aaron Rodgers

Aaron Hernandez jurors allowed to watch Super Bowl

Tiger misses cut: ‘I’m only doing this so I won’t get fined’

Roger Goodell grilled on Deflategate during presser

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Rex Ryan: Seahawks need to ‘take the air out of the football’

J.J. Watt buys cabin in the middle of nowhere to train

Six teams have done background work on Peterson

NBA set to earn $700M through streaming deal in China

Wade Phillips is the best coordinator hire this offseason

Bill Belichick gives understated scouting report of Tom Brady

President Obama zings Patriots over Deflate-gate

Each major conference's Player Of The Year candidates

Super Bowl XLIX preview and predictions: Patriots-Seahawks

49 Stops to Super Bowl XLIX

Most unexpected MLB free agent signings of past 10 years

Five most villainous Super Bowls of all time

Super Bowl ad focuses on acceptance of gay athletes

Foster says UT boosters paid him $40-50K while in college

Ranking the repeat Super Bowl champions

Eric Decker to Sherman: Time your conception a little better

Could Katy Perry and Russell Wilson be dating?

The Media isn't the villain we deserve, but it's the one we need

NHL 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!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Obama zings Pats over Deflate-gate

Each major conference's POY candidates

Super Bowl XLIX preview and predictions: Patriots vs. Seahawks

The 13 things we want to see in Super Bowl XLIX

49 Stops to Super Bowl XLIX

Tiger Woods, misses cut: ‘I’m only doing this so I won’t get fined’

Ranking the repeat SB champions

Roger Goodell grilled on Deflategate

Katy Perry, Russell Wilson dating?

Rex Ryan has advice for Seahawks

Super Bowl: Things you can't control

LeBron and the Cavs are ready to make a run

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.