February 1, 2013

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3 Keys for Detroit Red Wings to Make Playoffs

By: Tyler Vespa

For the first time in a while, the Detroit Red Wings have some significant questions to answer. With the retirement of 7- time Norris Trophy winner and former captain Nicklas Lidstrom, and the trade of Brad Stuart, the biggest void is definitely on defense. The screens and deflections of Tomas Holmstrom will also be missed. The other major problem is that the Wings have a lot of streaky players on their roster, and with a shortened season that can’t happen. The impact of those 3 players on the Wings’ special teams is something that can’t be replaced over night.

I’m not saying it’s going to be easy to make the postseason, but it’s far from a long shot. Here are 3 keys for the Wings that will help them overcome all of these obstacles:

  1. Depth on the offensive side of the puck: With young guns like Damien Brunner, Gustav Nyquist, and Jan Mursak, the Wings youth movement has begun. Brunner is already playing on the Wings’ top line. Nyquist and Mursak have been solid in relief of injuries. Both have been called up numerous times to fill holes. Not to mention the fact that the Wings are loaded with talent at the forward position in the minors with names like Tomas Tatar and Joakim Andersson, who have yet see major ice time with the Wings.
  2. Darren Helm and Johan Franzen for Special Teams: Helm’s speed is a killer. The Wings need that on both ends of the ice. Johan Franzen needs to keep scoring goals; He had 27 and 28 the past two seasons. He can’t be streaky this season.
  3. Backup Goaltending: Jimmy Howard can’t play the remaining 42 games and still have some left in the tank for the postseason. We need “The Monster” Jonas Gustavsson to be solid in relief.

Bottom line, the Wings will make the playoffs again if these 3 things happen. By committee, the Wings have a great offense with some young, fresh legs. It’s extremely important we use them to help Datsyuk, Zetterberg and veteran Todd Bertuzzi. With the amount of parity in the NHL today, we can’t win without a penalty kill and a power play. Jimmy Howard needs help. Our defense is very fragile, and not nearly as talented as past seasons. If Gustavsson fails, Joey MacDonald or Thomas McCollum must be ready.

2 responses to "3 Keys for Detroit Red Wings to Make Playoffs"
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