Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Motor City Set On Cruise Control

Realistically, reviewing the Detroit Red Wings during the past 5-10years could be simple. You write a riveting piece about theirdomination of the Western Conference, and proclaim their ability tocontrol the game with their stymy defense, and then republish the samearticle year after year.

They have become one of the most consistent teams of the 21st century,and have been an utter surprise post lockout considering the dumpingof so much salary. They now boast one of the best and mostcomfortable teams, with plenty of cap room to spare. They have savvyveterans like Niklas Lidstrom and Chris Chelios to lead theirdefensive core, and one of the most prolific and obscure goaltendersof all time in Dominic Hasek, although he has struggled early tomaintain the necessary health to be a starting goalie.

No matter, as Chris Osgood has once again proved to the Wingsorganization to be a quality backup for as long as they need him, andwith the kind of defense the Red Wings play, he should really onlyhave to prepare himself for around 20 shots a game. Pending thehealth of Hasek, the Wings can segue into young prospect Howard to betheir next star in the crease. Another fantastic pick by the Detroitscouting, Howard will likely be the go to guy within three years.

Up front, the top three (Zetterberg, Datsyuk, and Holmstrom) have comeout of the gate firing. Gaining the reputation of one of the NHLsmost potent offensive lines, they are probably only out classed byOttawa's ASH line. Zetterberg is well on his way to setting careerbests in basically all categories, and his offensive prowess has beenan incredible asset to the Wings, who have been outscoring andoutplaying every team thus far.

In terms of additional help, it was suggested that Detroit was seekingthe services of Peter Forsberg, pending he is capable of returningfrom a potential career ending surgery on his ankle. After quitting apractice with the Swedish National team, Forsberg has suggested thatthis latest embarrassment could in fact end his career pending adoctor's review, and this could change the plans in the Detroit frontoffice. There is no question a healthy Forsberg would produce an evenstronger offense, but with guys like Chelios, Hasek, and Lidstrom, whoare all playing close to or well over their career expectancies,Forsberg would only add to the fragile nature of the team.

The bottom line here is that Detroit doesn't need help with veterans.They boast one of the most knowledgeable defenses in the league, witha strong core of offensive threats. What they need to do is continueto build for the future of the franchise after the older playersretire or move on.

~ srotaneS


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