They’re the Yankees of hockey, the Cowboys of the NHL and fodder for the media hype of a downed dynasty. Red Wings fans are not worried. Panic just makes things worse, and in this case worse is not an option. The team will be back, stronger than ever. Bandwagon bummers can get off at the next stop.
Cautious hockey blogs are stating the obvious: the Wings don’t look like the team that almost won the Stanley Cup. They’re not! The team lost three major players that had a direct impact on scoring: Jiri Hudler, Mikael Samueslson, and Marian Hossa. Evidently the trio made an impact, and while the Wings added players with strengths not all have NHL experience.
Transitioning perhaps, however, scouting and management decisions have brought some great talent throughout the years and this season is no different. Sure, the younger guys are still squeaky, but by no means are Pavel Datsyk and Henrik Zetterberg past their prime. The younger players such as Villa Leino and Jonathan Ericsson were hot during the Stanley Cup playoffs last season; one hopeful, Valterri Filppula will miss 4-8 weeks with a broken wrist. They’ll get it back. Detroit is always cautious about any game and expects the best.
Pleasure may be derived by some based on the Red Wings slow start, but with a 25-week season I’m not worried about the situation. Even during down times in Detroit’s hockey history, the fans stood tall and behind their team. I’m no exception.
This week was the tour of Canada, and the Red Wings sparked the team with their first road win in Vancouver coming from a 2-0 deficit to win 5-4. The Edmonton Oilers know what it’s like to be down and were also discouraged by last season’s performance. With a new attitude the Oilers came out strong, stumping the Wings to a 4-0 deficit. Wing goalie Jimmy Howard was in deep water, but the Wings rallied to tie the game 4-4 to gain a point. In the end, a shootout won the Oilers the game.
This hard work and talent can move the puck creating the team that everyone loves to hate, yet respects because they play the game well and make a good opponent. No one is debating the ability of the team, but with a Halloween game in Calgary, and Steve Yzerman being inducted into the Hockey Hall of fame on the same day, Red Wings fans are hoping for a treat, not a trick.