The Detroit Red Wings had a successful season a year ago but they fell short of the Stanley Cup Finals losing to the eventual Champion Anaheim Ducks. The Detroit Red Wings had a defense that was second best in the league led by Nicklas Lidstrom. Dominik Hasek is back in goal and even though his age is showing he was 38-11-6 record last season with a 2.05 GAA. The Detroit Red Wings also have Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg to lead a balanced scoring attack up front that includes Tomas Holmstrom and Dan Cleary.
The Detroit Red Wings made a major pickup in the off-season getting Brian Rafalski as an unrestricted free agent. The Detroit Red Wings also signed veteran forward Dallas Drake. The problem for Detroit is that they are getting old. Hasek will be 42, Chelios 45 and Lidstrom 37. That is a major concern for the Detroit Red Wings. It is expected that younger players will start making their mark with Detroit including Igor Grigorenko who they say has great playmaking skills. Derek Meech and Kyle Quincey are other possible contenders to make the team this season.
Lidstrom signed a two-year contract with the Detroit Red Wings last summer. Dan Cleary had a career year in Detroit, scoring 20 goals and 40 points in the regular season and 12 points in the playoffs. Losing Robert Lang may hurt the Detroit Red Wings more than it seems, as he always seemed to get the big goals for them.
The Detroit Red Wings are deep and talented but they are aging. They are going to need to find replacements for Hasek, Chelios and eventually Lidstrom. Bringing in Rafalski will definitely help solidify an already solid defense. The good news for Detroit is that they are in the easiest division in the NHL. They get to play Chicago, Columbus and St. Louis. Nashville is also no longer a major threat in the division. The Detroit Red Wings may not be as good as they were a year ago but they should cruise to the division title this season.
The Detroit Red Wings may have another Stanley Cup run in them before Chelios and Hasek retire. Lidstrom and Rafalski are stud defenseman, Datysuk and Zetterberg can score and Hasek still is capable of making the big saves. It should be another good year in hockey town.