by Chris Zadorozny (@Zads07)
It’s been almost a month into the season, and we’ve now got a pretty good look at the revamped Detroit Red Wings lineup. The team started out hot, winning six of their first eight games. Since defeating the Colorado Avalanche, who at the time was undefeated, the Red Wings lost four straight.
IHead Coach Mike Babcock has since shuffled the lines that originally started the season. Justin Abdelkader has moved from the first line, to the second line, to the third line, back to the second line.
The supposed great second line of Stephen Weiss, Johan Franzen and Daniel Alfredsson has pretty much been all but broken up. Despite having some chemistry, the line wasn’t producing goals and this line has been completely revamped.
On defense, there have been a couple of injuries, and the young squad has played quite well, but the injuries soon caught up to the young players. Niklas Kronwall, was hit from behind in the win over the Avalanche and was diagnosed with a concussion, and came back faster than most people thought.
His partner, Jonathan Ericsson was just one game later and is still out for another two weeks. Brendan Smith and Kyle Quincey have all but been the worst pairing the Red Wings have had in a long time.
Combined the two have a -17 on the season so far, racking up almost 20 minutes each per night on average.
There isn’t much depth in Grand Rapids for the Red Wings, but Xavier Ouellet was called up and showed some promise, playing 17:15 in a 1-0 shootout loss against the San Jose Sharks.
In net, Jimmy Howard has had one bad game in the nine games he’s played in so far, and backup Jonas Gustavsson was phenomenal while Howard was hurt. There is seemingly no problem in net for the Red Wings, as even the top goaltenders in the league have off-nights.
The defensive core is going to need to improve, but with only 12 games gone by, there is not even a hint that it’s panic time in Hockeytown. It’s early; this team has a lot of veterans that know how to win.
Goals will come eventually, and with the leadership on this team, a road trip should prove that this team has what it takes to win.
To read the original post that appeared on Sports Radio Detroit, on November 2, 2013, go to www.sportsradiodetroit.com