Will the Red Wings Make the Playoffs?

01/04/2010
Stanley Cup Finals - Pittsburgh Penguins v Detroit Red Wings - Game Five

Coming into last year, the Detroit Red Wings looked stronger than ever.  Fresh off a dominating cup win they added arguably the best sniper on the market and seemed poised to create another dynasty, even in this cash strapped salary cap era.

This year certainly seems to be another story.  Gone are Marian Hossa, Tomas Kopecky, Jiri Hudler and Mikael Samuelsson amongst others leaving the team with roughly 31 percent of the offense to replace.

Who did they bring in?

Todd Bertuzzi, Drew Miller, Jason Williams and Patrick Eaves amongst others.  Those four combined for a whopping 54 goals last year, a little more than half of the 89 goals that left this past offseason.  If you subtract 35 goals from last year’s totals the team still would finish 7th in scoring and not first.

GM Ken Holland planned on using rookies and young players such as Ville Leino, Justin Abdelkader and Darren Helm in scoring roles, hoping it would force them to step up their games and make up the remaining 35 goals needed.  What Holland did not expect were injuries.  Injuries and injuries alone could derail all hope this team had to make the playoffs, let alone another return to the Stanley Cup.

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Keeper Watch 11/18/2009

11/18/2009
Carolina Hurricanes v Nashville Predators

Yet another new feature here on NHLHS. ‘Keeper Watch’ will come out every couple of days, noting the changes in value for top prospects who are most likely available in your league. Similarly to our ‘Endorsed Pickups’ I will try not to focus too much on one position, which will leave some noteworthy players off the list.

Center: Brandon Sutter, Carolina Hurricanes – After only posting six points in 50 games last year, Brandon Sutter is breaking out.  Through 11 games, he has eight points and five in his last three.  With the injury to Eric Staal, his playing time has increased as has his role.

Prognosis: Stream him now for the points and monitor his progress once Staal returns.

Center: Tyler Ennis, Buffalo Sabres – Tyler Ennis, a high pedigree prospect, joined the Sabres earlier this week scoring his first goal in his NHL debut.  The diminutive forward chosen with Buffalo’s first pick in 2008, played on a line with Thomas Vanek and Tim Connolly and even got some power-play time.

Prognosis: It may be a bit premature to grab the kid after his first game, but it never hurts to get the upper hand.  If playing with Connolly on a consistent basis, the kid may even get dual-position eligibility.

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