2009 NHL Preview: Detroit Red Wings

We’ve partnered with On Goal Analysis to bring you a team-by-team preview of the upcoming NHL season. (Just scroll down on the OGA website and hit the calendar.) Here is the preview for the Detroit Red Wings…

Team Play: ISSUE – Filling in the blanks. The Wings enter the 2009-10 campaign facing several issues, of which the most critical is filling the holes left in the lineup by departing players. Gone are: Marian Hossa, Jiri Hudler, Mikael Samuelsson and Tomas Kopecky (and let us not forget Chris Chelios, who has finally taken his rightful place in the Smithsonian). Between them, they accounted for 88 of Detroit’s 295 goals last season (that’s 29.8%, for those of you keeping score at home). The Wings plan to fill those gaps with the likes of Ville Leino, Jason Williams, Todd Bertuzzi and…Patrick Eaves? Barring a disaster of epic proportions, Detroit will make the playoffs again in 2009-10. The play of the four “replacements”, however, will be a major factor in determining whether the Red Wings finish as a top-three seed or open the playoffs on the road.

Click here to read the rest of the preview (which includes the site’s unique Playoff Qualifying Curve and fantasy information) at the On Goal Analysis site.

Follow the Scores Report editors on Twitter @clevelandteams and @bullzeyedotcom.

Penguins upset Wings, win 2009 Stanley Cup

Here’s reaction from local columnist and national writers after the Pittsburgh Penguins upset the Detroit Red Wings to win the 2009 Stanley Cup.

– Ron Cook of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette writes that the Penguins earned the right to be called champions after beating the Wings on Detroit’s home ice.

– After lacing it up for the Penguins in the 2007-08 season, Marian Hossa has no regrets about joining the Red Wings this past year writes NHL.com’s Dave Lozo.

– Drew Sharp of the Detroit Free Press writes that fans and pundits can’t blame goalie Chris Osgood for the Wings’ loss.

– After winning his first Cup, Bucky Gleason notes that “Sid Kid” Sidney Crosby isn’t a kid anymore – he’s a bona fide champ.

– Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press writes that the Wings leave the 2009 season with a quiet, empty feeling.

– Gene Collier of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette notes that gritty Max Talbot turned things around.

Blogging the Bloggers: Raul Ibanez, Bobby Valentine & David Letterman

DEADSPIN discusses the unfortunate ambushing of blogger Jerod Morris, who is catching massive criticism for his piece about Phillies’ outfielder Raul Ibanez-steroids piece. For TSR’s take on the situation, click here.

UNCOACHED groups together a photo gallery of the most noteworthy Yahoo! baseball profile pictures.

SPORTSbyBROOKS says that Japanese fans really want manager Bobby Valentine back.

– As the Penguins get ready to take on the Red Wings in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals tonight, THE LOVE OF SPORTS ranks the top 10 “road warriors” in Game 7s.

TONY BLOGS.NET has video of David Letterman sending Steve Nash to the NBA Finals.

Time for Penguins to get creative

With their 2-1 victory over the Red Wings in Game 6 on Tuesday night, the young Penguins are now one win away from hoisting Lord Stanley’s Cup and pulling off the best NHL upset of the decade.

One problem: They can’t score at Joe Louis Arena and that’s exactly where the decisive Game 7 will be played on Thursday night. In three games at the Joe this postseason, Pittsburgh’s managed to score just two goals and were shut out 5-0 in Game 5.

It’s time for Dan Bylsma to get a little creative with his front line. Why not put Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin (the Pens’ top two scoring threats) together on the same line to increase scoring chances? Some Pittsburgh fans have been clamoring for this to happen since the Pens lost the Cup last year, so why not try it now?

Some might think that it would be unwise to change things up now with only one game left to be played, but now is actually the best time to take a risk like this because Pittsburgh needs to try and overwhelm Detroit they best it can. The Wings play with so much confidence at the Joe, so Byslma needs something to rattle their cage.

Of course, there are two main problems with the idea of putting both Crosby and Malkin together. One is that Pittsburgh has created scoring opportunities in every game this series, but just haven’t executed. Secondly, and this is a biggie, if the Pens put Crosby and Malkin together on the same line then that puts Maxime Talbot, Chris Kunitz, Ruslan Fedotenko together on the third line, which needless to say is a major disadvantage for Pittsburgh.

It’ll be interesting to see what strategies Byslma comes up with (if any) for Game 7. This one is for all the marbles and it’d be a shame if the Pens left scoring opportunities on the ice when there’s only one game left.

Red Wings take 3-2 lead over Penguins in Stanley Cup

The Red Wings took a 3-2 lead in their best of seven Stanley Cup Finals series over the Penguins last night with a convincing 5-0 win and here’s what some local columnist are saying after Detroit’s victory.

– Gene Collier of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette wants to know if the Red Wings were supposed to be tired and won 5-0, how would Detroit look rested?

– Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press writes that the Wings proved last night that the young Pens still have a lot to learn.

– Ron Cook of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette writes that for a moment, the Penguins actually looked like a good squad. (That must have been a quick moment.)

– Shelly Anderson of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that Pavel Datsyuk’s return received high praise in Detroit’s locker room.

Related Posts