OPINION: Detroit Red Wings 23rd Playoffs

First and foremost, congratulations to the Detroit Red Wings for making their 23rd Playoffs. Their impressive 23 year streak has not been broken and this was the year it looked as if it were going to be broken. With a litany of injuries to the seasoned members of the team, the not so season members of the team and without the superstars of the team like that of Zetterberg and Datsyuk for a lot of the season, it seemed the 23rd year might be elusive, but the boys in red and white rallied and are playoff bound.

As a Detroit Red Wings Fan, I am excited to see the team make the playoffs. There’s nothing better than seeing your team battle game after game for the prized Stanley Cup. It can bring a range of emotions from happiness to sadness and tears of joy and tears of bittersweet loss. As a Red Wings fan, as much as I am excited, a part of my hockey loving heart holds skepticism.

A lot of skepticism.

I honestly feel if we made it out of the first round against the Boston Bruins, it will be nothing short of a miracle. Yes other Red Wings fans can argue with me that when we played Boston during the season we won 3 of 4 games, but the Bruins are kind of like a fine wine…as the season has progressed they have gotten better. Even when they’re bad, they’re still good. They just win more than they lose. To date Boston has won 54, lost 18, and lost 9 in OT/Shoot Out. To date Detroit has won 38, lost 28, and lost 15 in OT/Shoot Out.

Boston is a gritty and hard playing team. Detroit’s young line, aka “Kid Line” doesn’t have the same grind as Boston does. I applause Detroit’s “Kid-Line,” because I feel without them they would not be in the Playoffs. There is no doubt that players like Gustav Nyquist, Riley Sheahan, Tomas Tatar, Luke Glendening, Tomas Jurco, and the rest of the Grand Rapids Griffins call ups have been vital if not key to the Red Wings turn around in my opinion. (Noteworthy: the “Kid-Line” is roughly the same age as the Red Wings’ 23 year streak.) I’d like to say I have faith in the young ones to carry the team through the post season but their shoulders alone cannot carry the burden. The season members of the team need to step up and do what they do best and I don’t feel like they have. If seasoned members of the team regain that fire in their belly and the “Kid-Line” remains tenacious and daring, then just maybe as a Detroit Red Wings fan, I’ll see them lift the Stanley Cup.


NHL Trade Thoughts

Here are my opinions on the following trades:

Detroit Red Wings send Patrick Eaves, forward, Calle Jarnkrok, forward, and 2014 cond. 3rd round pick to Nashville Predators for David Legwand, forward: Legwand waved his no-trade clause to join the Red Wings. Eaves has been a healthy scratch by the Red Wings in the past 5 games. The Red Wings need help with Zetterberg, Datsyuk, Weiss, and Clearly out with injuries. It’s not a trade that shakes the team the core, just adds a body that is needed with the “superstar” players out.

Florida Panthers send Tim Thomas, goalie, to the Dallas Stars in exchange for Dan Ellis, goalie: Thomas is having a rough year, but then again, he also took a year off. I think the Panthers win this trade. If the Panthers stick with Luongo, they have two goalies who could be starters or at least a starter and a back up.

Columbus Blue Jackets send Marian Gaborik, forward, to L.A. Kings for Matt Frattin, forward, and some 2014 draft picks: I enjoyed Gaborik playing for the Rangers and really thought them letting him get traded to the Blue Jackets was a mistake. When Gaborik is healthy, he can be a beast on the ice. The L.A. Kings need help scoring and Gabby should be just fine doing/helping with that.

Vancouver Canucks send Roberto Luongo, goalie, and Steven Anthony, forward, to the Florida Panthers for Jacob Markstrom, goalie, and Shawn Matthias, forward: To be honest, I don’t know enough about Markstrom to say anything about him. Luongo has been on and off for a while. Maybe a new team and new teammates will do him good.

St Louis Blues send Jaroslav Halak, goalie to Buffalo Sabres but he doesn’t stay long. Washington Capitals send Michael Neuvirth, goalie, and Rostislav Klesla, defense, to Buffalo Sabres in exchange for Jaroslav Halak, goalie, and 2015 3rd round pick: The Caps goalie situation will be interesting. Branden Holtby is their starter so the rest of the season could be testing to see who the starter is for the 2014-15 season.