GDHQNHL15_2pg-Detroit Red Wings 1

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Detroit RED WINGS Key Additions: Kevin Porter, Andy Miele Key Subtractions: David Legwand, Cory Emmerton, Todd Bertuzzi Strengths: Veteran star power, winning tradition Weaknesses: Injury concerns, shallow and unproven defense Offense There were plenty of story lines surrounding the Detroit Red Wings last season. The team began the year by moving into a new division and a new conference, but it ended in a very familiar way. The Red Wings qualified for the Stanley Cup playoffs for the 23rd consecutive season. The playoff run was made more impressive by the fact that the team set a franchise record with 421 man-games lost to injury and was forced to dress 38 different players, including nine that made their NHL debut. Among those missing significant playing time were team leaders Johan Franzen, Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk. Even at 36-years old, Datsyuk is one of the most skilled forwards in the league while Zetterberg and Franzen are two of the most physical. They each finished in the top seven on the team in scoring even though they played just 45, 45 and 54 games respectively. With the team returning largely intact, Detroit hopes that their older stars can help mentor the young talent that emerged last season. Gustav Nyquist exploded onto the NHL radar by scoring 28 goals in 57 games. The 25-year old winger came into the season with a mere four career NHL goals. Tomas Tatar is another young winger that stepped up big when injuries shuffled the roster. As his playing time increased, Tatar was paired with youngsters Riley Sheahan and Tomas Jurco to create a formidable second line. All three players may find themselves forming the third line entering the season, but the relieved pressure could help them repeat a season where they combined for 36 goals and 78 points. One of the veterans that did have a productive season was a new face on the team. After 17 seasons with the Ottawa Senators, 41-year old Daniel Alfredsson tied for the team lead with 49 points, and the Red Wings hope he’ll return for one final season if he can overcome nagging back injuries. Along the blue line, Niklas Kronwall continued to show improvement in his 10th season with the Red Wings. He tied Alfredsson with 49 points and was one of the few players to stay healthy all season. Defense The Red Wings may have suffered just as much on defense as on offense because of their big injuries. Although their defensemen were comparatively healthy, Datsyuk, Zetterberg and Franzen are three of the best two-way forwards in the league. While the young forwards were able to prove themselves on the offensive end, they struggled much more in their own zone. EASTERN CONFERENCE ATLANTIC DIVISION Henrik Zetterberg Dave Reginek/NHL/Getty Images


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