Our Detroit Red Wings had sort of a Cinderella year. No matter your perspective you came away from this season thinking about the future. For the past couple of years after Steve Yzerman called it quits we were all waiting for the “next shoe to drop” sort of speak. Meaning we were waiting for “the perfect human” to hang up the skates and initiate the ultimate demise of the Red Wings. WELL, Nick Lidstrom retired and we all assumed it was the end(I know not all of us, but some of us.) of the Wings as we knew them. From all accounts a long overdue rebuilding process was about to begin. Then the season started and it looked even worse than anticipated. We couldn’t find a balance of lines that worked. Jimmy Howard kept us in many games but the offense was nowhere to be found and don’t get me started on the defense. Ok, I will get started on the defense.
THEY WERE ATROCIOUS.
Turnovers led to goals.
Eventually everything settled down. Brunner was bounced between combinations on the top three lines eventually finding a home on the third line. With a young Nyquist coming up mid-season for Tatar and being centered by Andersson. The young line is probably one of the best new developments of this team and where we start our 2013-2014 team roster. We will be playing General Manager for a bit. Rearranging the team and making fictitious moves in the effort to put ourselves in Ken Hollands shoes.
Third line likes to party: Brunner, Andersson and Nyquist
The Wings showed they are far from done in the postseason with the emergence of it’s young third line. This line was a game changer in the first two rounds of the playoffs and added immense depth to a team that looked to have none. I think that line needs to stay together. The three of those players showed boat loads of on ice chemistry in a very short time.
New look second line: Franzen, Helm and Horton(or Clarkson)
Here is where it gets a bit spicy. I think the Wings sign a top 6 forward. I think that forward is going to be Nathan Horton. I would accept David Clarkson. Both are large dudes who can score. I like both way more than Bickell. Horton has concussion problems, but I digress. I see this line with Helm at the Center. Franzen as the left forward and Horton as the right forward. I think this line solves a multitude of problems. Franzen on a line with Horton doesn’t have to do the dirty work. That’s what Horton does. He mucks it up around the crease. This allows Franzen to pull up and shoot the puck something he does well when he decides to do it. Helm adds the obvious speed to this line. Helping this line have a little bit of everything.
First Line should be your best line: Abdelkader, Datsyuk and Zetterberg
This line will be pretty close to what the first line looks like at the beginning of every season. The euro twins together poised to dominate the opposition. What happens? The first line is broken up because the rest of the lines have no punch and bog down the first line. The emergence of the third line makes the first line possible. Seeing as more times than not the third line is setting up the first line. We know what these guys are capable of. We know that this is the line that can anchor our team for future runs at the cup.
Notice there are plenty of players I didn’t mention. Players that as of this writing are still on the team. Also notice that there is no fourth line break down OR defensive pairings. WELL, those moves will be detailed in coming articles. The fourth line in particular will be detailed in an article talking about who needs to be with this team and who needs to go.
Let’s Go Red Wings!