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Born and raised in south Detroit- Red Wings year in review


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m6KptwdsT_cHkA0g0uCt8gA.jpgPRESEASON OUTLOOK: Folks were saying this might be the end of the road for the Wings that the 23 year streak of postseason appearances was coming to an end. The Wings were hoping the kids would continue to grow and find another level.


FINAL RECORD: 43-25-14 100 points 6th in the Eastern conference, 24th straight year of making the postseason


HIGH POINT OF THE YEAR: A red hot start led by goalie Jimmy Howardm9BAlzMtj9-yjEgbtXjzKRQ.jpg who was selected for the All Star game. High points included a Mrazek win on December 7th pushing the Wings into first place with a 17-6-5 record, but the biggie was February 28th, the Wings had just went through a stretch of two months living on the road, going 17-7-2 in a stretch where 21 of 26 were on the road. They set poised to capture the division crown.


LOW POINT OF THE YEAR: everything from that point on. Sitting at 35-15-11 with two thirds of their remaining games at home, they lost footing and never got going again, nearly blowing a double digit lead for a playoff spot, slipping from first in the division to third by going 8-10-3. They managed a spirited effort against the talented Lightning in the first round but lost in seven games.


WHAT WENT RIGHT: Pavel Datsyuk was over a point a game player, 65 points in 63 games while playing magnificent defense. Zetterberg led the team with 66 points. Tatar led the team in goals with 29, Gus Nyquist came in second with 27. Justin Abdelkader had 23 and hit everything that moved. Kronwall was a power play boss, 23 of his 44 points were with the man advantage. Sheahan and Helm rounded out a solid group of forwards. Glendening was a superpest on the fourth line, Dekeyser was a puck moving man on the back end, and Howard was brilliant in the first half, Mrazek brilliant in the second half.


WHAT WENT WRONG: Franzen was slow (a minus 12 in 33 games) and ineffective and did the team a favor missing the final 50 games with concussion injuries. Erik Cole came over from Dallas  to offer size among the forwards but hurt his spine, his career may be over. Jonas Gustafsson missed most of the year. Stephen Weiss was red hot for about two weeks but largely ineffective otherwise. Tomas Jurco had a lost season with only 3 goals. He had 11 points in a 12 game stretch but otherwise he only scored 7 points in 53 games. Teemu Pulkinnen was in Babcocks doghouse for his lack of defense and returned to Grand Rapids before the postseason in favor of less talented but defensively responsible Landon Ferraro. Howard was awful the second half of the year.


STRANGE STAT OF THE YEAR:  Jakub Kindl played on the power play little but managed 7 of his 13 points on the PP. Zetterberg led the team in shots by a mile but was only 6th in goals scored.



Mike Babcock





Pulkinnen nearly led the AHL in scoring in spite of spending a third of the season in the NHL. If he can learn to backcheck and play defense he could be a 30 goal scorer in the NHL very soon. Anthony Mantha was meh at best in his first year as a pro but huge things are expected, he will bounce back and forth this year between Detroit and Grand Rapids. The big three on defense, Sproul with his heavy shot, righty Marchenko and complete Oullet will duke it out battling for ice time, all three will be on the ice together at some point this year. And Dylan Larkin will likely turn pro and spend the entire year at GR but may be recalled if there are injuries. Andreas Athanasiou will be the first center recalled should one go down, he is a young Pavel type. Lots and lots of NHL ready or near ready prospects down on the farm.


OFFSEASON QUESTION MARKS: Babcock, can/will the Wings resign him or is he moving on? Do we want to get into a bidding war or is it time to go another direction? Can/will we resign Zidlicky who brought a nice dimension to the team? Can/Will the Wings find a taker for Howard, with Mrazek clearly established as the Wings best option?

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I hate to add this to the WHAT WENT WRONG list, but it must be added: the practical offensive disappearance of Henrik Zetterberg in the second half of the season and the playoffs. He did a lot of things right off the puck, but he is one of the lead players giving us what needs to be 3 scoring lines, and he just kinda dropped off the scoresheet rarely to return.

The other strange stat which finally normalized was their record when trailing entering the 3rd period. For the first two thirds of the season they were actually above .500, which is a SICK stat. Unfortunately, they couldn't continue it to the end of the season.

I stil say Babs is going to stay. I haven't heard anything which makes me think he is going.

BTW, did you see that Don Cherry tweeted Babs advising him to stay in Detroit? I thought that was very interesting, Don Cherry admitting to a mistake and advising Mike not to make the same mistake. A rare moment of humility from Cherry. Seems genuine too.

I don't see the Wings picking up Mike Green or any other major D-man in the off-season. If they are competing approaching the deadline, I can see them shopping then if they need the push.

I agree with comments in other threads about DDK. I think he has been and will continue to be a very solid piece in the Red Wings leadership for years to come. He has really impressed.

I'm excited about Mrazek. You can see the talent. It's there. It needs refining and wisdom in when to take risks needs to be further developed, but I like what I see, and it would not be the end of the world to have Jimmy Howard backing him up if we can't dump a good bit of that salary.

Born in North Detroit. Raised in Ferndale. Living in Hockey No-Man's-Land (ATL) where never again will an NHL team be playing in my lifetime.

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I thought about Zetterberg, his second half stink bomb was a direct contribution to the slide off the cracker, I should have pointed it out.


I would like to see Zidlicky resigned he seemed comfortable here and had a wicked hard shot. Green, Petry are gonna command too much money and would not be a good value.

I figured you would certainly get the whole 'Born and raised in south Detroit' thing. Tough coming up with these but this one was pretty easy.

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Zidlicky would certainly be the most streamlined way to move into next season with as few bumps in the road as possible. I thought he fit in well also. Better shot than I had thought coming into it.


More importantly, so would resigning Babs, to be honest. Although I think Blashill will do a good job if Babs walks.

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@yave1964  THEY TOOK THE MIDNIGHT TRAIN GOING ANYWHERE!!!!   LOL, defiantly a beloved song in the Detroit area....you would hear that song ringing out during the Bad Boys Championship years and at a lot of Wings and Tigers games.....fans just love to scream that line...it will never go away.

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@yave1964  THEY TOOK THE MIDNIGHT TRAIN GOING ANYWHERE!!!!   LOL, defiantly a beloved song in the Detroit area....you would hear that song ringing out during the Bad Boys Championship years and at a lot of Wings and Tigers games.....fans just love to scream that line...it will never go away.

LOVE when that comes on during a game! With less than five minutes to go and a multiple goal lead and a whistle, you can count on that song coming on and the crowd losing their mind. When it comes to 'born and raised in South Detroit' the wife and I join right in with the crowd yelling it out. Sounds corny, Hell, it is corny but like you said, it is iconic.

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