Well, first I think.... Wow, what a fantastic regular season to watch. It seems every team Detroit plays jumps up to playoff level hockey, which has had Detroit there every game. It seems they can turn it up better at home than away. The hometown crowd helps feed enthusiasm. Unfortunately, the other team, at home, has the same advantage, plus they are not doing the high level games every night as the Wings seem to have to do.
I think the biggest problem is health. It is hard to keep a pace like they are and not suffer injuries. When Ducksoup is hurt or takes a day off, it is noticeable. When Lindstrom has a day off, Detroit suffers. If either of those is not 100% forget it in playoffs. Of the many other great players, if only one, it probably isn’t so bad.
It is kind of early to think playoffs, but how would the Wings do if they stay healthy... can they turn it up? I could be wrong, but probably not. My guess is a small amount better, but not enough fire in the belly to take it all the way. It isn’t the talent, but the mental “want”. The Wings always go in without fire. Sometimes it happens and sometimes not. It is easy to see when they do, and just as easy to see when they do not. But, for some reason, think they will not catch fire this year. Hope I am wrong, because I love long seasons.
I am in a bit of a quandary. I thought Bertuzzi’s violent action was grounds to kick him out of hockey forever. Yes, he got a year off, but I didn’t think it was enough. However, he cleaned up his act and has tried very hard to be a quality player rather than just a violent goon. It is clear he works with Ducksoup a lot; you can see how he has tried to adapt some moves to his big size. So, I guess the league was right and sometimes a second chance is taken and used.
My wife says (who is a huge authority... not!) says they will win the cup. At this point I am thinking that even if they stay healthy, they are going to be too worn out mentally and physically to compete at a higher level than now. Sure hope I am wrong though.
But, gosh, what a fun regular season...