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09-13-2007, 11:07 AM
Join Date: Jul 2002
Almost everyone has been counting out the Wings the past few seasons due to age, the nature league progression, the salary cap, etc. For the past few seasons, this was the year that the Wings were to be taken over in the Central. Yet each year the Wings have still come out on top. It would be foolish to assume the Wings will be anywhere other then #1 in the division in my opinion.
Last year the Predators had a better team on paper in my opinion. If you put the lineups side by side, I'd say the Predators should win. However, the Wings players played to the system brought in by their coach. And this was the reason that they were so successful. Now, I'm not saying their lineup was chopped liver, in fact they were far from that. However, with their lineup and the ability of the players to buy into a good system, the Wings were able to excel last season. They had at least two players pressuring the puck carrier at all times. They forced teams to cough up the puck alot, especially in the neutral zone. They forced teams to dump the puck, where Hasek or a defensemen would meet the puck and start another Detroit counter-attack. Teams which weren't able to adjust (our team) were punished.
The Blues and Blackhawks have made moves to improve their rosters and depending on the play of some of their rookies and young players, they each could have a surprising season.
The Blue Jackets are going to be stronger for nothing other then playing under Hitchcock. Will they be the class of the division? No, but they won't be as much of a walk in the park as they have been. The Blue Jackets have shown flashes of a good team in the past, but those flashes came in patches and the team was very inconsistent. If someone can fix this (Hitchcock) and their new GM can bring in some appropriate players, the Blue Jackets will be a tough team to play against.
As for the Detroit losing players, they've earned the respect.
We've been the sexy pick the past few season, but we've failed to deliver.
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