First off I'd like to say that its good to be back. I don't think that there truly ever could be anything that could keep me away from the sport I love so dearly.
That said, We have ourselves a game tonight, the first of 48. Its been quite a long time since we've seen the winged wheel in action, so lets take a minute and break a few things down...after the jump.
Many people are calling for the Wings to crumble this season like every season before that. This time things have gotten a little more real with the departure of one of the greatest players of all time.
I'm going to take a more optimistic approach. Yes we lost Lidstrom, but that doesn't mean the team falls off the map. They are still pretty amazing when you really take a look..
We may have one of the deepest pools of forwards in the game. Brunner looks like he may be the real deal, and playing on a line with Datsyuk and Zetterberg can only help. Follow that up by a line consisting of Franzen, Filppula and Samuelsson and were already not looking to shabby. Most people don't like Sammy, but the fact is he is a bigger, stronger all around better upgrade over Hudler.
The bottom six when fully healthy consists of a third line that can score in Helm, Bertuzzi and Eaves/Miller. and a 4th line much nastier than anything wings fans have seen in some time with Abdelkader, Tootoo and Miller/Eaves.
Round that out with a few guys down in Grand Rapids that could easily fill in on any teams top line with guys like Nyquist, Tatar and Jurco i'd say that look like a recipe for filler guys like Emmerton and Mursak to get packaged or waived out of town.
Back to the game. St. Louis is a team that many are picking to win the Central and some even the Cup. Personally I don't see it. This team is basically the same as they were last year which by all accounts to me seem like a fluke where they rode some hot goaltending that just will not be duplicated again.
They have little offense, and must rely on a defensive core that lost one of their better guys to us. Oh but wait they signed Redden, a guy who the Wings didn't feel was good enough to unseat Kindl.
We won't see Helm, Bertuzzi or Kindl tonight, but I do think were going to see some magic from new guys Brunner, Smith and Tootoo.
Are you ready?