Originally Posted by RedskinBronco
I feel like they will have a down year this year and really struggle. Only so much Babcock can do IMO.
They will go as far as Zetterberg, Datsyuk and Kronwall take them. Franzen is always hurt and the other guys are complimentary type guys.
I'm just not sure 40 and 13 have the energy to carry the team. Two guys that are so good and very competitive but I just see Detroit struggling this year.
Franzen has not been playing well since the playoffs a few years ago, he is more than willing to play in that space in front of the net but he doesn't have the reaction time to make big plays in that area and away from the net he is surely turning into Thomas Holmstrom, slow and not very strong on the puck - his decline has really been dramatic.
One problem I am seeing with this team is the reliance on experienced players, there are young players in the system who provide energy and speed, which the roster is very thin on currently, but over the last 3 years we have seen the young players again and again be benched in favour of older and slower players.
Detroit will definitely struggle this year, the team is traditionally slow starters who ramp up this time of year. I think the team needs to rethink a lot of their strategies, especially the special teams seem to to completely out of tune with what is current. The power play has only 1 point man which results in a lot of shots from the half boards where the angle is cut way down and a lot of moving the puck up and down the boards instead of side to side. On special teams the reliance on the tight square formation means giving up a ton of shots from just above the circles since the box collapses completely around the net when the puck is low and then when it is moved back to the point they can't expand quickly enough to get in shooting lanes. If they went with the diamond formation instead and kept one guy higher to harass the point more consistently I believe they could force shots to come from worse angles.