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wingsownnhl43

How wont the Wings be the favorites to win the west?

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I've heard all this Vancouver/San Jose talk around the interweb, but how arent the Wings the top dogs? The Wings are far more balanced than any team in the West. Hank, Datsyuk, Franzen, Filppula, Hudler, Holmstrom, Bertuzzi, Cleary all can score 40+ points. I think Helm and Eaves will only improve. I like what we have in Abdelkader. I dont know that theres a better 1-2 punch on defense with Nick and Rafalski. I expect Kronwall to play better. Brad Stuart is steady. The big question is in goal, but I have to believe either Howie or Ozzie will step forward.

Starting with Vancouver.

Yeah, the Sedin twins and Ryan Kesler are great players. Alex Burrows, Mikael Samuelsson are nice. They still have to fit Mason Raymond in somehow. That'll be a nice group of six players, but after that, what else is there? Looking at their roster it's Manny Maholtra and a bunch of single digit point producers. It doesnt appear that they will be able to bring back Kyle Wellwood or Pavol Demitra without cutting some salary.

Their defense is very solid, though. They have six pretty steady defenseman. In goal, I really believe Luongo is overrated.

San Jose.

I look at a roster that has the best group of top six forwards in the NHL, some nice secondary forwards, a very weak defense, and a very weak group of goalies.

LA.

They are an up and coming team but are Anze Kopitar, Drew Doughty and company really ready to compete with the Wings? I dont think so.

1. Detroit

2. Vancouver

3. San Jose

4. Los Angeles

5th seed is up for grabs. I still think Chicago is pretty solid but it looks like they may lose even more off their roster.

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I agree the Wings are looking good next year if they can stay healthy. For the few months after the Olympics when we had our actual roster on the ice, we were definitely the best team in the league.

San Jose wont be able to dominate the regular season like they usually do without Nabokov. Vancouver is the new SJ in terms of choking in the playoffs.

L.A. is the team that worries me the most, ESPECIALLY if they land Kovalchuk.

One thing you didn't mention is that we also have the best coach in the league right now.

Whether we land Modano or not, we have great depth options for our 3rd and 4th lines.

Lets get the season started already!

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Despite LA not landing Kovy, they still are the team in the West that worries me the most. I predict that our record against them will be the worst out of all the teams we play next season.

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Everything relies on Kronwall and his ability to take the next step and be a #1 defenseman.

i feel like Kronwall will only take that next step when he is actually put into that spot, i.e. lidstrom retires

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I can see him getting a few more minutes this season in preparation for that.

Babcock already said he's scaling back on the first pair minutes and that you'll see Ericsson playing 20 minutes sometimes, so that makes me think you'll also see Kronwall and Stuart playing more time too.

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Kronwall was taking that step before Laraque hit him. Also, bear in mind that the central is a much tougher division than, say, the NW...

When he hit 50pts for the first time in the 08-09 season it looked like he took that step. The problem is that he hasn't been the same since Laraque. We'll have to wait and see if he fully recovers (and I think he will).

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Babcock already said he's scaling back on the first pair minutes and that you'll see Ericsson playing 20 minutes sometimes, so that makes me think you'll also see Kronwall and Stuart playing more time too.

:scared:

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How wont the Wings be the favorites to win the west?

Ummm, because we didn't win the cup this year? Remember how mad people were whenever a blogger suggested we might not be the favorites after winning the cup?

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