1. Red Wings
5. Blue Jackets
- Wings finish 3rd in the Western conference.
- Brunner scores close to 20 goals
- Kronwall picks up his game and solidifies himself as the new number one d-man.
- Howard plays more games, than Gustavsson, but the Monster has better numbers.
- Datsyuk finishes in the top 5 in scoring.
- Nyquist finishes the season on one of the scoring lines.
- Franzen will be a $3.9 mil cap hit, score around 30 goals, and people will complain.
- Crosby wins the Art Ross.
- Ovechkin wins the Hart and Rocket Richard
- Tuuka Rask wins the Vezina
- Shea Weber wins the Norris.
- Parise scores less than 30 goals.
- Suter finishes the season as a minus player
- Rick Nash does only slightly better than he did in Columbus.
- Anaheim makes the playoffs and Selanne's final run for a championship is an exciting one.
- Rangers, Flyers, Wild, Hurricanes, and Kings underachieve.
- Stars, Canadiens, Oilers and Ducks overachieve.
- The Kings start off slow, but finish strong to barely make the playoffs.
- Penguins and Canucks are top seeds in their respective conference.
I don't understand why people are ranking the Wings so low, just because of Lidstrom. I mean, I know he's great and all, but he's not the whole team. There are plenty of teams that won the Stanley Cup without Nick Lidstrom in their line up, we can too. We have more depth and speed up front. While other teams are cramming in as much training camp as they can before the season, Datsyuk is already in midseason form and Zetterberg and Brunner have been playing together, developing chemistry for the past few months over in Switzerland. IMO, Kronwall can be the next Scott Stevens. That hard hitting, stay-at-home defensive style with a big shot from the point every now and then. Colaiacovo is a very solid pick up for us. I think he's an improvement over Stuart. Plus, we have Brendan Smith, who is really motivated and excited to be playing in the NHL this year. People complain so often during the season that the Wings looked lazy or "unmotivated" out there. We have plenty of new blood in our lineup that should change that perception.
I think the pessimists and the critics who have been predicting the Wings downfall for over a decade now are going to be surprised/disappointed.