Lots can happen in a short season. Only hope is that we make it into the playoffs healthy and ready to roll for a shot at Stanley
And I think people are probably ranking the Wings low not necessarily because they're bad, but because when you look at the Wings blueline there are a whole lot of question marks.
They lost not just their #1 d-man but one of the greatest D-men to ever play the game. Lids was logging almost 24 minutes a night, and still at a high level.
So on defense it's:
how will White perform without Lids?
Can Kronwall step up?
Will Ericsson continue to improve and fill the greater role they need from him?
Will Quincey fit in and improve his consistency?
How will Smith do as a rookie?
What will become of Kindl?
Will Cola stay healthy and play well?
The Wings success will depend greatly on what the answers to those questions are.
Then on offense they really need their top guys to produce, and there's the unknown of how the young guys will do.