They might leave their enforcer in the pressbox, but only because they know they have other players that can bully the Red Wings. Someone like Backes or Weber for example. It is not because they are thinking "oh they are the Red Wings, they cant be intimidated or physical play will not work against them". Every team know the way to win against the Red Wings is by playing physical and high forechecking. I often see the argument that enforcer's are a thing of the past and that they are not a deterrent etc, but most teams still carry one and they are quite appreciated by their teammates. Yzerman for example used to be quite vocal about having someone willing to drop the gloves. The same goes for Lidstrom. I guess it is nice to know that if s*** happens there is this guy that will always come to your aid no matter what. Teams will definitely try and take advantage of this team, because it is their best chance to beat us. Might not be a huge deal for a game or two, but it will be very tough deep into the season when players are usually banged up after 50-60 games alone not to mention being at a physical disadvantage. It will be even tougher playing a 7 games series against a team like Boston. I'm not so sure I buy the hype that Detroit will revolutionize the Eastern game, I think that Holland will eventually need to add some big bodies to this lineup to compete in the long run. As suggested by Holland himself. Meanwhile, the Red Wings must play tougher than they are and adding a good enforcer to the lineup will be like adding ten pounds and 2 inches to every player on this squad.
Again comes this notion that the Wings get regularly bullied. Again, it's untrue. The single instance I can think of is 2007's game six against Calgary, and this was a whopping two penalties; and the team has more of a physical presence now than it had back then. More, the game has moved further away from such behavior in the past six years. Finally, the idea that the East is more physical than the West is a myth. This is clearly indicated by both facts and common sense.
The Wings regularly play against teams that forecheck hard and play physically, and win most of those contests. If it were so simple as you say, then the Wings would not have such a long streak of success in the regular season and the playoffs. More, I don't understand how this pertains to having an enforcer on the roster.
It's a bit odd that you're bringing up the old "the Wings can't beat ___ in a seven-game series" refrain. As I suspect you recall, people on here used to say the same thing about the Flames, the Sharks, and the Ducks. In a three-year span, the Wings ended up beating all three of them in the playoffs. It's a tired line that simply isn't true.
Red Wings have always been vulnerable to physically strong teams like The Ducks in 2003 and the Flames in 2004. They wouldnt allow the Red Wings to enter the slot but limited our forwards to perimeter shots. So did the Preds in 2012. I think that even during the Lidstrom era teams tried to forecheck high, only it was obviously more difficult then.
The primary reason the Red Wings lost to the Ducks in 2003 was Giguere, and the primary reason for the 2004 loss to the Flames was Kiprusoff. Dave Lewis's ineptitude was likewise damaging.
Anyway, I don't see how this pertains to having an enforcer on the team.
Well naturally there will be a correlation between scoring and winning... But if we look at powerplay as arguably being the best enforcer you will find that the stanley cup winner from the last three years are all in the bottom half of the pp% stats by a fair margin, while at the same time being in the top half of PIM/GP. Not for being goons, but rather being teams with a strong physical presence. I guess the world is a pretty whimsy place...
Again, wrong. First off, penalty minutes per game is not a good measure of physical play. The majority of penalties are for such transgressions as hooking, tripping, interference, high-sticking, and the like, with only a minority being due to boarding or charging. Second, boarding and charging calls rarely occur on the forecheck. Third, hits per game is a much better measure of physical play; and of the past four Stanley Cup champions, only one---the Kings---ranked high (#2) in hits per game in its winning season. The 2010 Blackhawks were #25; the 2011 Bruins were #21; and the 2013 Blackhawks were dead last. All three of these teams ranked below the Wings in hits per game.