Sunday, June 14, 2009

Detroit Rocks City

Finishing the season third best in points and going to the seventh game of the Stanley Cup playoffs, the Detroit Red Wings should look at the season as a success. A deep and talented team, the Wings faced little adversity on their way into the playoffs. Once there, their poise and leadership proved strong and they were able to overcome a game seven with Anaheim and lost to Pittsburgh in a heartbreaker game seven. Look for more of the same in Detroit next season as their only variable will be resigning Hossa or keep some of their talented depth.

Pavel Datsyuk – Nominated for the Hart trophy was a call to the rest of the league that Datsyuk is one of the most talented and underrated players in the league. He has the ability to stickhandle out of a telephone booth and make amazing plays. A keeper on one of the top teams in the league, he should be drafted in the top rounds of any draft as you won’t be disappointed as Datsyuk is just getting better.

Henrik Zetterberg – A complete player, Zetterberg plays against the league’s best and still puts up points. While playing on the ‘second’ line most of the season, he was put up decent numbers with 73 points in 77 games. Expect more of the same next season as he has great talent and scoring prowess.

Marian Hossa – It appears that Hossa is one unlucky guy. Two seasons is a row he has come up second best and at times disappeared in the playoffs. A UFA in the offseason, Hossa wants to remain in Detroit if the numbers are right. Look for him to remain in Detroit as it does seem he wants to win a cup. Owners should expect similar numbers next season as well.

Johan Franzen – The mule came up big in the playoffs and showed he is a force to be reckoned with. Not a scoring machine, Franzen uses his body and skill to fight for open ice and create room for his line-mates. With 59 points in 71 games, Franzen should be looked at as an excellent depth player and drafted in mid-rounds.

Nicklas Lidstrom – He may not be up for the Norris trophy this year, but Lidstrom is still tops in the league when it comes to talent and offense from a defenseman. With one year left on his contract, Lidstrom’s future may be in limbo after the season. Keep him if you have him and draft him early in all formats.

Brian Rafalski – An excellent season ended with Rafalski scoring 59 points in 78 games, a career high. Playing on the top team, with the best defensive partner in the league, Rafalski should repeat his numbers again next season. Draft him accordingly as he is signed longer term than his partner.

Niklas Kronwall – A coming out party this season as Kronwall bested his overall points by 16 with 51 points in 80 games. A potential keeper after a career year, look for him in your draft as he is now a great option, even on a deep Detroit team.

Tomas Holmstrom – Father time has taken his toll on Holstrom’s body. Playing in only 53 games and netting 37 points, Holstrom left owners looking for other options waiting for him to finally be healthy. Injuries may be a concern now and he should only be looked at as a depth option in mid-rounds.

Chris Osgood – One of the most underrated goaltenders in the league. Osgood has had a successful career to this point and game within 1 game to adding to his cup collection. He struggled during the regular season and left owners wondering what was really going on with him. All the questions have been answered in the playoffs as he was able to take the number one spot back. Look for Osgood to tandem with another goalie next season as the regular season may be too long for the aging tender.


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