Looking at the first week of action, I was trying to guess success/failure rate of the Wings early goings. Opening night against Nashville I have penned in as a loss. In Nashville, Rinne can shut you down. Duchene and RyJo up the middle can cause plenty of issues. Forsberg can be amazing, etc. Dallas could be a very similar issue. Ben Bishop does well against Detroit and that team could be really good this year. Montreal seems to have Detroit’s number early in the year, Toronto for the first three months is an automatic loss. They hit the ground running each year.
That leaves Anaheim as the only team I feel the Wings could match up against. Gibson is the wild card as he can steal one at will. My first thoughts were the wings could go 2-1-2 with some luck. MTL an OT loss, Dallas could be out of sorts figuring a new roster out, etc. Then I read the injury report. Athanasiou not practicing and Larkin got hurt during practice. If both of them are out - 1-1-3 or 0-2-3.
You can see the lineup here https://www.mlive.com/red...r-injury-in-practice.html
Seeing Glendening in Athanasiou’s spot doesn’t instill much confidence. And if Larkin is down, forget everything. We will be on our heels all night. In fact, I would expect the 3rd line of Erne-Helm-Nielsen to be our best line. Not good.
It is going to be a long year. Our top 6 forwards are really a top 4 with a couple promotions. Our bottom 6 are “appropriate” for a bottom 6. We really need kids to take jobs. Veleno and Zadina would have to take the places of Filppula and Hirose in order to stick this year. They haven’t done it. The talent is there, they just need to keep developing. They’re 19, nobody panic.
Rasmussen will need to take Nielsen’s job. It’s possible at some point. But in truth Grand Rapids is a better place for these kids to get some swagger and log a lot of ice time. I just hope they take advantage.