DSN staff predictions: 2015-16 Detroit Red Wings

With the start of the 2015-16 NHL regular season, fans league-wide are forming their predictions and opinions about how their teams will progress over the course of the year. We here at DSN are no different, already formulating hypothetical roster moves and game results. The Detroit Red Wings hit the ice for their season opener tomorrow night, so we’ll share with you our Detroit season predictions.

Shae Brophy

Contributing Author

As far as turnover goes, the only losses the Red Wings have between last year and now are Erik Cole, Marek Zidlicky, and Stephen Weiss, none of which were “big time” contributors. Now, add a right-handed, offensive-minded defenseman in Mike Green, and an experienced playmaking forward in Brad Richards. Also consider the youth that has taken over for the Wings; Tatar, Nyquist, Glendening, DeKeyser, Sheahan, Mrazek, Pulkkinen, etc. Mixed with the veterans such as Zetterberg, Datsyuk, Kronwall, Ericsson, Howard, and so on and so forth, and it becomes very okay to be excited for what this team could accomplish this year. First-year head coach Jeff Blashill, who coached quite a few of the younger guys on the team during their time in Grand Rapids, is more than ready to handle the reins to this team. He has served his time in the system, and led the Griffins to a plethora of success in his time there. Combine all these pieces, and the Red Wings should be able to have another very exciting season. The weakness on the team is still along the blue line. Turnovers and sloppy play from the defensemen have been an issue, and the addition of Mike Green seems to be par for the course defensively. The Red Wings will extend their streak of playoff appearances to 25 this year, but the biggest question for me is this: Do they have the defense/goaltending to make a run at the Stanley Cup?

Overall record: 47-25-10 (104 points).

Jeff Deacon

Managing Editor

Summer is in the books, which means it’s time for hockey season. For the Red Wings, it was a summer of much-needed change. With Jeff Blashill taking over for Mike Babcock behind the bench, and a plethora of young talent mixed with seasoned veterans, it looks to be a promising year in Hockeytown. The big question will be if the Red Wings can keep pace with the Lightning and Canadiens in the Atlantic Division. With the likes of Dylan Larkin, Tomas Tatar, Gus Nyquist, and Teemu Pulkkinen, Detroit has a youthful flavor to mix in with veterans Brad Richards, Henrik Zetterberg, and Mike Green. Can they stay healthy? Is Petr Mrazek set to jump Jimmy Howard on the depth chart? Those questions and more will be answered only with time. I’m picking the Red Wings to finish just shy of the 100 point plateau and finish 5th in the Eastern Conference, and 3rd in the Atlantic Division.

Overall record: 45-30-7 (97 points).

Derek Carnevale

Senior Author

The Red Wings had an off-season with considerable change. They were able to sign veterans Mike Green and Brad Richards, and they now have their first new coach in 10 years. We are already seeing some positive changes with Jeff Blashill behind the bench. He is creating more opportunity for the younger players, and the veteran players seem to be rejuvinated by their new bench boss.

MUST READ:
Sebastian Cossa has a place in the Detroit Red Wings rebuild

A full summer of training for Henrik Zetterberg, instead of rehabbing like last summer, will go a long way in ensuring that he stays productive throughout the entire season. The Red Wings need him now more then ever to lead this team. They have an excellent mix of veterans and youth, and I believe that players such as Tomas Jurco, Teemu Pulkkinen and Dylan Larkin will thrive under Blashill’s command, giving the Wings even more weapons up and down the lineup.

This is arguably the best Red Wings team on paper since the 2009 season. They have layers of depth in every position, now it is time to not only extend the infamous playoff streak, but to also contend. If this team can stay healthy and their goaltending tandem plays well, I think that the Red Wings have a great chance of finishing 2nd in their division.

Overall record: 49-28-5 (103 points).

Alexander Muller

Contributing Author

I think having Blashill behind the bench will be a smooth transition, seeing as he’s been around a good chunk of the current roster already. Having veterans the likes of Mike Green, as well as Brad Richards fresh off a Cup, provides more depth and experience, barring injuries.

Overall record: 45-26-11 (101 points).

Nathan Webb

Red Wings Editor

Many people are saying this is a strong Red Wings team on paper. Truth is they’re strong on the ice as well, and the logjam at both forward and defense shows that easily. We’ve got NHL-ready players champing at the bit in the AHL to get NHL time if someone gets hurt, and they’re players that showed in the preseason that they can produce. While this forces the brass to make difficult choices, it also gives the Wings viable, productive options to keep the team rolling in case the injury bug hits. (Knock on wood). Our veterans are right on the cusp of decline, and they know it. This means they’ll be pushing as hard as they can to make a deep run come playoff time.

The addition of an offensive force on the blue line makes our already-potent power play all the more dangerous, and special teams can win you games. I think it’s going to be a tight battle in the Atlantic Division between the Tampa Bay Lightning, the Montreal Canadiens, and of course the Red Wings. Tampa will see more production from their already-dangerous offense to propel them to a division title, with the Red Wings hot on their heels in 2nd place.

Overall record: 46-23-13 (105 points)

Have you subscribed to our YouTube Channel yet? Subscribe and hit that notification bell to stay up to date on all the latest Detroit sports news, rumors, interviews, live streams, and more!