The Detroit Red Wings begin the 2016-17 campaign tonight in Tampa Bay against the Lightning. We’ve heard from media pundits, fans, and team management on how they think the team will fare this season. Now, let’s take a look at what some of our writers at DSN think.
Carl Poposki – “Even though the Red Wings defense is suspect, I expect them to be more exciting on offense this season. Led by Dylan Larkin and a bounce back year for Gustav Nyquist, Detroit should end up with between 95 and 100 points. Good enough to squeak into the playoffs and keep the streak going. 3rd place in the Atlantic behind Tampa Bay and Montreal.”
Don Drysdale – “During the 2015-2016 season, the Detroit Red Wings finished 3rd in the Atlantic with 93 points, despite having a minus 13 goal differential. The Red Wings final season at Joe Louis Arena will be an emotional one, from start to finish, and it could take some magic to get to the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the 26th season. To be honest, on paper the Wings are probably not a playoff team, but sometimes things are just meant to be and I believe the Red Wings will rise to the occasion and shock a lot of people. When all is said and done, the Wings will once again finish 3rd in the Atlantic, this time with 95 points, and they will then take their best shot at re-claiming the Stanley Cup.”
Michael Whitaker – “This season, Detroit should be able to improve off their inconsistency from last year. Head coach Jeff Blashill has a full NHL year under his belt now and two brand new assistants to work with. Dylan Larkin is poised to take the next step, as is Petr Mrazek. While nobody can replace Pavel Datsyuk, newcomer Frans Nielsen is an excellent two-way forward and will help offset the loss of the Magician. If Detroit’s offensive game can rebound from an off-season last year and Mrazek can hold down the fort, there’s no reason why Detroit can’t extend their playoff streak to a 26th year. The Red Wings should finish 2nd in the Atlantic Division behind Tampa Bay and ahead of Montreal.
Nate’n Webb – “With the large number of additions at forward, we can assume we’ll see the Wings’ offense click more often than usual. But with the big question mark still at the defense corps, they’re going to have to fight tooth and nail every night to make every game count. This season should be a measuring stick for the future of Ken Holland’s job in Detroit, after failing to bolster the defense and losing two good prospects to waivers for absolutely nothing. It will be an accomplishment for this team to simply make the playoffs this year in my opinion. Overall record prediction: 41-32-9”
Alex Muller – “42-31-10: The absence of Pavel will be felt in more ways than one, and it may take time for the new guys to gel and figure out their new roles, particularly Frans Nielsen. But he’s a veteran scorer up to the task and will contend in leading the team in scoring. The team is largely a wildcard at this point, a lot of unknowns from both the veterans and the youngsters. However, the experience factor and familiarity with one another will be enough for at the worst a 26th straight playoff appearance.”