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Afternoon Line

But for all the brilliance they've shown in designing a roster for others to admire, the Red Wings have been lucky in finding some of the few bright spots they have. By Babcock's admission, Kindl, who is yet to appear in an NHL playoff game, has been "a pleasant surprise." Justin Abdelkader has shifted from being a bottom-six forward to a front-liner, usually teaming with veteran Pavel Datsyuk, who is still one of the league's premier two-way forwards and the rare Red Wing who has remained on top of his game all season. Babcock has raved about Abdelkader, who rebounded after a slow start -- no goals in his first 23 games -- to put up nine goals while upping his minutes and leading the team in hits. Even his emergence was kick-started by a good run of fortune. His first goal this season was an empty netter and he followed it with a pair of tallies against the Canucks on deflections, one off his shoulder and the other off his foot.

But good luck rarely trumps age. With players such as Bertuzzi (38), Datsyuk (34), Mikael Samuelsson (36), Henrik Zetterberg (32), John Franzen (34), Daniel Cleary (34) and Kronwall (32) getting up in age, the Wings are not only faced with an uncertain spring, but more uncertainty next season. Holland may have to be especially shrewd and nimble if he is to restore the team it is customary glory...

-Brian Cazeneuve of Sports Illustrated.  More on the Wings and a look at the Devils too.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Comments

dougie's avatar

The Wings are OLD??(facepalm)

Posted by dougie on 04/19/13 at 04:27 PM ET

Avatar

Posted by dougie on 04/19/13 at 05:27 PM ET

I think I read the Brendan Smith and Gustav Nyquist are retiring this summer, so next year the Wings won’t be quite so old.

Posted by Garth on 04/19/13 at 04:48 PM ET

Soupsnake's avatar

John Franzen

Posted by Soupsnake from Canton, Mi on 04/19/13 at 04:53 PM ET

CaptainDennisPolonich's avatar

Just because Babs put Abby on a line with Dats, doesn’t mean Abby was promoted to the top line or is a top line forward. It means Dats was demoted to 3/4 line duties and Babs has lost it.

Posted by CaptainDennisPolonich from The Land of Fake Boobs and Real Nuts on 04/19/13 at 05:10 PM ET

mrfluffy's avatar

The fact that that certain 38 year old alone would’ve made this team quite a bit better…

Posted by mrfluffy from A wide spot on I-90 in Montana on 04/19/13 at 05:44 PM ET

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Mikael Samuelsson (36)

Who?  He hasn’t played for the Red Wings in years as far as I can remember, but I too am suffering from the effects of advanced age.

Posted by maltby18 on 04/19/13 at 06:00 PM ET

redxblack's avatar

The grand rapids griffins are old.

Posted by redxblack from Akron Ohio on 04/19/13 at 06:09 PM ET

awould's avatar

Yes. The Red Wings have gotten very lucky in identifying talent. ??

This article seems to say that while the Wings have put together a solid roster over a long long time, they’ve also gotten lucky with some players they drafted who turned out to be good.

I am tired of articles like this, but usually they at least give credit to the Wings stellar scouting crew. Now I guess the Wings are just old and they’ve always gotten lucky before anyways…. I guess the natural progression for them is the Colorado Avalanche? Puhleeze

Posted by awould on 04/19/13 at 09:58 PM ET

Avatar

Just because Babs put Abby on a line with Dats, doesn’t mean Abby was promoted to the top line or is a top line forward.

This.

Posted by Garth on 04/20/13 at 06:40 AM ET

CaptNorris5's avatar

Just because Babs put Abby on a line with Dats, doesn’t mean Abby was promoted to the top line or is a top line forward. It means Dats was demoted to 3/4 line duties and Babs has lost it.

Posted by CaptainDennisPolonich from Warm and sunny SoCal on 04/19/13 at 06:10 PM ET

x 19

Abby ain’t no top line performer. Babs is just stubborn and loves testing failing hypotheses.

Posted by CaptNorris5 from The Winged Wheel, stuck in Chicago on 04/20/13 at 12:58 PM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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