Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 04/19/13 at 05:04 PM ET
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.
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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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