Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 01/18/10 at 03:11 PM ET
from Darren Eliot of Sports Illustrated,
For the first time in 15 years, the script is vastly different for the storied Detroit Red Wings. Instead of gradually gearing up for a Stanley Cup run, the Wings know the playoffs aren’t a certainty this time around. Beset by injuries, their depth has been taxed to the limit. In the past, injuries afforded the regulars some rest while the front office and the fans got a glimpse of prospects toiling in the AHL.
It is against this unusual but not unforeseen backdrop that the Red Wings are now operating. In their nightly scramble for precious points, they are finding out what they have and what they need. GM Ken Holland knows that he’ll clear plenty of cap space after the season. Coach Mike Babcock understood that this campaign wouldn’t be about 50-wins and another Central Division title. It was going to mean finding different ways each night to just get to the postseason.
What Detroit didn’t know was how much it could expect from goaltender Jimmy Howard.
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