Finally, the 2013 season is upon us.
After almost four months of hockey fans around the country having to endure the ups and downs of lockout negotiations, we can breathe a collective sigh of relief: there WILL be a season this year, and it WILL start (at least for the Red Wings) on Saturday, January 19th. Red Wings fans in particular should be excited, as the shortened season as well as some high-profile additions to the roster should provide for an interesting season.
In the days before the season, I will be providing a line-by-line analysis of the opening day roster. Today I will begin with the forwards.
Line 1: Zetterberg – Datsyuk – Brunner
Datsyuk: 40 GP, 14 G, 33 A, 47 P
Zetterberg: 48 GP, 18 G, 30 A, 48 P
Brunner: 48 GP, 25 G, 19 A, 43 P
Line 2: Franzen – Filppula – Samuelsson
Filppula: 44 GP, 10 G, 25 A, 35 P
Franzen: 48 GP, 20 G, 15 A, 35P
Samuelsson: 38 GP, 9 G, 5 A, 14 P
Line 3: Cleary – Helm – Bertuzzi
Analysis: One of the better third lines in the league, for sure. This line can do it all. Helm continues to blossom into an elite defensive forward with the ability to contribute offensively – if he can ever figure out how to finish a play – and having Bertuzzi on his right gives him some offensive prowess and a big body to help feed him the puck and make room for him. Dan Cleary is very representative of this line in that he’s the proverbial jack-of-all-trades, and he has a lot to prove in a contract year, especially considering his last few seasons. Look for a bounce-back campaign from him. He especially has the potential to make or break this line.
Helm: 48 GP, 5 G, 19 A, 24 P
Cleary: 44 GP, 10 G, 15 A, 25 P
Bertuzzi: 48 GP, 15 G, 9 A, 24 P
Line 4: Miller – Abdelkader – Tootoo
Analysis: Finally, some grit. The Wings haven’t had toughness in the mold of Jordin Tootoo in a very long time.
Abdelkader: 48 GP, 6 G, 9 A, 15 P
Miller: 48 GP, 8 G, 9 A, 17 P
Tootoo: 40 GP, 5 G, 5 A, 10 P
Despite the losses of Tomas Holmstrom, Jiri Hudler, and Chris Connor, the Red Wings continue to carry one of the deepest forward corps in the league. There are a few question marks, but this is true of any team. Look for Detroit to rely on their bolstered offense to make a deep run into the playoffs this season.
On a separate note, I would like to give a huge thank you to my fellow staff writers Christina and Jordan, as well as the editor here at Octopus Thrower, Peter Fish, for giving me such a warm welcome and making joining the team an easy and seamless process. It’s an honor to write for all you Red Wings fans out there, and I look forward to providing quality commentary and news about the best team in the league for a long time to come.
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