Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Thank You For A Great Season, Detroit Red Wings

The Detroit Red Wings season did not culminate with a Stanley Cup victory, but it was a great season of hockey for the fans and the team.

There were bumps and bruises along the way for the Red Wings and many experts doubted the team was still good, let alone, making the NHL Playoffs for the twenty-third straight season.

In the offseason the Detroit Red Wings signed Daniel Alfredsson from Ottawa, which was a major shock, and Stephen Weiss from Florida, which was expected. While Weiss was plagued with injuries which kept him out of the season, Alfredsson became a major player for the Red Wings and ended up tying for the team lead in points with Niklas Kronwall at fourty-nine.

The Red Wings – Maple Leafs game became the most attended game in NHL history and was a great experience for the fans in attendance and an amazing show for the fans watching on TV at home.

Niklas Kronwall cemented himself as Detroit’s number one defenseman this season, while Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg continued to be superstars for the Red Wings and lifted the team to new heights when on the ice.

When Pavel Datsyuk and then Henrik Zetterberg went down due to injuries the Red Wings found a way to not only survive, but flourish without them. The main reasons was probably because the kids from Grand Rapids played admirably with Detroit, but it took a team effort to replace what both of those players brought to the ice every night.

Unlike previous seasons, fans were treated with seeing the future of the Detroit Red Wings a season or two before they would have normally be brought up to the NHL. But even though they were called up before their time, they played spectacular for Detroit and the Kid Line became an integral part of the team.

Riley Sheahan, Luke Glendening, Tomas Jurco, and Gustav Nyquist were all called up from the Grand Rapids Griffins and spent a large majority of the season in Detroit.

Sheahan ended up fifth in points per game among rookies with thirty games or more played, Glendening was praised for his compete level and regularly matched up against the other teams top line, Jurco ended the season with fifteen points in thirty-five games, and Nyquist led the Red Wings in goals and tied Zetterberg for the second most points on the team.

Tomas Tatar, Joakim Andersson, Brian Lashoff, Danny DeKeyser, and Brendan Smith round out the young team for Detroit and each had their moments of brilliance this season.

Honorable mentions to: Mitch Callahan, Landon Ferraro, Teemu Pulkkinen, Adam Almqvist, Alexey Marchenko, Xavier Ouellet, and Ryan Sproul, who each played at least one game with the Detroit Red Wings this season.

In net, Jonas Gustavsson and Jimmy Howard made a great tandem this season. Gustavsson earned himself a shot at a starting job and picked up a first star of the week accolade from the NHL, while Howard had a rough season, but picked himself up at the end of the year and once again helped push Detroit into the playoffs.

As I said before, it might not have been the outcome fans wanted, but the Wings laid down a great foundation for next season and there is a bright future for the players and the Detroit Red Wings.

Thank you again, Detroit Red Wings; it was a great ride and the countdown to next season begins now.

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