Detroit Red Wings: 8 Things To Know About The New Season

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Mar 19, 2015; Saint Paul, MN, USA; Washington Capitals defenseman Mike Green (52) against the Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center. The Capitals defeated the Wild 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

#7: The Defense Will Be Better

The Wings finally got their long coveted right-handed big name defenceman through free agency this summer by signing veteran Mike Green. Green’s right-shot, offensive ability and veteran leadership will help boost a Detroit defense that has been trying to find its identity since losing Nicklas Lidstrom. Green should be a solid pairing with the young Danny DeKeyser and will also add another weapon to Detroit’s power-play unit.

Going back to Blashill, Jakub Kindl could very well find a resurgence under coach “Blash”. Blashill has been a supporter of Kindl’s and may turn him into a reclamation project of his. Younger blue-liners such as Xavier Ouellet and Alexey Marchenko, who impressed during their time in Detroit last year, may also find some more ice-time as they continue to develop into NHL defencemen.

Apr 8, 2014; Buffalo, NY, USA; Detroit Red Wings goalie Jimmy Howard (35) during the second period against the Buffalo Sabres at First Niagara Center. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

#6: A Battle Between The Pipes

Sticking with the back-end of the Red Wings’ lineup, there will also be a battle for the starting position in net between veteran Jimmy Howard and the youngster Petr Mrazek. After posting all-star like numbers during the first half of the season last year, but never being able to return to that form after a groin injury, Howard will look to find his game and win back the confidence of both coaches and fans.

Petr Mrazek was simply “Mrazekal” during his time as Howard’s replacement. During Jimmy’s six-week absence last season Petr earned the right to start against the Tampa Bay Lightning during the Red Wings’ opening series of the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs. There he posted two shutouts and made the NHL Save Of The Year against Tampa’s Brian Boyle.

It’ll be interesting to see who wins the starting job for the Red Wings come opening night. It’s also possible that Howard will be able to bounce back and find his game, which would allow the Red Wings to have one of the best goalie tandems in the entire NHL. Only time will tell.

Next: #5: It's Teemu's Time To Shine