Well, that was fun. Kinda. It's been a pretty wild two weeks with lots of getting up earlier. Finally we can all enjoy a little sleep! Or can we? Either way, congratulations to the 8 individuals (the most of any NHL team, mind you) bringing back an Olympic medal to Hockeytown... Silver and gold, none of that bronze crap. Eyyyyy! The next two months is probably the most important two months the Detroit Red Wings have faced in quite some time. With Henrik Zetterberg undoubtedly out for the rest of the season, the boys will look to make a push for their 23rd consecutive playoff appearance.. A task that isn't going to come so easily missing the franchise's best player. Players need to step up.. Plain and simple. The young guys have been doing so all season, and now is a great time for them to keep on keepin' on. You know what would be great as well? To see guys like Stephen Weiss and Johan Franzen(if he's ready, don't rush it you jerks) break out of their shells and show us what it's all about.
I can't really put all of my marbles on one single player who needs to step up the most, but I can narrow it down to position.. Plain and simple, the two biggest X-factors for this team are defense and goal-tending. Defense has been awful this year. Terrible. Detrimental. Just downright lethargic at times. I want to see a bit more fire come out of the blue line. I want to see guys like Jakub Kindl bounce back and establish himself offensively like he had left off last season. I want to see the guys start moving the puck out of their zone and stop having so many stupid neutral zone turnovers. If we can execute that, it will make the jobs of Jimmy Howard and Jonas Gustavsson a lot easier.
Speaking of which, I expect Jimmy to play 98% of the rest of the season, barring any sort of injury. Remember who carried us to the playoffs last year when we were in the same boat and thought it might be the year we finally miss the playoffs? It was Jimmy. He's had a rough go this season, but having a solid two weeks worth of rest can benefit the cause. Either way, I don't care how rested he is.. If the defense is bad, our goalies are going to continue to get pasted... Which, you know, isn't a good thing when you want to win hockey games. (we want to win hockey games)
Alright, so there's my two cents. Let's dish. Detroit hockey is back, and I think that's really cool. What do you think is going to be a huge part if the Red Wings mean to make success out of this last stretch? Which players are you looking towards? What positions are going to need to step it up? Is it time we finally bring up a few different names from Grand Rapids in search of some additional young fire-power? There are some interesting names on the wire for the trade deadline.. Should Detroit make a move? What's your favorite kind of cookie? What are you having for dinner tonight. Does your sister want to go on a date with me? I don't know, guys.. Anything. Let's just talk about something non Olympic related...