These first two games have been kind of fun, huh? I mean outside of getting of getting to watch classic preseason hockey, I’m more so just talking about the production from the kids. Cholo off the pipe, to D-Boss to Rasmussen, game over. Smith to Svechnikov for the GWG against the Blackhawks late in the 3rd. These are the kind of things all of us Red Wings fans could get used to seeing. With two preseason games officially in the books, it’s safe to say that it's hockey time here in Detroit. Well, now it’s time to find out the pulse of Red Wings nation. I kind of anticipate where many will fall with this, but how about others? It’s time to find out. Here are the list of expectations you could have this year for the Detroit Red Wings.
The “Put the Xbox Down and Go to Bed” Expectations
Everyone’s done it. Cooked up a franchise in whatever version of NHL you have and immediately trade the likes of Ericsson, Helm, Nyquist, whoever. Well that’s what having the biggest expectations will be like this year. You see all the bad contracts being traded away and they land the Red Wings draft pick after draft pick. You make sure Svechnikov, Zadina, Rasmussen, Hicketts, Cholowski and Hronek all playing regularly and essentially you play every game and take this team on a deep playoff run and reach the Conference Finals for the first time since 2009. I’m fairly certain 99.99% of Wings fans do not have these expectations, but someone out there will. And hey, maybe having expectations like this one isn’t too far down the road....
The “Hot N’ Ready” Expectations
These expectations are along the lines of you think this team is a legit playoff team, but not good enough to overtake the Big 3 atop the Atlantic. You see them getting in as a Wild Card or somehow finishing 3rd in the East because all of the young talent just excels. Larkin touches 80 points, Mantha 30 goals, Zadina and Rasmussen fill the net with pucks 25 times each and they become one of the more fun teams to watch in the NHL. However, the teams youth shows in the playoffs as they can’t get past the juggernaut that is the Atlantic Division this year, but they show everyone around the NHL what is being built in Detroit, and boy is it fun to see.
The “Poke and Hope” Expectations
Ah, poke and hope, fun times. *Moment of silence for our fallen captain*.... Basically you think this team has a legit playoff chance and are very hopeful they can make it. You know outside of Boston, Tampa Bay and Toronto, there isn’t much in the Atlantic Division so you think finishing 4th is a realistic goal. However, you know this teams defense and goaltending is skeptical and in the end expect this team to just fall short whether Florida or Buffalo finally step up and make the playoffs, or the Metropolitan generates 5 teams. But hey, you loved what you saw from this team and firmly expect to see a playoff appearance next year.
The “Don’t Stop Believin’” Expectations
I feel many will fall under this category. You’re pretty much thinking with no Z, the defense having not improved and the fact there is too little experience on this team, there’s just no way they can make a run. It’s going to be a bummer, another down year and another high draft pick is in our near future, but you do see glimpses of the future. Whether it’s Larkin, Mantha, Rasmussen, Bertuzzi, Zadina, etc. having big games throughout the year, you know how good this team can be, but understand they aren’t quite there yet. May as well listen to Journey right now, because you don’t expect a lot of it at Little Caesars arena this season.
The “Probably Time to Stop Believin’” Expectations
Oh boy, you really think the season is going to be that bad? No Z, no defense, the youngsters just can’t even get going this year and hell, some may even regress, and you find yourself thinking that this team is almost further away from competing than they were a year ago. You don’t even think Steve Yzerman ends up coming back to fix this mess in the offseason. This team is definitely picking Top 3, and probably even #1. Hopefully Jack Hughes can become the lord and savior we have been waiting for, but man, it doesn’t even seem like he could help fix this mess. We’re going to be bad for a long, long time now.
Right here, right now, what are YOUR expectations for the Red Wings this season?
This poll is closed
Deep Playoff Run
Make Playoffs, Early Exit
Playoff Contender, but Not There Yet
Mid-Lottery Pick Again
Top 3 Pick