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Three Questions: Wings-Leafs

DRW.com's Michael Caples analyzes the Wings' season opener

Thursday, 10.9.2008 / 9:57 PM ET / News
By Michael Caples  - Detroit Red Wings Staff Writer
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Three Questions: Wings-Leafs
1. What was the best part of the opening celebration?

Yes, the new banner went up. Yes, Dallas Drake and Dominik Hasek were back in town.  And yes, the Stanley Cup made an appearance. But to me, the best part was the eruption that occurred when Steve Yzerman stepped onto the red carpet as the Wings front office was introduced to the sell-out crowd. As former Red Wings great Johnny Wilson told me earlier, “the fans here in Detroit are wonderful; they put all their athletes here on a pedestal.” And if there was a real pedestal to measure with, Yzerman’s would tower right next to all the other greats this city has been fortunate enough to watch over eight decades of Red Wings’ hockey.

Honorable mention goes to Chris Chelios, for skating out, with a broken leg, in his full equipment for the banner ceremony. Talk about toughness; Cheli’s a poster boy for the physical side of hockey. 

2. Who’s going to have a breakout season?

It might seem like an obvious choice, but I’m choosing Jiri Hudler. The 24-year-old was on the starting line up for tonight’s game, skating on the right side with Henrik Zetterberg and Johan Franzen. Playing right wing on a line with Hank and the Mule is guaranteed points, but Hudler was poised for a big year either way, after watching his post-season performance last year. The Czech forward had 14 points last spring, and he’s entering only his third full year at the NHL level, which means he’s only going to get better.

3. Who spoiled the party?

Credit needs to go to Toronto coach Ron Wilson, whose forechecking strategy forced turnovers deep in the Red Wings’ end. Wilson’s troops also stayed out of the box, keeping Detroit’s offensive attack at bay. With the exception of Jamal Mayer’s delay of game call with 30-seconds left, the Leafs committed only two penalties in 59:30 worth of hockey – impressive for a team on the backend of an all-out attack throughout the game. Tomas Holmstrom notched both his goals on those two power plays, showing how important it is for teams to stay out of the box against the Wings.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
H. Zetterberg 82 13 37 -15 50
P. Datsyuk 66 16 33 7 49
D. Larkin 80 23 22 11 45
T. Tatar 81 21 24 4 45
G. Nyquist 82 17 26 -2 43
J. Abdelkader 82 19 23 -16 42
M. Green 74 7 28 -6 35
B. Richards 68 10 18 4 28
D. Helm 77 13 13 -2 26
N. Kronwall 64 3 23 -21 26
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Mrazek 27 16 6 .921 2.33
J. Howard 14 14 5 .906 2.80