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Why the Wings will win: Been there, done that

Thursday, 04.29.2010 / 4:53 PM ET / News
By Phil Coffey
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Why the Wings will win: Been there, done that
Been there. Done that. Have multiple T-shirts.

The easiest reason to say the Red Wings will win the Stanley Cup this spring is because they know every bump and pothole along the way on the grueling road to the Stanley Cup.

For long stretches this season, the Red Wings appeared to have lost the map, but their struggles were the logical outcropping of transitioning to a younger lineup; one missing the likes of Marian Hossa, Jiri Hudler, Mikael Samuelsson and Tomas Kopecky.

Now throw in a seemingly endless run of injuries. Johan Franzen, Tomas Holmstrom, Valtteri Filppula, Dan Cleary, Niklas Kronwall, Jason Williams, Kirk Maltby and Andreas Lilja all spent time on the injured list. That's a pretty good second reason why the Red Wings looked like imposters to the powerhouse of seasons past.

But Franzen got back right before the Olympic break and the Red Wings roared back from that two-week break to climb steadily up the Western Conference ladder, eventually reaching 100 points again.

"Now, a couple of things happened to us over the Olympics," coach Mike Babcock said. "Pavel's (Datsyuk) team lost out early. And the Swedes lost out early, giving them a little more rest than maybe some of the teams that would have went to a final. So that was a positive situation, even though in their mind probably negative, it was good for our team being self-serving. We've been able to get on a run.

"We've got a proud group here. I think we easily could have been derailed if we didn't have good leadership and our best players didn't care a lot. But they found a way to dig in.

"The great thing about the playoffs is we all know everybody has a shot now. It's as tight as it's ever been top to bottom. And, in particular in the West, I think there's a lot of parity. It should be fun."



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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 WSH 51 38 9 4 166 114 80
2 FLA 52 31 15 6 143 115 68
3 NYR 52 29 18 5 148 134 63
4 TBL 51 29 18 4 137 118 62
5 BOS 52 28 18 6 151 137 62
6 NYI 51 27 18 6 143 127 60
7 DET 52 26 18 8 130 131 60
8 PIT 51 26 18 7 132 130 59
9 NJD 53 26 20 7 119 120 59
10 CAR 54 24 21 9 130 142 57
11 MTL 54 26 24 4 143 143 56
12 PHI 51 23 19 9 121 133 55
13 OTT 53 24 23 6 148 165 54
14 BUF 53 21 26 6 120 139 48
15 TOR 51 19 23 9 117 140 47
16 CBJ 54 21 28 5 135 168 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
D. Larkin 51 18 19 25 37
H. Zetterberg 52 9 25 2 34
T. Tatar 51 15 17 -2 32
G. Nyquist 52 14 15 -2 29
J. Abdelkader 52 14 12 -4 26
P. Datsyuk 37 6 20 11 26
M. Green 46 4 17 -7 21
N. Kronwall 45 3 14 -10 17
B. Richards 38 5 10 6 15
D. DeKeyser 48 6 8 12 14
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Mrazek 19 10 4 .932 2.03
J. Howard 7 8 4 .904 2.89