The major complaint about the Wings has been goaltending, but last year, the team lost a huge amount of offense in Hudler, Samuelsson, and Hossa, who accounted for 168 points. How is Holland replacing that scoring?
Many had hoped that Todd Bertuzzi and Jason Williams would be able to fill the shoes of Hossa combined but Williams is injured and Bert has been inconsistent. A lot was also expected from Ville Leino because of how he did during his brief regular season stint last year but he's yet to produce all that much. In the end, it's the same old reliable guys like Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk that have stepped up. Also a huge surprise is the resurgence that Tomas Holmstrom has seen this year which was a little unexpected but readily accepted. Guys like Darren Helm, Justin Abdelkader, and Patrick Eaves are all finding some success and I think it’s a matter of time before one of them starts to find consistent scoring.
When does Holland finally deal for a goalie? Will it be Martin Biron?
For a while, it seemed inevitable that Holland would deal for a goalie. Now, I'm not so sure that will happen. Many questioned whether or not Jimmy Howard was NHL material or if he was a perennial AHL'er. After a slow start, I can tell you that he has all the skills to become the next starter in Detroit. He had been advertised as highly skilled and after adjusting to the speed of the NHL, that skill is starting to show. Also, Holland has said there will be no trade for a goalie and he is pretty consistent and steadfast in his decisions usually. If there is a trade though, Biron would likely be the guy.
Like the Oilers, the Red Wings are battered and bruised. Is anyone noticeably stepping up in the absence of Franzen, Kronwall, Filppula and Williams?
So far its just been a sit and pray atmosphere for games, hoping no one else gets hurt because we are barely scraping by at the moment with the injuries. Offensively, Zetterberg, Datsyuk, Cleary and Holmstrom have stepped up big time but it will be very hard to replace Kronwall on the other end of the ice. In my opinion, Derek Meech has stepped in admirably and contributed pretty well. The defensive rotation has changed to two main pairs with Meech and Brett Lebda alternating so you can see the impact that Kronwall had defensively if a whole pairing was eliminated.