Sunday, January 20, 2013
Reason to worry in Detroit?
By Luke Lapinski
We're just one game into the 2012-13 season -- far too early to read too much into an opening night performance. But last night's effort by the Detroit Red Wings may have fans in the Motor City a little nervous.
The concern doesn't come from the fact that their team is 0-1. Instead it comes from just how overmatched they looked against the St. Louis Blues. And because they struggled in specific areas that were already question marks entering the season. The blue line is clearly going to be down this season as the franchise begins life without Nicklas Lidstrom. That's understandable. But just how down will it be? Last night wasn't exactly encouraging. On top of that, the special teams came up empty, going 0-for-4 with the man advantage and giving up a shorthanded goal, then allowing the Blues to convert on 4-of-5 power play chances.
At the end of the day, it's still just one game. And it's better to struggle early in the season rather than late. The Wings have one of the most respected coaches in the game behind their bench and some world-class talent up front in Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg, so they could very well be fine. The question now is how well the other pieces fall into place and how quickly they can improve. Because a shortened season doesn't leave much room for continued mistakes and a streak of 21 consecutive playoff appearances hangs in the balance.