Tuesday, September 25, 2007

2007-08 Preseason Foreplay: Detroit Red Wings

Editor's Note: Today's foreplay is brought you by reader and Red Wings fan Derek C.

...and that's what interns are for.
Quick hits
Odds for the folks at gambler's anonymous

3990:1 – Wings will sign Foppa.

17:1 – Wings will discontinue use of the funny-looking preseason name patches.

3:1 – Jimmy Howard will take Chris Osgood’s backup goaltender position by the end of the season.

2:1 – Red Wings will trade an early round draft pick for a veteran center or defenseman by the trade deadline.

Obligatory serious analysis

The Central Division is Detroit’s to lose. After falling two wins short of a Stanley Cup Finals berth last season, Detroit returns with a roster similar to the one of last Spring. The most obvious change will be addition of free agent (and Detroit-area native) Brian Rafalski (for five years at $30 million). Rafalski will take over Matty Schneider’s first line spot with Niklas Lidstrom.

Up front, the Red Wings are led by Zetterberg and Datsyuk, who are both expected to put up 90-100 point seasons. Jiri Hudler should emerge as a second line center and likely will see the largest increase in point production from 06-07. Detroit added Dallas Drake for some added grit. As long as he stays healthy, his true value will emerge in the final months of the season.

Igor Grigorenko failed to crack the Wings lineup but will remain stateside and play for the Griffins in Grand Rapids. However, other young players will remain with Detroit and will be relied on for consistent play if Detroit is to walk away with the division. Including Hudler, the Wings need Franzen, Tomas Kopecky and Valteri Filpulla to continue to develop.

Dominik Hasek returns between the pipes but with his playing days limited, Chris Osgood will see a large share of backup duty. If he struggles, Wings fans will press for Jimmy Howard to emerge as the Wing’s goalie of the future as he has done this preseason. Howard has worked hard with Wings goaltending coach Jim Bedard and lost 20 lbs in the off-season. If Howard doesn’t become a mainstay this season, with Osgood in the final year of his deal, expect to see him regularly in 2008-09.

Detroit will win the Central easily, and challenge for the Western Conference Title and President’s Trophy. By March, Detroiters should have only Octopi-related thoughts on their minds. (Ed. -- agreed)

The best looking ice girls in Detroit
(Ed. -- Today's is actress Kristen Bell, who grew up near Detroit)

Previous Editions of Preseason Foreplay


  1. Kristen Bell is smoking hot.

    God bless you for posting her picture.

  2. My dad actually took that photo you got off of Flickr at a Wings playoff game against San Jose this past season. Anyways, she's one of the Wings "ice girls." Unlike other teams, our ice girls wear actually hockey stuff & not cheerleader outfits. And as a Wings intern, we're up in the press box or in the office working during the game!

  3. @christy hammond: Ah, didn't even realize that was his. Hope you guys don't mind me using it. =)

  4. Why is my picture on this site and where did you get it?

  5. I have to admit that it sucks to be an intern but you can mess a little bit and you can learn some things that you wouldn't learn at school .