This season, a new era begins. No Lidstrom. It has been a whole generation since this was last true. Even the limited player who was on the ice last year is better than anyone likely to replace him.
- Datsyuk is still one of the best players in the NHL.
- Jimmy Howard has come a long, long way and may earn the right to be called elite this season.
- Jordin Tootoo will provide some physicality, and likely more skill than some expect.
- The defense is going to be ugly after losing not one but two twenty minute a night guys.
- Last years penalty kill was not great, with the loss of four minutes among the defensemen, that won’t get better.
- You can’t avoid asking how healthy key forwards on this team will be
High: Bubble, if everything goes right, everyone is healthy, and everyone plays to or above their average, the team will sneak into the seven or eight spot at best, and likely end up at the nine or ten spot.
Low: If things get ugly on he injury front, or the defense is even worse than I expect, the team will bounce down as low as the 12 spot.
This seasons x-factor in Detroit is the CBA. The possibility of a trade, or a the cap changing and causing mass movement of players is about all the fans in Michigan can pin their hopes on for improving this team this season.