Bet On NHL Hockey: Red Wings
The Detroit Red Wings were able to overcome some terrible injury woes last season to qualify for the postseason, even with some of their most important players missing significant time.
Now they will be tasked with doing more now that those key players are back and healthy to start the season.
Detroit Red Wings
Odds to win the 2015 Stanley Cup: 22/1
Odds to win the 2015 Eastern Conference: 10/1
Odds to Win the 2014 Atlantic Division: 6/1
2014-2015 Detroit Red Wings Betting Preview:
Red Wings general manager Ken Holland attempted to bring another big player into the fold through free agency but was unsuccessful this past offseason, but a squad that successfully qualified or a 24th consecutive trip to the playoffs last season despite a litany of injuries still brings plenty of optimism for this upcoming season.
The Red Wings used a number of young players to fend off all the injuries that plagued the team a year ago. None were more prominent than Gustav Nyquist, who burst onto the scene with 28 goals in 57 games last season, including a 10-game stretch in which he scored 12 goals on 30 shots.
Captain Henrik Zetterberg hurt his back in the 2014 Sochi Olympics and didn’t suit up for the Red Wings again in the regular season, eventually needed surgery to fix his ailing back, but he’s reportedly back to 100 percent and ready to go for the start of the season.
Center Pavel Datsyuk missed all of March with a knee injury, but rest and rehab in the offseason have reportedly brought the knee back to 100 percent as well. However, he suffered a shoulder injury in the team’s preseason opener against the Pittsburgh Penguins and will begin the season on the injured reserve list.
Last year’s big acquisition was center Stephen Weiss, who also missed a lot of time, sitting the final 56 games of the season with a sports hernia injury. Winger Johan Franzen played only one game in a two-month span, and fellow winger Daniel Alfredsson dealt with a back injury that forced him in and out of the lineup, and now has him questionable at best to return to the team in any capacity this season.
For all the time the team’s top two forward missed a year ago, they still put up good numbers, with Zetterberg averaging better than a point per game, notching 48 points in 45 games played, while Datsyuk racked up 37 poitns in 45 games.
Nyquist was also ultra-efficient scoring the puck, finding the back of the net 28 times on 153 shots, good for an 18.3 percent clip. While it’s unlikely he finds the net with that kind of regularity again this season, he will be counted on to contribute as a top-six forward this season.
The Red Wings’ defense corps is headlined by a slew of familiar faces. Niklas Kronwall and Jonathan Ericsson will be the top pair, while Kyle Quincey and Jakub Kindl will man the second pairing. That’s the area Holland was aiming to strengthen, particularly with unproven players behind those four, but it wasn’t to be. But with a bounce back season from Jimmy Howard, that will be an afterthought.
FREE Red Wings NHL Predictions 2014/2015
The Red Wings’ aging core has to know there won’t be many more shots at glory, and they’re positioned as well as they’re going to be for a run this season. If they can stay healthy – something that was a big problem last season – the Red Wings will be as tough an out as there is in the East.
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