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Re-learning the enemy: Detroit Red Wing edition

I got to ask Casey from our SB Nation blog Winging it in Motown some questions about how the Red Wings' season is going.


Now more than half-way through the season, the Red Wings are 28-11-5 and right back at the top of the Western Conference.  How would you say the season is going so far?

The season has been pretty good for the team so far.  The injuries have been horrible for the team but it's also been good to see how they've adjusted this year because of last year's experiences and have picked up points this year that they would have dropped last year. I think if and when everyone gets healthy, they'll be the best team in the West hands down and maybe the NHL.

For all the Pens fans who only get casual news about the Red Wings, can you quickly summarize the injuries the team has had to deal with lately?  Who's on the shelf for tomorrow's game?

Oh boy. Well, it's starting to look a bit like last season's campaign with the number of injuries that have surfaced during the season. The injuries with the most impact right now are the ones to Jimmy Howard and Chris Osgood. The fact that the Wings are starting Joey MacDonald against the Pens and have Thomas McCollum on the bench is pretty bad. The injuries have been pretty bad and to some key guys, here's a quick summary of the players listed as out for tomorrow:

Pavel Datsyuk--wrist
Dan Cleary--ankle
Brad Stuart--broken jaw
Tomas Holmstrom--hand
Mike Modano--wrist
Jimmy Howard--knee
Chris Osgood--groin

A closer look at Detroit after the jump..


With all the injuries, name a few players that have stepped it up with individual performances to keep the team winning.

For the most part, every game has a new hero and they've done a really good job as a team for picking up the slack. If I had to single a few players out though, it would Henrik Zetterberg, Nicklas Lidstrom and Patrick Eaves. Zetterberg is starting to show some of that leadership that a lot of folks think will make him the next captain of the Red Wings and has done a great job in all three zones each night. Lidstrom has been as good as ever and has done so with a rotating cast of defensive partners back there. Patrick Eaves has done a great job offensively and on the penalty kill and has probably already earned himself a new contract. Honorable mention goes to Jonathan Ericsson who had a horrible year last year but has been nothing short of great this year.

On the flip side of the coin, are there any players who've been personally disappointing to you this season with their play?

For me there have been a few disappointments but it's all based on previous expectations established. Niklas Kronwall has had a career best season in goals and the like but has been pretty bad in the defensive end and it has been costly at times. Overall though, it's just nitpicking with the disappointment though. I think the majority of folks are happy with the team this year.

With the trade deadline coming up, do you think Detroit pulls the trigger on any deals?  What position may they be looking for an upgrade at?

The only way I could see a trade happening is if more injuries plague the team but they've done a good job so far of just calling up players from Grand Rapids (AHL) and filling those spots.  I think with the cap space being so close they stand pat and stay without a trade.