We are halfway done with our look into the Central Division match ups. Our next look in is yet another team that not only do St Louis fans love to hate, but generally every fan in the NHL outside of this city they call the American Paris.
The Detroit Red Wings one of the original six is easily one of the best run sports franchises in America. They have definitely had their rough patches but have manages to be one of the most dominating teams year in and out. While they are mostly a build from within team they have only added role players. Their big forwards being Pavel Datsyuk, and Henrik Zetterberg. When healthy these two are lighting up the scoring leader boards and winning awards. Datsyuk has won 3 Selke awards for being one the most defensively responsible forwards in the league and 4 lady byng trophies for sportsmanship, on top of winning two Stanley Cups. Zetterberg has also won a Conn Smythe trophy in 2008 for being the MVP in the playoffs.
There is one man that is returning for another season this year to give their back end some stability and that man is Niklas Lidstrom. The big Swede is obviously a first ballot hall of fame defensemen and has won 4 Stanley Cups with the team, 7 Norris trophies as the best defenseman in the league. Lidstrom has easily always given the Blues his best shot every time around.
In net the Red Wings have Jimmy Howard starting who showed a bit of wear as the season wound down and in the playoffs. With Chris Osgood recently retiring the Wings brought back their old back up and former Blue Ty Conklin. Conklin was fan favorite here in town but provides a solid back up for Howard.
With everything the Wings have they still look like another force in the season and postseason this year. The Blues last year went 2-3-1 against the wings, their worst mark against Central Division opponents. The Blues posted 25 goals last year, and the Wings 26. Most games last year were some absolute wild swings in scoring. Their best game was a 10-0 drubbing that wings fans would like to forget. Their worst loss came as a 7-2 blowout.
The keys for the Blues success this year against the Wings needs to be health, and defensive prowess. In order for the Blues to make the playoffs this year and show what they have, they do need to reverse their fortunes and end the season above .500 against the Wings.
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