Curran: Newcomers Could Make Provoking Debut in Red Wings Home Opener
As the roster became final on Tuesday afternoon, Detroit Red Wings fans are left with some high hopes from what they witnessed in the preseason.
The Wings finished with an impressive 7-1 record including some offensive outbursts from a young, inexperienced team.
It’s hard not to question the authenticity of a preseason record and how well it will translate to the regular season but fans should be excited about this year’s team for a few reasons.
Young players in the past decade or so have become prominent in the NHL and have been coined with terms like ‘elite’ and ‘franchise player’ within months of their first NHL game.
Auston Matthews in his third season with the Toronto Maple Leafs has already been considered a candidate for team captain.
Likewise, Dylan Larkin remains a candidate for a captain or associate captain letter with the retirement announcement of Henrik Zetterberg in the Red Wings training camp in Traverse City.
But this could be a Jeff Blashill tactic to give the player some confidence in the system before putting him on the stage right away.
The 19-year-old forward Michael Rasmussen has made the roster and a lot of hopes are in him to produce with a team that struggled to find scoring opportunities last season.
One major setback will be the injured list and the players that the team will be starting the regular season in absence of.
Veteran defensemen like Niklas Kronwall, Jonathan Ericcson are dealing with injuries that leave them as a question mark for opening night.
Mike Green is on the injured reserve and will be replaced by an energetic Joe Hicketts on defense.
Bright spots shined for Dennis Cholowski and will be a highly spectated player the first couple games as he had a tremendous training camp and preseason.
The versatile Luke Witkowski cleared waivers and could return to the Grand Rapids Griffins as the forward/defenseman could still be a heavily favored option for the team in the wake of injuries.
The Red Wings will no doubt have early trials and if the offensive scoring doesn’t look right away like it did in preseason, fans should not worry.
The kids are out and ready for an opportunity but it will be the ones that are willing to be led that may see their time more rewarded.
The Red Wings will open their season Thursday night against the Columbus Blue Jackets at 7:30 p.m. at Little Caesars Arena.