A casual Red Wings fan who has not tuned in for many games might not recognize a substantial portion of the roster this season if said fan tuned in to Wednesday night's game against the Boston Bruins.
Names like Riley Sheahan, Tomas Jurco, Tomas Tatar and even, to an extent, Gustav Nyquist were all unknowns at the start of the season.
Sure, each player was "known" by fans and management, but as for what each player could do in the NHL? That was still a question.
Those players have answered the bell down the stretch in this season, and while all four of those players have contributed different amounts on offense, the Red Wings are a better team because they are in the lineup on a more consistent basis.
This team has shown that it is more than capable of challenging for a playoff spot, as the Wings currently sit in the top wild-card spot.
The Red Wings have not backed down from stiff competition this year, and though fans may grow irritated at the length of time it takes some of these players to learn from their mistakes, one must remember that these players are all young and still learning the nuances of the NHL game.
For how this patchwork team has risen to the occasion, the postseason is theirs to lose but also theirs for the taking.
All statistics via NHL.com.