It’s that time of year when hope springs eternal; everyone is equal out of the gate.
Recap- Detroit looked unstoppable throughout the season until they met Anaheim in round two of the Western conference. Suddenly they found a worthy opponent that seemed to pull it together just in time for the playoffs and just managed to squeak out a game seven victory. After Detroit and Pittsburg breezed through their round three opponents, Pittsburg won the Stanley cup pulling off a seven game upset of Detroit in a repeat engagement of 2007-2008.
Does 2008-2009 mark the end of the Detroit dynasty? Four Stanley cups in the last 12 years. With several key departures this year including Marian Hossa, Tomas Kopecky, Ty Conklin, Jiri Hudler, and Mikael Samuelsson Detroit will have some holes to fill. With a strong farm system the Red Wings promise to be a strong contender again this year. Darren Helm in particular looked strong in the playoffs.
Can ageless Nicklas Lidstrom keep on performing at such high level at 39 years old and in his 18th season? Henrik Zetterberg had a drop in his regular season goals total at 31 his lowest since 2003-2004 season. But when it mattered both he and Franzen scored at a point a game throughout the playoffs.