Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
As offensively gifted as the Red Wings' roster is top to bottom, the team really thrives on its play in the defensive zone. Some may be concerned about that defensive prowess slipping a bit in the wake of Brian Rafalski's retirement, but not me.
For one, the blue line will still be rock solid with Ian White coming in to replace Rafalski. Also, many people tend to forget the tremendous defensive ability that the Wings' forwards possess. Sure, Detroit did not have the best defensive season a year ago, but Datsyuk—their most defensively gifted forward—was out for a good chunk of the season.
The continued maturation of Jimmy Howard along with a healthy Pavel Datsyuk, will make the Red Wings an impressive defensive hockey team.