The Detroit Red Wings are a team primed for a deep playoff run in the 2011-2012 NHL season. After two straight postseason losses to the San Jose Sharks, some have been quick to start putting the nails in the too-old-too-brittle coffin of the Red Wings.
Don't be so quick to count out this veteran laden squad.
There has been a youth movement in Detroit—at least compared to the last few seasons where there has been very little personnel turnover for the team. Cory Emmerton and Jakub Kindl have both stepped up and played an important role for the Wings since opening night.
They are important to a Stanley Cup run, as possessing depth is paramount during the offseason. But they aren't alone. Here are five players that are absolutely key to getting through to the Western Conference finals and beyond this season.