2009 preview: Detroit Red Wings

Despite losing in the Stanley Cup finals in June, the Detroit Red Wings are still the team to beat in the NHL.

With so many great players, they can win high-scoring games, 1-0 games and everything in between. They’ll be a tough team again this season, and should be expected to go deep into the playoffs.

Story of the season: How will two straight long seasons start to affect the players? In the past two seasons, the Red Wings have played 209 games, not including pre-season games. This year, there will be another 82 games, plus the Olympics for probably half of the team. Will the fatigue start to catch up to Red Wings?

Former Habs: None.

Blog to follow: Winging it in Motown

TV commercial break

Pool Picks:Tomas Holmstrom could be worth a late-round pick. He was injured part of last year, but still had 37 points in 53 games. If he can stay healthy, expect about 60 points from him. Stay away from:It’s hard to recommend staying away from anyone on this team. But if I had to choose one, I’d go with Niklas Kronwall. He had 51 points last year, which was almost as much as his previous two years combined. Look for him to fall back in the 35-point range.

Award nominees:Dan Cleary for the Selke.

Expected Finish: First in the Central, second in the west

Cheerleader:It was either this picture, or a picture of Dave Coulier. Red Wing fans need to step it up.

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