DETROIT - OK, maybe this isn't exactly what you wanted to see from the Detroit Red Wings this season.
Maybe you wanted to see them scrape and claw for wins, miss the playoffs by a few points and fall somewhere in the middle of the draft order. They could put off rebuilding this squad for another four years and everyone could cheer on the mediocrity and say "everything is just fine" while the curtains burn and the paint melts on the flaming walls of this Original Six monument.
Maybe that's what you wanted.
But if you're a real fan of this team, then you're cheering for the young players to develop while the record stays just bad enough to land a top-three draft pick -- perhaps you're fully onboard the #LoseForHughes (Jack Hughes) train. Welcome aboard, friend.
And that's what makes this year "fun." Winning? Nope, not now. The rebuild is in full swing, and the Red Wings are shooting for the basement -- quite literally now as they were so terribly out-shot by the Carolina Hurricanes on Monday night. Kudos to you if you're still watching like me.
There will be times when the team looks , uh, "decent," this season, as they did down in Florida this past week. They gave the high-powered Tampa Bay Lightning a couple solid periods of hockey in a 3-1 loss Thursday night. On Saturday they were the best they've been in this infant campaign. They fell behind early, 0-2, to the Florida Panthers but roared back with three goals in the 2nd period and held onto the lead to win, 4-3.
There might be a few more nights like that. There might not be. As long as they avoid getting blown out 8-2 or 7-3, it should be a great season for developing young players such as Dennis Cholowski, Michael Rasmussen, Filip Hronek, Christoffer Ehn and anyone else they decide to call up from Grand Rapids.
And Dylan Larkin could be headed for an 80-point season on a losing team. Wouldn't that be nice? Yes, as long as he is rewarded with another group of top draft picks -- and it's possible some of those picks will be gathered at the trade deadline. That would be ideal.
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