The Red Wings open their season tonight at Little Caesar’s Arena against Montreal. Opening Night in Detroit with any of their teams is like a holiday in the city. Here are some thoughts hours before puck drop.
Let’s start with “Plus 1”
Looking through blogs from last year… but not to toot my own horn but… if you remember way back when at the beginning of last season…
From “Opening Homestand (over)Reactions: Red Wings” from October 23rd, 2021:
Once again congrats to Moritz Seider.
It’s fun to be right…
On to this season…
Below is the opening day roster.
(Scroll down… but please come back up? Yay, 50/50 shot that you’re still reading… I’m a math guy after all.)
First down the list, the highest profile signing Andrew Copp.
Ked and Brownie passed this on as one of my semi-coherent “Things to watch” on the pod. The Wings signed Copp, 5-Year $5.625M AAV in July. The Ann Arbor, Michigan native was a menace against Detroit with both teams he was on last year (New York Rangers and Winnipeg Jets), including an OT winner at LCA with me sitting 3 rows behind the Red Wings bench. Yeesh, not a great night.
2 years on the Team USA National Team Development Program (NTDP) in the USHL.
3-year starter at the University of Michigan. (Ann Arbor native)
Glad to have him playing back in Michigan and wearing the Wing-ed Wheel no less.
New acquisitions to join the roster.
Weapons, physical presence, and experience.
David Perron (putting on an A)
The defense definitely needed help in front of Alex Nedeljkovic. Veteran defensemen were obviously targets for Steve Yzerman in the offseason.
Ben Chiarot (putting on an A)
Ned needed help, gets it as a solid backup.
6′ 8”, 220lbs. forward. Swede.
I got to watch him at training camp in Traverse City and Soderblom was a clear standout. I mean literally stood out because he was half a foot taller and bigger than anyone else on the ice.
Movement seems smooth, effortless. Doesn’t skate like a “big man.” He’s shown he can score goals.
Translating his game onto the smaller NHL ice is the question. He is a big physical player. And Red Wings rookies coming in and making immediate impacts happened before, will it happen again?
Moritz Seider and Lucas Raymond in year 2.
Seider and Raymond played all 82 games last season in their rookie seasons.
Both players played on top lines against the best players in the league without blinking in every situation; power play, penalty kill, full strength, shootouts, etc.
Lucas Raymond ended the season with 50 points (7 goals, 43 assists), Moritz Seider with 57 points (23 goals, 34 assists), which was good for third and fourth among all rookies last season. Raymond tied for second in rookie goals, Seider was top in rookie assists.
I’m excited to see them with a year of experience under their belts. And with veteran acquisitions on offense and defense.
How did I say; sophomore surge. Terrible, but points for alliteration?
So, last year had an obnoxious prediction. Let’s go one more.
The Wings will knock the Maple Leafs out of the first round of the playoffs.
Hey, it could happen…