Not to jinx anyone or anything at this very early stage... but this is encouraging:
Note that four of the top ten in ESPN's power rankings are in the Central Division, which is shaping up to be the usual, customary, and reasonable dogfight. Only poor Columbus fails to make the top ten... coming in at number 16, which is pretty danged respectable, actually. The Central is tough. And Chicago? Wassup with them 'Hawks?
Further on the Wings... The injury bug hasn't bitten down hard on them as yet, but it has taken a nibble. Well, a bit more than a nibble:
- D Brian Rafalski (knee) had arthroscopic surgery on Oct. 12 and will be out until early November.
- RW Kris Draper (groin) was injured Sept. 19 in training camp. He had surgery for a sports hernia on Oct. 21 and is expected to miss an additional four-to-six weeks.
- C Justin Abdelkader (ribs) was injured during a preseason game on Oct. 2. He is practicing and hopes to return on Thursday.
- D Jonathan Ericsson (back spasms) was injured on Oct. 8. He hopes to return next week.
Losing two of your top four D-men would literally kill most teams but the Wings seem to be keepin' on keepin' on. We're holdin' our breath, so to speak, coz staying healthy is the key to the Wings' season. I have an immediate grasp of the obvious... it's one of my better qualities. (Injury report from Yahoo! sports)
Here's what the Western Conference looks like today...
That ain't half-bad as far as the Wings are concerned, either. But it ain't too good if you're a 'Hawks fan. Or a member of the Chicago sports press, who are not amused. Already. Sometimes it's NOT good to be the king, no matter what Mel Brooks sez. Heh. We SHALL rag on those guys for more than a little while. We'll close with the usual disclaimer: there's still a lot o' hockey to be played. 75 games for the Wings, in fact. So far so good!
Let's Go Red Wings!