DETROIT — There currently are quite a few reasons for Red Wings fans to be optimistic about this team.
But one major reason why the Wings could possibly end a seven-year playoff-drought is the depth in their lineup, which has helped them get off to a strong start.
They simply haven't had this depth over the past seven years. There's NHL-quality players up and down the lineup.
And, beginning Thursday against San Jose, the Wings have added Patrick Kane, a Hall of Fame-caliber offensive player throughout his career.
Coach Derek Lalonde acknowledge the depth the Wings possess this season has been crucial.
"The depth has allowed us to do different things, and right now, it's working" Lalonde said.
After the Wings came back from their two-game road trip in Sweden with losses to Ottawa and Toronto, Lalonde tweaked the forward lines, the biggest difference putting Joe Veleno and Michael Rasmussen on wing and allowing Dylan Larkin, J.T. Compher, Andrew Copp and Christian Fischer to be the Wings' centers.
The Wings have won six of seven games since, with the offense exploding and the depth throughout the lineup never more apparent.
"We went to the blender a little bit and just gives some north-south (up-and-down) hockey to those groups," Lalonde said. "It's been effective."
The depth is readily apparent offensively. As of Thursday, the Wings had the second-most goals in the NHL (91), ranked third averaging 3.79 goals per game, and the power play ranked 10th at 23.5%.
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