Tuesday, February 17, 2004

"Derian Hatcher - catalyst to the Cup"?

Jerry Green of the Detroit News believes Derian Hatcher could be the catalyst the Wings need for their run for the Cup this year. Given the level of toughness and physical play Hatcher will bring to the team, I'm inclined to agree that he will at least be a catalyst if not the catalyst. It will be the same as adding a star defenseman at the trade deadline and really should only have a positive effect. The only negative effect it could have would be to disrupt the fairly strong chemistry that has developed so far this season between the Wings' members of the blueline crew. Sure, his timing will be off at first but a player of his caliber should be able to overcome that in a relatively short period of time. The Wings as a whole have done pretty well without him all season but they will definitely need his services in the playoffs. He has been participating in full practices with the team and apparently could have returned for Saturday's game against Colorado but the Wings are not going to rush him back. The plan is for him to return for the game against Tampa Bay on March 8th. He would have 15 games to prepare for the playoffs were he to in fact return that night. I'm a little concerned that those 15 games will not be enough for him to get acclimated with his teammates but he has had a lot of practice time with them lately. I think he can pull it off. The Wings will be very well off with Derian Hatcher back in the lineup and would, in my opinion, only need one more forward to make themselves as strong as they could be on paper going in to the big dance.


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