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With the Red Wings opening their season Thursday, Detroit News staffers make their season predictions.

Ted Kulfan

These aren't the Red Wings of old. They can't overpower teams with superstar talent, with Hall of Famers skating on the fourth line. But if they stay healthy, which they couldn't do last season, they should be a playoff team. Barely. Expect them to sneak in and lose in the first round.

Gregg Krupa

A healthier group of veterans and the continuing development of a young roster leads to better play, but about the same finish: fourth in the Atlantic Division, seventh in the conference. Hopes spring eternal in the playoffs, only to be dashed in the conference semifinals.

Bob Wojnowski

The Red Wings didn't change much, but one thing has to change — Jimmy Howard has to be good for a full season, not in occasional bursts. This team should be better just by the maturation of young players such as Gustav Nyquist and Riley Sheahan. As always, health will be an issue, but the Wings are due for a low-injury season, aren't they? The Wings will finish third in the Atlantic Division and lose in the second round.

John Niyo

If Mike Babcock finally gets this team playing with the pace he wants — and with all those young legs he should — the Wings will make the playoffs again. But the defense still needs some help via trade to get past the second round.

Stanley Cup odds

(From sportsbettingdime.com)

Odds

Team(s)

8/1

Chicago

17/2

Tampa Bay

9/1

Pittsburgh

10/1

Washington

12/1

Dallas

14/1

San Jose, Anaheim

16/1

Nashville, St. Louis

18/1

N.Y. Islanders

20/1

Los Angeles, Montreal

22/1

Florida

25/1

Detroit

30/1

Philadelphia, Minnesota

35/1

N.Y. Rangers, Boston, Calgary

40

1/New Jersey

45/1

Buffalo

50/1

Edmonton, Colorado

60/1

Winnipeg

75/1

Ottawa

90/1

Carolina, Columbus

125/1

Arizona, Toronto

150/1

Vancouver

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