Itâ€™s not often that GM Niece has words of praise for his team but after going 7-2-1 in the past 10 games some recognition was due. While the recent schedule has been relatively kind to the Wings in that span (8 of the 10 games were against sub .500 teams) these were games the team needed to take advantage of, not to mention the team got a rare win over conference rival Chicago. Leading the way offensively has been recently acquired Mark Parrish. When the deal first went down Detroit fans were enraged that Bill Guerin had been traded before the season had started for Mark Parrish, Dominic Moore, and a 5th rounder. In retrospect it is looking more like a case of addition by subtraction as the team is exceeding expectations and Parrishâ€™s 13 goals are 2nd only to Ilya Kovalchuk and the 17 points far exceeds Guerinâ€™s 7 with Boston. It seems Stumpel and Parrish have found some chemistry that the team hopes continues. The other key contributing factor to the teams success has been the effectiveness of itâ€™s puck moving defencemen as Brent Sopel and Nicklas Lidstrom are currently tied for the lead in points by defencemen. Add in the offensive contributions of rookie Trent Hunter whoâ€™s playing on the 3rd line and Mike Knuble on the 2nd and you have a team that currently ranks third in the league for goals scored. If thereâ€™s a trouble spot for the team itâ€™s been itâ€™s poor defensive play, which is a huge surprise considering the team has a wealth of defensively solid players both at forward and on defense. The team, while having reduced the gap in shots against, is still regularly out shot by their opponents. From here on out the schedule gets a lot tougher. Starting with the Senators tonight the team also has to face the Blues and Flyers in the next 5 games. We will all getter a better feel for how the team is shaping up and whether they can really be considered a factor in the HFNHL standings this season following those 5 games.