Detroit Red Wings: Analyzing the Struggling Season Thus Far

NEWARK, NJ - DECEMBER 27: (l-r) left wing Tyler Bertuzzi
NEWARK, NJ - DECEMBER 27: (l-r) left wing Tyler Bertuzzi /

The Detroit Red Wings are not having the season they expected. Here are some reasons for their struggles.

Primarily, the Detroit Red Wings seem to lack confidence in every aspect of their game. Most recently, against the New Jersey Devils, they showed a complete lack of interest for the first period and a half of play.

That is simply unacceptable, especially coming from a team that had 24 consecutive years of playoff appearances. Last season proved to be one of their worst in nearly 30 years. And in a changing NHL, they failed to adapt to the faster style of play.

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Unfortunately for the Red Wings, it appears they’ve failed to adapt yet again this season. It was no secret that the team was going through a bit of a rebuild. However, the Red Wings intended to regroup and come back stronger.

Detroit’s biggest pride is their hockey team, and to see their team fall 12 points out of third place in the Atlantic Division (as of Dec. 28) is difficult. But it’s something that needed to happen in order for them to realize that it’s going to take more than one offseason to make some real changes.

Among their multitude of problems this season is their power play. To use the game against the Devils as an example, it fell flat and did nothing to boost their momentum. And their penalty kill is right around average. It’s also not good enough when competing in such a challenging league.

Another problem of theirs is the immense amount of giveaways. Teams that have good neutral zone play tend to be the ones that have the most puck possession (known as Corsi in the modern NHL), and the Red Wings surely do not hold claim to having that. However, on the bright side, that has to do with attention to detail and not a missing asset, so this can be more easily fixable.

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Finally, their last major problem is their scrambling defense. It’s difficult to pinpoint one or two players in particular. Overall, though, they need to have better coverage of both their goaltenders. Because if it’s one thing that’s not the problem for the Red Wings, it’s their goaltending.

It may be time to start looking ahead to next season for Detroit. However, there is still time to turn things around. But it must happen fast if they want to keep up and get back in a competitive spot.