The Detroit Red Wings started off on fire to start the 2023-24 season. The talk of a playoff spot quickly started and the offense was the best in the league.
Two weeks later, the team is hovering around the .500 mark, yet their biggest win of the season came this past week against the division-leading Boston Bruins in a feisty contest. The struggles were real for a certain goaltender begging the question, do they need a change in net in Detroit?
Ville Husso started off last season, his first as a Detroit Red Wings goaltender, as one of the better netminders in the league.
He was the sole reason the Red Wings had success in the early part of the season, up until February of the following year when the team fell out of a playoff spot.
The Detroit Red Wings need Ville Husso to be better going forward.
He was not the same goaltender in the last month of the season and this seems to have carried over to the first month of this season.
Do we see a reverse with Husso? Last season, he was on fire then cooled off the last month and remained an average goaltender at season’s end. This season, he does have a winning record but is playing like an average goaltender.
Does he turn it on later in the season around playoff time when Detroit may need him the most? His backup, newcomer James Reimer, is an experienced pro waiting for his chance to be the starter between the pipes. The question is, has he already quietly done it?
Husso was a fourth-round pick of the St. Louis Blues in 2014 and quickly became a vital goaltender to the success of St. Louis.
After two solid seasons, he was traded to the Detroit Red Wings for a 2022 3rd round pick (Aleksanteri Kaskimaki) and Husso lived up to expectations in the first half of the season. Then Husso and Detroit collapsed in the second half resulting in them not securing a playoff spot.
This season, Husso has played nine games and has a record of 5-3-1 with a save percentage of .890 and a goals-against-average of 3.57, hardly what the Red Wings want out of their presumed starter.
The last five games have not been favorable to Husso as he had a 2-2 record, a .880 save percentage, and 20 goals against three of those opponents.
Last season, Husso finished with a record of 26-22-7 with a 3.11 GAA and a .896 save percentage. There is not much difference between last season’s numbers and the start of this season, even though the defense in front of him is much better.
Reimer is only 2-2 in the young season but his 1.54 GAA and .944 save percentage are almost night and day with Husso.
Those numbers for Reimer are likely to cool off but right now he is the better goaltender. Either way, Detroit has to look closely at the situation because their number one might not be the best one for the team.