Welcome to my fourth 2023-24 regular season Detroit Red Wings weekly review. The Red Wings played three games this past week, going 1-1-1.
The week started with a massive win at home against the Boston Bruins, 5-4. The week ended with a 5-3 loss against the New York Rangers and a 3-2 overtime loss against the Montreal Canadians.
David Perron led the team offensively with three points on one goal and two assists. These points came in the same game against Boston in a crucial win. Although he did not get on the score sheet the rest of the week, he created offense in the offensive zone and was productive without the puck.
He has used his experience and leadership this season to help the team away from the puck, in all three zones, and to remain focused throughout the struggles. Perron, like the entire Detroit team, has slowed down since game one but he is still out there competing.
The players that have kept this team rolling through this tough stretch have been the bottom six. Daniel Sprong (assist), Kim Klostin (goal), Christian Fischer (goal and assist), and Michael Rasmussen (goal and assist) have carried the play and have outperformed the top six in all three zones.
As a group, they have gone in the dirty areas, played nasty in front of the net, and scored garbage goals to lead this team in most of the games played over the past two weeks.
There were good and bad things about the Detroit Red Wings this past week.
The offense has disappeared for the most part. At the beginning of the season, the Detroit Red Wings offense was on fire, averaging five goals per game, Over the past two weeks, they have struggled to find the back of the net consistently.
They have dropped from five goals per game to an average of 3.57 goals per game, almost a two-goal drop. Dylan Larkin, Alex DeBrincat, and Lucas Raymond have been missing for the better part of more than a week compared to the first two weeks.
These three are crucial to the team’s success heading towards a possible playoff spot. They have hit several posts and have not scored on golden opportunities in the past week. Maybe head coach Derek Lalonde will start playing with the lines and see if he catches lightning in a bottle.
The defense and goaltending has also been an issue. This past week, including the second period against Montreal, the defense left the goaltenders out to dry and everyone on defense looked lost.
Defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere was scratched for the game against the Canadians and one could tell he was missed. The goaltending has not looked promising and now the team has a goals-against-per-game average of 3.21, which ranks right in the middle of the league.
James Reimer has been good and has respectable numbers but Ville Husso looks miserable. It is like night and day from what he was early last year.
With the Carolina Hurricanes and Edmonton Oilers looking for goaltenders, Husso, Reimer, or Alex Lyon could be heading out of the Detroit door in a trade.
If one of those teams offers the Red Wings a premium piece in return we could see a shakeup between the pipes before the season hits Thanksgiving.