Welcome to my 17th regular season Detroit Red Wings weekly review. The Red Wings had a short week, playing two games before the all-star break.
They started the week with a massive 5-2 win against the Vegas Golden Knights but then lost an important division game, 3-2 in overtime, against the Ottawa Senators.
Detroit gained an impressive three out of four points.
The Detroit Red Wings are a good team that is playing well these days.
They have successfully climbed back into the playoff race by playing sound hockey and executing their chances. The Red Wings are now tied for fourth in the Atlantic division with the Toronto Maple Leafs with 58 points and are also tied with Toronto for a wild card spot as well.
Captain Dylan Larkin has been Detroit's best player over that streak and now has a 12-game point streak. Over those 12 games, he has 10 goals and six assists for 16 points.
He posted three goals in the two games to lead the team in points for the short two-game week. He is one of the key pieces going forward as Detroit enters a critical stretch of games.
The penalty kill remains a solid asset to the team's success. Last week, they killed off all five penalties called against them and now have risen to 11th in the league with an 81.3% kill rate.
The system provided by the Red Wings coaching staff has the roster believing in themselves when a penalty is called against them. Detroit has the right players on the ice in this special teams spot and has committed to doing what it takes to eliminate the penalty successfully.
The Red Wings, although on an impressive streak, have to find a way to shoot more in every situation. The forward group is more well-rounded and the defense has shooters as well but, as a group, have wasted opportunities looking for that perfect shot.
They are 25th in the league with an average of 28.9 shots per game. This could cost them as more shots create more opportunity in the offensive zone which is pivotal as we go later into the season.
Detroit has a face-off winning percentage of less than 50% and ranks 18th in the league. Detroit has eight players under 50% who have taken at least one face-off but are led by Klim Kostin and Daniel Sprong, who are at 66.7%.
Face-offs are going to be huge as a win in the circle can create an offensive opportunity or clear the puck out of the zone at an important time in the game.
If they are still at 50% or below at the end of the season, this could be a telling stat if they do not make the playoffs as puck possession is key at any time during the game, regardless if it is regular season or playoffs.
Defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere has been tremendous on the offensive side of the puck but he has the worst +/- on the team at a -20. His offensive contributions will help this team achieve success but needs to try and correct that negative stat.
If he can do such a thing, this would help a defense that has struggled by running around and creating more chances for the opposition. As the only defenseman on the team that has a negative +/-, he could benefit by working on his defensive game before the playoffs.
Being more aggressive, but smart, in the defensive zone could benefit the team as they search for some key points coming down to the last couple of months of the 2023-24 season.
Weekly record: 1-0-1
Season record: 26-18-6, 58 points, tied for fourth in the Atlantic Division.