Red Wings: Struggles continue for Detroit in week 12

The Detroit Red Wings are not doing well lately and the struggles continued.

Dec 22, 2023; Detroit, Michigan, USA;  Detroit Red Wings goaltender James Reimer (47) gets set
Dec 22, 2023; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Detroit Red Wings goaltender James Reimer (47) gets set / Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
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Welcome to my 12th 2023-24 regular season Detroit Red Wings weekly review. The Red Wings started the week with a 7-6 win against the upstart Philadelphia Flyers.

They lost the next two games, 3-2 against the New Jersey Devils and 6-3 against the Minnesota Wild.

Positives

Forward Patrick Kane continues to spark the offense and shows no ill effects of hip replacement surgery. This week, he led all Red Wings skaters in offense again, posting four goals and one assist for five points in the three games.

He has been on a tear since coming to Detroit after being paired with former teammate Alex DeBrincat. His offensive production is still there as he now has six goals and five assists for 11 points in 11 games.

The power play had a good week going 2-for-8. There was more passing and movement inside the offensive zone to get pucks to open teammates and the continuous movement caused issues for the opposition who could not set up defensively.

With captain Dylan Larkin back, the bumper position on the power play is once again a threat for more scoring opportunities.

The bottom six had a strong week overall. With the top six struggling a bit, players like Joe Veleno, Michael Rasmussen, Christian Fischer, and Jonatan Berggren all played solid hockey this past week.

Daniel Sprong also showed up big in the bottom six, scoring one goal and two assists for three points. The bottom six are earning their money and are playing the best out of the forward group.

The Detroit Red Wings earned two points out of a possible six this week.

Negatives

The goaltending once again has been a big letdown. This week, they allowed 15 goals over the three games.

James Reimer was brought in this off-season to back up starter Ville Husso. However, he may not play the backup role for the American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate, the Grand Rapids Griffins He has been horrible, either as a backup or as a starter.

Michael Hutchinson got one game in and lost but looked good enough to win the game against New Jersey. Goaltender Alex Lyon was activated from injured reserve, pushing Hutchinson back to Grand Rapids.

With many teams in search of goaltenders, Reimer should be shipped out as soon as Detroit gets an offer.

The doom in the third period was the only thing consistent. This season, the Detroit Red Wings have had a really hard time holding on to third-period leads.

If the game was close entering the third, the opposition has been blowing the game wide open within minutes. Something is getting in the way of the Red Wings being competitive in the third and it is costing them points that should be taken rather than given.

The third-period collapses have been too many to count this season. For instance, look at the third period against the Minnesota Wild. The game was close until the Wild scored four goals in the third to break the game open.

The overall team vibes have to be down. They have not played well over the past three weeks and are 1-4 in their past five games. Over that stretch, they have given up 24 goals and scored 17. The offense was there averaging 4.25 goals per game but they can't keep the puck out of their net.

However, the goals against per game was an astonishing 4.8, almost five goals a game against. The Detroit Red Wings are not going to win many games with the defensive numbers they currently own.

They have allowed 119 goals which is the sixth worst in the league, they are ninth in the league with a 3.40 goals-against-average, and ninth with 32.1 shots against. Is it too soon for General Manager Steve Yzerman to start making moves?

Weekly record: 1-2

Season record: 16-15-4, 36 points, 5th in the Atlantic Division

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