2 months, 23 games into the young Red Wings season. If there’s one word to describe the 2018-19 journey so far, it’s REBUILD. This is something new to Wings fans, who ended their playoff streak (25) just three seasons ago and 2 years ago, Pavel Datsyuk announced he would not return to Detroit. instead opting to go back to his home country of Russia. Datsyuk was the first domino to fall and on the eve of the 2018-19, it was deja vu all over again when the captain, Henrik Zetterberg announced his retirement from hockey, due to degenerative back issues.
Zetterberg’s career ends due to degenerative back condition. #RedWings GM Holland calls captain ‘one of the greatest Red Wing players in our history’: https://t.co/bliZJhs1rr pic.twitter.com/fb6Rxikv1X
— Detroit Red Wings (@DetroitRedWings) September 14, 2018
So where does this leave the Detroit Red Wings? It was an unpopular decision for owner, Chris Illitch to retain GM Ken Holland and Coach Jeff Blashill. The Wings dropping their first 9-out-of-10 games only added fuel to the fire. Their lone win coming from an overtime shootout in Sunrise, Florida against the Panthers, 4-3.
After the rough start, Detroit would start to gain some traction, collecting 3-game and 4-game win streaks, October going into November. 8-5 for the month. 3 of those losses were decided by a goal.
The Wings young core of Andreas Athanasiou, Dylan Larkin, Tyler Bertuzzi and Anthony Mantha have led the charge. AA leads Detroit with 11 goals. Larkin has a team high, 21 points (9 goals, 12 assists), Gustav Nyquist 18 points (15 assists), Bertuzzi 15 points, with Mantha and Frans Nielsen at 14 points each.
Around the NHL, pertaining to Wings, Tampa Bay Lightning GM, Steve Yzerman decided to step down to take an advisory role with the Lightning.
— NHL (@NHL) September 11, 2018
Also, longtime rival, Chicago Blackhawks decided to part ways with 3-time Stanley Cup winner, Coach, Joel Quenneville after missing the playoffs last season and starting the 2018-19 season 6-6.
The Chicago Blackhawks have relieved Joel Quenneville of his coaching duties and have named Jeremy Colliton the 38th head coach in franchise history.
— Chicago Blackhawks (@NHLBlackhawks) November 6, 2018
Middle of the pack, sitting at .500 (11-11) and 25 points, it’s too early of an assessment of Coach Blashill and the Wings, however if the losses start to mount near the All-Star break, Detroit might want to consider a change at the helm. Will that come with a familiar face in Yzerman? Is there interest in Coach Q? It remains to be seen.