Category: NHL

My Detroit Sports: My Red Wings Report #1

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.

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.

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.

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.

My Detroit Sports: #MyRedWings Weekly #13 (End of Season Edition)

A lot of the times, when a franchise is struggling, they look to nostalgia. Returning legends will make appearances. They’ll promote “look at everything we’ve done!” until you’re blue in the face. Detroit capitalized on the “out with the old, in with the new” scheme the past 2 non-playoff seasons, closing The Joe and opening Little Caesars Arena.

The Red Wings finished their season much like how it started, disappointing. Ending at 73 points in the standings. Detroit went 3-6 in their final 2+ weeks. Wins coming against the defending champs, Pittsburgh Penguins, 5-2, Buffalo Sabres, 6-3 and Ottawa Senators, 2-0.

Season leaders for 2017-18; Anthony Mantha, goals (24), Dylan Larkin, assists (47) and points (63), Jimmy Howard wins (22) and save percentage (.910%).

A lot of questions need to be addressed in the offseason.

It’s unlikely that he’ll return, but the Wings could use some veteran leadership. Do they bring back their only 2017-18 All-Star? Mike Green’s impending free agency.

Learning on the fly, how will Tyler Bertuzzi improve on his rookie season?

After trading Petr Mrazek, is Jared Coreau NHL ready?

Perhaps the most important question heading into the offseason is, what will Detroit do with all of those draft picks? NHL Draft Lottery is April 28th. Will luck swing their way? Rasmus Dahlin would sure look great in a winged-wheel jersey!

On a side note, congratulations to Justin Abdelkader who is expecting his first child later this year!

Red Wings enter an offseason of uncertainty. Many fans are calling for GM, Ken Holland and coach, Jeff Blashill’s jobs, but it was announced that both will be retained. It is understandable to express frustration as fans of an elite franchise like the Wings, however, this is the first “rebuild” Detroit has had to go through in a long time. Holland made some key trades this season that brought back a slew of draft picks. The rebuild might come sooner than later with a loaded draft and aging veterans coming off the books. However, Krowall and Zetterberg expected to return.

As for Blashill, it’s not a fair assessment this season, that another coach would have done better with this roster. He must be a decent coach in the NHL or else he wouldn’t have been sought out to coach the Men’s World Championship, again.

For further coverage of the Detroit Red Wings offseason and future, check out My Detroit Sports insider, Garrett Kolodziej’s analysis of the Wings on the My Detroit Sports Show.

From one Red Wings fan to another, give it time, Hockeytown. See you next season! #LGRW