The Detroit Red Wings are currently in the middle of a rebuild. Last year, they had an absolutely horrible year and were at the very bottom of the NHL. The Wings haven’t made the playoffs since the 2016-17 season. The franchise is seeing some pretty awful hockey on Little Caesars arena ice right now but the question is, how are the different pieces looking right now? Is there any hope? Let’s take the positives of this first and then move onto the bad.
Detroit Red Wings Player Development
There is actually some good news to give here. Evgeny Svechnikov, the former 2015 1st round pick, has shown some improvement this season. He hasn’t started in very many NHL games in prior years and has only played in eight this year. Despite this and not scoring many points in the past Svechnikov has three goals and two assists in five games played this year. If he keeps that up, it is a big-time improvement and he could be a part of the future of the franchise. His brother is a solid forward in the league and if he turns out anything like him, the Red Wings could be in slightly better shape.
Tyler Bertuzzi has also potentially begun showing development. He has five goals and two assists in nine games played this season. That is a great number of points in that amount of time especially in the goals category. The real question for both Bertuzzi and Svechnikov though is that is this true development or just a short term burst? It won’t be known until they’re given time. It would be a help to the rebuild if they kept it up.
Also, Robby Fabbri seems to be a good addition to the Detroit Red Wings. Last season, he had 31 points in 52 games for the team and this year he is doing well posting 18 points in 27 games. He may have a future in the organization, especially if he gets better and considering that he is only 25 years old.
One interesting statistic to bring in here is games per point (GPP). In other words how many games it takes a player to score one point. For instance, Svechnikov is taking 1.5 games to score 1 point as you can see in the top right of the table below. It is broken down as just 1.5 on the table instead of 1.5 games played to 1 point scored on average. It’s the same type of stat for games per goal(GPG) and games per every assist(GPEA). These stats cover Evgeny Svechnikov, Bobby Ryan and Robby Fabbri.
Detroit Red Wings Player Decline
This is more on the unfortunate side but let’s start with Dylan Larkin. The new captain of the Detroit Red Wings hasn’t been himself this season at least in respect to the number of points he has. Granted, this may be because the team sucks. Last year, he had just 53 points which was also down from previous years while the team was dead last in the league last year also. If the team starts to return to form he may do so as well. Regardless of why the Red Wings need to see more from the captain in production.
Now let’s move on to Thomas Greiss. He is a train wreck in Detroit. Perhaps in time as the team gets better, he can also improve. But if he stays like this in the future as the team grows, he needs to leave. Greiss has a save percentage below .900 and has been an absolute mess at least from a statistical standpoint. It is far more likely for Larkin to be around but due to his contract, Greiss will be here also at least for a little while.
Bobby Ryan and Jonathan Bernier
Bobby Ryan at the beginning of the season was fantastic. He hasn’t done as much as of late points-wise and perhaps he will be a depth piece in the future as 14 points in 33 games isn’t fantastic. The only question for him is will the decline in age destroy his production. This is an issue that is had with Jonathan Bernier as well. He is playing fantastic posting a .918 save percentage but how long can he keep it up? Honestly, he needs to be given credit though. He is playing great in net. Even still, the age might kick in here within a few years.
Altogether, the team currently sucks. However, the Detroit Red Wings are no longer the worst team in the NHL so that’s a positive. The team’s winning percentage is up from last year as well so that is another plus but the reality remains the same. If players develop and the Red Wings have a couple of good offseasons Detroit could surprise everyone in the future. They are still in the rebuild though and are one of the worst teams in the NHL.
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