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Detroit Red Wings Season Review

2018-19 Record (32-40-10) 74 Pts

Season Recap

Coming off of a 30 win season, expectations were low. The Detroit Red Wings started off losing nine of their first ten games, which set the tone for the rest of the year. They weren’t able to string together any significant winning streaks until March when they won six in a row. Multiple losing streaks of 12/13 and 10/11 guaranteed that this year would end with another chance in the lottery. Even with a less-than-ideal outlook, GM Ken Holland didn’t make any big in-season moves to help the rebuild or help the current team. The two trades that did occur were:

Finishing the season below average in almost every category, Detroit was the definition of mediocre.

  • 19th ranked Power Play – 18.1%
  • 28th ranked Penalty Kill – 77.1%
  • 9th ranked Faceoff Win – 50.8%
  • 28th ranked Shots Against – 33.7/ Game
  • 17th ranked Shooting % – 9.4%
  • 22nd ranked Save % – .901%
  • 21st ranked Goals Scored – 224 goals
Ranks via & Hockey Reference

A means to an end though. The final result of their season was the sixth overall spot in the 2019 Draft.

Season MVP

Dylan Larkin

Photo by Dave Reginek/NHLI via Getty Images

Dylan Larkin, the presumptive captain, had a jump in production in his fourth season in the league. His stat line of 32 goals / 41 assists / 73 points / 287 Shots on goal lead the team in all categories, and his 21:51 of average time on ice was second only to Danny Dekeyser’s 21:58. Solidifying his role as the top line center, Larkin has exceeded the expectations most had of the former 15th overall draft pick.

Most Improved Player

Andreas Athanasiou

Photo by Dave Reginek/NHLI via Getty Images

24-year-old Andreas Athanasiou, took a significant step forward last season. Posting a stat line of 30 goals / 24 assists / 54 points / 216 shots on goal, the speedy forward added 14 goals and seven assists to his totals from the prior year. Another one, probably the most telling, was his shooting percentage rebounding from 9.4% last year to 13.9% this year. If the middle six forward can build on his production, he could find himself on the top line.

Biggest Disappointment 

Martin Frk

Screen Shot 2019-07-06 at 10.01.42 PM
Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Martin Frk followed a solid first season in Detroit with a terrible one. In 2017-18, Frk played in 68 games putting up 11 goals / 14 assists / 25 points on 99 shots on goal, for a shooting percentage of 11.1%. One season after being named Detroit Red Wings Rookie of the Year by the Detroit Sports Media, Frk just couldn’t build on his previous totals. In fact, he took a massive step back. Appearing in just 30 games, he had an abysmal stat line of 1 goal / 5 assists / 6 points on 28 shots on goal for a shooting percentage of 3.6%. He will get another shot next season, just not with Detroit. Frk signed a one year deal with the Los Angeles Kings. 

Trade info via CapFriendly

Highlight of the Year 

This overtime game-winner occurred on January 4th, 2019. 

Current Depth Chart

According to Daily Faceoff, the current projected lines in Detroit are:


  • Line 1

Tyler Bertuzzi (LW) – Dylan Larkin (C) – Anthony Mantha (RW)

  • Line 2

Andreas Athanasiou (LW) – Frans Neilsen (C) – Filip Zadina (RW)

  • Line 3

Evgeny Svechnikov (LW) – Valterri Filppula (C) – Michael Rasmussen (RW)

  • Line 4

Justin Abdelkader (LW) – Luke Glendening (C) – Darren Helm (RW)


  • First Pair

Dan Dekeyser – Mike Green

  • Second Pair

Jonathan Ericsson – Filip Hronek

  • Third Pair

Trevor Daley – Madison Bowey


Starter – Jimmy Howard

Back up – Jonathan Bernier

Top Three Prospects

Filip Zadina

Screen Shot 2019-07-06 at 10.50.29 PM
Photo by Roy K. Miller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Joe Veleno

Screen Shot 2019-07-06 at 10.55.30 PM
Photo by Francois Laplante/Freestyle Photography/Getty Images

Moritz Seider

Screen Shot 2019-07-06 at 11.01.10 PM
Photo by Alex Grimm/Getty Images

Free Agent Signings (as of 7/6/19)

Valtteri Filppula signed a 2 year, $6 million deal on July 1st

Patrik Nemeth signed a 2 year, $6 million deal on July 1st

Calvin Pickard signed a 2 year, $1.5 million deal on July 1st

Key Departures

Gustav Nyquist was traded to San Jose on February 25th 2019

Thomas Vanek was not offered a new contract at the end of the season

Niklas Kronwall was not offered a new contract at the end of the season

Offseason Needs

The biggest need for Detroit right now is defensive depth. Seider will definitely help, but they need a couple more NHL ready defenseman that can step right in. A couple of names they could be eyeing up are Andrej Sustr, Fredrik Claesson and Justin Falk. All could be signed to reasonable contracts, and have the ability to step in to play bottom four minutes immediately.

Trending Up

This Detroit Red Wings team is headed in the right direction. With The Wizard, Steve Yzerman, leading the way, it could turn around very quickly. Only time will tell for sure, but all signs are pointing up in Detroit. 

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One thought on “Detroit Red Wings Season Review

  1. I think the Nyquist trade was terrible but hey I do like the prospects.
    Hopping for some better years. Larkin’s definitely the captain.
    Keep up the great work excellent article.

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