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2018-2019 NHL Preview: Detroit Red Wings

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A young strong group in Motor City.  

Detroit Red Wings v Toronto Maple Leafs

In this 31 part series, I will be working my way back from 31st to 1st in my projected 2017-2018 standings. Tenth up are the Detroit Red Wings (currently in their 92nd season in the NHL). After 25 consecutive playoff berths they have missed it the last two years and I’m making it a third consecutive year.

2017 – 2018 NHL Stats:

NHL Standings: 26th
Goals for Rank: 28th
Goals against Rank: 21st
PP Rank: 24th
PK Rank: 23rd

Projected 2018-2019 NHL Stats

NHL Standings: 22nd
Eastern Conference Standings: 11th
Atlantic Division Standings: 6th
Coach: Jeff Blashill (104-105-37 regular season; 1-4 playoffs).

Overview:

Not a lot of major changes to the core of the team during the offseason. Dylan Larkin seemed to start off with a sophomore slump before picking it up in the 2nd half of the year. Anthony Mantha and Tyler Bertuzzi seem to be capable of stepping into a top spot but I don’t think any of the three of them are ready to be the all-star headline for a team. This year will be a good transition and adjustment period for them. Dylan put up 63 points last year and Henrik Zetterberg put up 56, beyond that no one put up over 50 points and no player on the team had 25 goals. Clearly offense was a major issue as their offense was the 4th worst last year. Depth is certainly an issue for this team as it’s a mix of players at the start or end of their career with very few at the height. If I’m being brazen, Jonathan Ericsson, Mike Green, Dan Dekeyser and Trevor Daley might be one of the three worst top four defensemen in the league. All are below average and don’t seem to command elite presence needed in that top four spot. They traded Petr Mrazek to the Flyers last year and have backfilled his spot with Jonathan Bernier in the offseason under a 3 year contract. Jimmy Howard was average with a 2.85 GAA and .910 Sv% but he can be wildly inconsistent. While I think their goaltending situation looks better next year I don’t think this team is ready to make large leaps forward at this point in time. All of this said, I continue to like the high octane, physical play that they exhibit each night on the ice.

Major Additions:

Jonathan Bernier

Major Subtractions:

Tomas Tatar

Prospects and Picks:

-Filip Zadina. Detroit didn’t have to think too hard to grab what was a consensus top 5 player when he was still there at the 6th overall pick. It became further evident that he had some fire inside him when he vowed to make each one of the top five selecting teams pay for not picking him. Filip has size which he is not shy about using. He has legs which give him an ability to be a threat on offense but he’s willing to backcheck too and play solid two way hockey. He can score too, he had 44 goals across 57 games as yet another efficient player coming from the Halifax Moosehead program. His transition to the pros could be rocky as the speed of the game will require adjustments but he is a solid top six forward for them long term.

-Michael Rasmussen. Taken ninth overall in 2017, Michael provides yet another large forward for Detroit. He is a playmaker at best and is the type of player who really elevates those around him. Part of this is due to the fact that his size draws in extra coverage but he also keeps his head up and finds open plays. He will need to work on speed and his hands a bit but he is sure to be fun to watch in camp this year.

Sleeper Fantasy Asset:

-Dylan Larkin & Tyler Bertuzzi. First Dylan had a slow start to the year and then proceeded to score at a 6% shooting percentage which is a full 2-3% what I would expect from a talent such as him. Expect more than 25 goals and over 70 points from him this season. IF Tyler is on the top line with Anthony Mantha and Dyland than Tyler will be a 40+ point player as well. He is a true grinder and he will complement these two nicely and pick up some goals in front of the net. Additionally, if your league rewards PIM, Tyler will pick up quite a few.

Cap Situation:

$55MM Spent; $19M in Cap room; 15 players signed; average team age 32.

Poll

Do the Red Wings finish in the bottom five in goals scored again?

This poll is closed

  • 56%
    Yes, not enough offensive talent
    (37 votes)
  • 43%
    No they will bounce back this season
    (28 votes)
65 votes total Vote Now