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Expect Just About The Same From The Wing And Alex Nedeljkovic’s Game

from Dom Luszczyszyn of The Athletic,

That’s been this franchise’s mantra since Steve Yzerman took over in 2019 understanding that rebuilding a once-proud franchise would be no small task. By then the Red Wings had already been around the bottom five for three straight seasons, but there wasn’t much of a vision for how to turn things around. Yzerman changed that and although little progress has been made in the standings, it’s obvious Detroit is in a much better position now than it was two years ago.

At some point, it has to start leading to results though because patience in any sports town is not infinite. That patience needs to be rewarded with something tangible. But that reward is very likely not coming this year....

He looked like the real deal, but 23 games is not a lot of data to go off and there’s plenty of reason that a smart team like Carolina would walk away from Nedeljkovic. The model doesn’t include any data outside of the NHL, so all it knows is what Nedeljkovic showed last season. Even after a heavy dose of regression he comes in as a top 10 starter for next season, which is obviously a bit ludicrous. It could be onto something — the best indicator of goalie ability that I have seen is heavily slanted toward recency — but there’s still plenty of risk involved betting on a goalie after just 23 games of action. There’s every possibility the clock strikes midnight and Nedeljkovic turns into a pumpkin.

But even if he is as good as expected here, it’s probably not enough to make Detroit competitive next season. There are still too many holes in this lineup and too many things that need to go right in order for that to happen. The biggest thing this team still needs is more franchise-level players and that probably means staying at or near the bottom for a little while longer. With the roster that’s currently assembled, it’s not like the Red Wings have much of a choice.

muxh more (paid)

from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,

Early expectations are that the Wings will split starts between Nedeljkovic and Thomas Greiss, who had a disappointing start but solid finish last season, the first of a two-year contract the 35-year-old signed last October.

"I think both are going to have an impact on our season,” coach Jeff Blashill said. “I certainly think that both will get looks early. We’ll get through the exhibition season and see how each one is playing. We have enough back-to-backs certainly, and as we watch the exhibition season, we’ll get a plan in place where we have guys in position to start and get their feet underneath them. And then as the year plays out, the guy that plays the best will play, and if they both play great, they’ll both play.”

The six days the Wings are spending in Traverse City are easing Nedeljkovic’s transition.

“You’ve got a lot of new faces to learn and a lot of faces to finally actually meet, and then on top of that, you have to learn a new system, and get acclimated and build new chemistry,” he said. “So these few days up here are going to be immensely beneficial for everybody.

"The intensity has been high, the speed has been good. The pace has been great. You can tell guys have been itching to get going. Summer skates are great — they’re fun, they’re relaxed and easy going. But there’s nothing like an actual practice.”


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d ca's avatar

Dom Luszczyszyn torched the Wings rebuild. In fact he said the opposite of expect the same from Alex Nedeljkovic’s game. The analytical model he used doesn’t factor in anything BUT Nedeljkovic’s 23 NHL games for Carolina last year.

Even after a heavy dose of regression he comes in as a top 10 starter for next season, which is obviously a bit ludicrous….(it could work out, but)....There’s every possibility the clock strikes midnight and Nedeljkovic turns into a pumpkin.

And that was nice compared to what he thought of the Wings rebuild:

What separates rebuilds that work with the ones that don’t is not only the shiny superstar or two that the Red Wings don’t have yet, it’s also actually hitting on first-round picks. With Zadina and Rasmussen likely being misses relatively speaking, the rebuild got off to a pretty rocky start. That makes the future core look a bit fuzzy.

It also extends the team’s expected arrival time which doesn’t quite match the timeline of some of the current NHL talent on the team, specifically the team’s top line….

He points out the first line—while not old—is in their peaks and will start their period of slow decline when the Wings start to be competitive. Points out Larkin has yet to match his 2018-19 output (of 73 pts in 76 games). And questions if any of them will still be on the team by then.

He torches the defense too (great improvement year-over-year, but only Seider has a chance of being a #1—and it’s way too early to expect that)  and how the Wings are basically destroying the development of Hronek. How Leddy is being hailed, but that the outcome will be more like Mike Green—where a decent player is expected to improve the team’s puck handling woos way too much.

So the Wings will be at the bottom this year and near the bottom next year. The implication is that without a superstar the rebuild will never finish or simply start too late for talent already there—so they better get those superstars soon.

Posted by d ca on 09/25/21 at 07:11 PM ET

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Welcome to Abel to Yzerman, a Red Wing blog since 1977.  No other site on the internet has better-researched, fact-laden and better prepared discussions than A2Y.  Re-phrase: we do little research, find facts and stats highly overrated and claim little to no preparation.  There are 19 readers of A2Y. No more, no less. All of them, except maybe one, are juvenile in nature.  Reminding them of that in the comment section will only encourage them to prove that. Your suggestions and critiques are welcome: wphoulihan@gmail.com