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The Wings Could Be An Improved Team

by Sean McIndoe of The Athletic,

So yeah, hope is hard to come by. But that’s where we come in, so let’s crank up the optimism and, in a few cases, turn off some brain cells as we try to get the NHL’s 10 worst teams into contention. We’ll start with the easiest case to make, and work our way down to the real dregs....

1. Detroit Red Wings
The rankings say: Almost 70 percent of our writers have Detroit as the favorites to win the lottery, and I’ll pause here so every Wings fan can make a sarcastic joke about the odds of that ever happening. The model is equally pessimistic. So is everyone, if we’re being honest....

So here’s what needs to happen. First, the goaltending has to be fantastic, and that might not actually be all that far-fetched. Thomas Greiss was a real nice signing, and he’s had two seasons of .925 or better in the last five years. So pencil him in for something like that, and the Wings are already a much better team.

Next, we need to improve an offense that ranked dead last. Maybe this is the year Dylan Larkin breaks through to the 80 or even 90-point tier. Tyler Bertuzzi and Anthony Mantha have shown flashes, and would need to do it over a full season. A comeback year from Bobby Ryan would help. Filip Zadina arrives with a bang. Maybe Lucas Raymond too? Marc Staal rediscovers his game, Troy Stecher takes a step, and let’s even say Moritz Seider arrives ahead of schedule. Hell, while we’re at it, let’s also have it all somehow come together for Robby Fabbri.

If every single one of those things happens, the Wings are up to … what, maybe 85 points?

much more (paid)

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They can’t get any worse than they were last season, so it’s hardly a bold prediction to say that they will be improved.  How much they improve is to be determined, but the odds of them being just as bad as they were last season are pretty slim.

As long as they get good goaltending they will be competitive.  They might still end up with the worst record in the league, but at least they won’t be getting blown out by 5 or 6 goals in any given game like they were so many times last season.

Posted by MikeO on 11/19/20 at 04:59 PM ET

SYF's avatar

2019-2020 Red Wings games scores.

It’s astonishing how many of the games we’ve lost by the opponents scoring four or more goals.

Posted by SYF from impossible and oddly communally possessive sluts on 11/19/20 at 08:29 PM ET

MurrayChadwick's avatar

They can’t get any worse than they were last season, so it’s hardly a bold prediction to say that they will be improved.
Posted by MikeO on 11/19/20 at 03:59 PM ET

Absolutely the bar is pretty damn low. On paper this team is better than the opening roster last year, and consider the issues we faced with key players going down, or washing out. 

On already thin back-end, our #1 Dman in DDK go down all season, you hope that doesn’t happen again but backs are backs.

Relied on and overused essentially a rookie Hronek and he wore down, assuming he doesn’t hit a sophomore slump, that won’t repeat, and they also relied on a washed up Daley at least being in the lineup and he wasn’t.  The depth is better to the point that our #3 to end the season in Beiga is now likely our #7.

Mantha was out most of the season, and he’s frankly our most dangerous forward, hopefully that won’t repeat.  Like Beiga, our terrible #2 C in Flippula is at best our #4 now, if not benched.

What was a NHL goalie through 2019 in Jimmy Howard is now out of the league, our goaltending tandem is back to solid footing, not great, but not what Howard was in 2020 either.

Posted by MurrayChadwick from YzerHolland2.0's pixie dust fueled bandwagon on 11/20/20 at 11:34 AM ET

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About Abel to Yzerman

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