The Malik Report
by Paul on 02/17/17 at 08:18 AM ET
from Neil Greenberg of the Washington Post,
It’s all going wrong for the Detroit Red Wings this season.
With a 22-25-10 record, the one-time gold standard for hockey excellence languishes at the bottom of the Eastern conference, nine points out of the final wild-card spot with seven teams ahead of them. According to Hockey-Reference.com’s playoff simulator, the Red Wings have just a 1.2 percent chance of reaching the playoffs, making it more likely than not we will see an end to the third-longest playoff streak in NHL history (25 years)....
The lack of talent has also eroded the hallmark of Hockey Town: Detroit’s relentless puck possession.
In 2007-08, the year they won their first Stanley Cup in the salary-cap era, they put a league-leading 58.5 percent of even-strength shot attempts in their favor, after adjusting for score effects. They led the league again the following season (57.5 percent) and made the Cup final. This season they are putting just 47.8 percent of shot attempts in their favor, seventh-worst in the NHL..
Perhaps as the younger players on the roster mature, Detroit will return to the upper echelons of the league, but the early results are not encouraging. Eleven skaters 25 years old or younger have played at least one game for the Red Wings this season, but only three of them — forwards Andreas Athanasiou, Dylan Larkin and Anthony Mantha — have scored double-digit goals. Six of those youngsters haven’t scored at all.
But having the fifth-worst offense (2.4 goals per game) isn’t the team’s only problem — the left side of its defensive pairings is subpar. Danny DeKeyser, Brendan Smith and Niklas Kronwall all have below-average game scores, an all-in-one metric used more in baseball and basketball that gives a rough measure of a player’s productivity for a single game.
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The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.