Abel to Yzerman

Abel to Yzerman

Five Thoughts On The Detroit Red Wings

02/03/2022 at 10:09am EST

from Max Bultman of The Athletic,

- Lost in Wednesday’s result was a strong, 40-save performance from Alex Nedeljkovic, who went through a brief slump at the end of January. I can’t help but wonder how much of that was related to his workload. Nedeljkovic has appeared in 34 of Detroit’s 47 games so far and has started 31. That’s already eight more than he started all of last season, and this most recent cluster hasn’t afforded him any real break, with Thomas Greiss in COVID-19 protocol.

Nedeljkovic earned his way into being Detroit’s true No. 1, and for most of the year, he’s looked like a top-half-of-the-league starter. But the Red Wings might be wise to balance out his workload a bit in the second half.

- Final thought from the game Wednesday: Gemel Smith made his Red Wings debut and had his first point, assisting on a Joe Veleno goal late in the game. Smith played the least of Detroit’s skaters at 5:53, so it was hard to get a great feel for him in such limited action. He made the most of his minutes, though, with the assist and a fight with Los Angeles’ Brendan Lemieux.

“You guys saw it tonight: He’s a high-energy player, works hard, good on the forecheck. He’s physical and not afraid to drop ’em,” Marc Staal said. “It was a good first one for him.”...

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