Abel to Yzerman

Abel to Yzerman

It Can Get Better For The Wings

01/04/2021 at 8:46am EST

from Ryan Ford of the Detroit Free Press,

By almost every standard, the 2019-20 Detroit Red Wings were dreadful. Their 17 wins were the fewest in the league, by eight (Ottawa Senators). Their 49 losses in regulation were the most in the league, by 13 (San Jose Sharks). (Though at least they got it over with quickly; their five OT losses tied for the NHL’s fewest, well off the Columbus Blue Jackets’ 15 OT disappointments.) The 38 points were 25 fewer than the next-worst team (the Senators).

Those numbers weren’t flukes, either, as the Wings scored the fewest goals (145, 33 less than the No. 30 Kings) and allowed the most (267, 24 more than the Senators), counting the goals awarded via shootout wins and losses. Indeed, that minus-122 goal differential was 12th worst over the past 40 seasons, dating back to the 1979-80 season, when the NHL added four WHA teams to swell from 17 to 21 teams. (And remember, the Wings only played 71 games; finishing out all 82 could have pushed them into the top 10.)

But hey, you probably already knew the Wings were bad. In the hopes of a helping hand from the history books, we took a look at those 11 teams with a worse goal differential over the past 40 seasons to see what they did the next year, and what the Wings might be able to learn.

1983-84 Pittsburgh Penguins
Record: 16-58-6. Goal differential: Minus-136.

The next season: The '84-85 Pens trimmed their goals allowed by five and upping their goals scored by 22. Still, that was only enough to go from 38 points to 53, and from last in the league to next-to-last. Baby steps, right?

continued

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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.

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