Abel to Yzerman

Abel to Yzerman

Looking Back, Looking Forward

06/01/2020 at 4:16pm EDT

from Matt Larkin of The Hockey News,

It’s time, then, to pour one out for each of the teams done playing this season. What went wrong? What went right? What happens next?

We start with the Detroit Red Wings (17-49-5), who posted the lowest points percentage since the 1999-00 Atlanta Thrashers. Year 1 under new GM Steve Yzerman was a true tank job, with the Wings keeping most of their top prospects vacuum-sealed in the minors.


The Wings scored a league-low 2.00 goals per game. They allowed a league-high 3.73 goals per game, the most by any team since 1999-00. They had the league’s worst penalty kill and 29th-best power play. They averaged the fewest shots per game and allowed the fifth-most. They sat dead last in 5-on-5 Corsi. They generated the fewest scoring chances for and allowed the second-most scoring chances against per 60. They were almost undisputedly worst NHL team of the past two decades.

And there’s a strong case to be made that was entirely by design. After Yzerman took over last off-season, he counted aging center Valtteri Filppula as the team’s biggest off-season addition. When the 2019-20 regular season began, Detroit kept most of its top prospects in the AHL, from Moritz Seider to Filip Zadina to Joe Veleno, and even demoted Michael Rasmussen, who’d made the team the previous season. Only a husk of roster was left to toil in the NHL.

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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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