from Bob Wojnowski of the Detroit News,
Is it still too early to judge the Red Wings solely on stats and standings? Yeah, it is. But it’s time for a look, a leap, and perhaps a little luck.
In year three of the Steve Yzerman-led rebuild, they’re taking a closer look at their young talent, and hoping for a leap. The Wings certainly will be younger, deeper defensively and presumably better, whether the record reflects it or not. The process has passed the weeding-out stage and is headed toward the finding-out stage, and it’s time to push it a bit.
So they’re looking at Lucas (Raymond) and seeking Mo (Seider). The touted first-rounders, 19 and 20 respectively, will make their highly anticipated debuts, which instantly makes this season more interesting. A bunch of guys have a bunch to prove, from captain Dylan Larkin to the old-young goalie tandem of Thomas Greiss and Alex Nedeljkovic, to center Pius Suter, 25, surprisingly unsigned by Chicago after a solid rookie campaign.
For Jeff Blashill, in his seventh season as coach, the heat will only rise if the youngsters don’t. It’ll be painful at times, with a jolting opener against the two-time champion Tampa Bay Lightning Thursday night. The Wings are pegged by most to land in the NHL’s bottom five, which is where they finished in the pandemic-shortened 56-game slate.