from Lauren Theisen of Deadspin,
Detroit is winless in its opening seven with two points, and around the league only the Florida Panthers—who’ve played three fewer games—also have that zero in the win column. But before you think the Panthers and Red Wings are in any way equal: Florida has a respectable goal difference of -4, while Detroit is twice as bad as anyone else with their despicable -18. Detroit was once the destination team every ring-chasing veteran aspired to play for. Now, the local paper has been reduced to writing about how the Red Wings look too sad after they allow goals. I can’t even call them a trainwreck, because trainwrecks are shocking and unpredictable.
Everyone on this roster is either too young or too old. In the latter category, there’s guys like pointless offseason acquisition Thomas Vanek, spiraling money-eater Frans Nielsen, and local kid Justin Abdelkader, who’ll be on the Red Wings’ payroll for the rest of eternity because he was technically around when they last won the Cup. (Darren Helm is another recent beneficiary of Ken Holland’s infamously deranged loyalty to veterans.) Most horrifically, 34-year-old Jimmy Howard is still a regular starter in net even though everyone thought he was crab meat two years ago, because every Detroit attempt to hit on a fresh young replacement has whiffed.
Here is everything good about the Red Wings right now: Tyler Bertuzzi’s hair; Dylan Larkin’s passing; Andreas Athanasiou’s speed; the promising play of rookie defensemen Filip Hronek and Dennis Cholowski in a microscopic sample size; and, arguably, Anthony Mantha’s scoring ability, even though the kid’s only found the back of the net once so far this year.