RotoWorld’s Corey Abbott examines the Red Wings’ 2019-2020 campaign outlook while focusing on the fantasy hockey-applicable aspects of the Wings’ 18-19 campaign:
Detroit Red Wings
2018-19 Finish: 32-40-10 record, 14th in the Eastern Conference
Noteworthy Losses: Thomas Vanek
Strengths: Dylan Larkin has emerged as a stud center and offensive catalyst for the Red Wings. Anthony Mantha displayed plenty of promise and expectations are higher for Tyler Bertuzzi following his hot finish to the 2018-19 campaign. They could form a productive trio for Detroit in 2019-20. Andreas Athanasiou, who was a 30-goal scorer, can contribute secondary scoring, but the team needs other players to step up. Filip Zadina, Joe Veleno and Taro Hirose should see NHL action this season because they all possess offensive upside.
Weaknesses: Detroit ranked 27th in the league with 3.32 goals against per game. Jimmy Howard had a rough year between the pipes and the defense corps was in shambles for most of the year due to injuries. Detroit posted a .901 save percentage, which tied the team with Buffalo for 22nd in the league. The Red Wings also had trouble holding onto leads in 2018-19. The club led the league with nine losses when leading after the first period and had the second-most overtime defeats (six) when leading after the first period.
Player to Watch: Filip Hronek is poised for a larger role with the Red Wings in 2019-20 after he left a very good first impression with the team last year. He collected five goals, 23 points, 73 shots and 66 hits in 46 games with Detroit. Hronek may have to compete with Mike Green for power-play action, but Green has been bothered by injuries and could be traded at some point.