Two things: puck possession is the Wings’ friend, but they may still be a one-line team

MLive’s Ansar Khan filed an article discussing the ways in which the Red Wings can improve upon their frustrating 2019-2020 season by “owning the puck” this upcoming season…

The Detroit Red Wings for many years were predicated on puck possession. With players like Pavel Datsyuk, Henrik Zetterberg and Nicklas Lidstrom, they played keep-away with the puck on many nights, leading to much success.

The current Red Wings do not have nearly that kind of talent and haven’t for several seasons, leading to a painfully prolonged rebuild.

But as the 2021 Red Wings return from a historically bad season, they have many new faces and a renewed emphasis on puck possession.

“We’re valuing the puck,” Dylan Larkin, named captain on Wednesday, said. “You got to start with that, and the rest will take care of itself.

“This whole camp we’ve been focusing on breaking the puck out as a five-man unit, going up the ice together, moving the puck, moving our feet, not just throwing it away, not just rimming it around the boards and just getting it out of our zone. We’re trying to come back to it, talk, communicate, and then get out as five men and attack up the ice together so we can spend time in the offensive zone. There’s been a huge emphasis on that, and I like the way it’s going.”

And Khan continues; but the Detroit News’s Ted Kulfan, filing a subscriber-only set of “5 predictions” for the Red Wings, questions whether the Red Wings will find sufficient offense:

The Wings could have problems scoring goals, still.

A lot depend on whether Robby Fabbri becomes an adequate, effective center who can create offense and provide a dangerous second line behind Larkin’s line.

Fabbri appeared to be developing chemistry with Filip Zadina during training camp, which is a positive sign.

Zadina, also, is an important figure. If he can show glimpses of the offensive potential he has, it would be a major plus for the Wings.

Ryan, signed as a free agent, was hurt for a portion of training camp, which could limit his availability early in the regular season.

The pieces are there, but too many gnawing questions to assume the Wings are going to erase their offensive woes quickly and positively.

Kulfan also continues (paywall); the Detroit News also has a subscriber-only photo gallery affording the reader the chance to “Meet the 2021 Detroit Red Wings.”

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George Malik

My name is George Malik, and I'm the Malik Report's editor/blogger/poster. I have been blogging about the Red Wings since 2006, when MLive hired me to work their SlapShots blog, and I joined Kukla's Korner in 2011 as The Malik Report. I'm starting The Malik Report as a stand-alone site, hoping that having my readers fund the website is indeed the way to go to build a better community and create better content.

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