The Detroit News’s Gregg Krupa penned an article about the progress made by Dylan Larkin, Andreas Athanasiou and Anthony Mantha, and he prefaced it with the following:
It is fairly bleak, for certain. Late January, the All-Star weekend, and the Red Wings looking forward not to the playoffs, but to the intrigues of the trade deadline.
For a second season, a roster of stars too old, and prospective ones either developing or not, is failing to add up to postseason play.
The contracts up and down the roster suggest this could go on for a while.
That their performance in the last game before the break sputtered and coughed like too many before, in a season when a team that vowed to play with chip firmly on shoulder has sometimes skated and played docilely.
There are, however, reasons for Red Wings fans to be optimistic. Some fans recoil from the assertion, but good things are happening for the Red Wings.
They are certainly less compelling than playing and winning in late May and June. But to regain that glory, the Wings must emerge from the decline.