The Athletic’s Craig Custance examines how/whether/if the Atlantic Division’s teams stack up against the St. Louis Blues‘ championship model this morning, and it should not surprise you to find out that the Red Wings…need some work:
Detroit Red Wings
Strong contract efficiency: No. But the good news for Red Wings fans who have patiently waited out some bad contracts in Detroit, there is a lot coming off the books after this season. And that Dylan Larkin contract will look great in one year, tops.
Playoff scar tissue: The franchise that was once the envy of all sports for its playoff streak hasn’t made it in three seasons. They were knocked out in the first round the final three seasons of the streak. The scar tissue belongs to a different generation.
A balance of ages: Actually, yeah. One of the things the Red Wings have consciously done is keep players around with experience as to not rush the kids. GM Steve Yzerman continued that with the signing of 35-year-old Valtteri Filppula. There’s mid-range talent in players like Anthony Mantha and Andreas Athanasiou. Then Larkin leads the group that hopes to lead the turnaround.
Skill and size on defense: There’s not nearly enough skill to qualify, even if there is some size on the back end for the Red Wings.
A game-breaker: Athanasiou has his moments. Larkin blossomed offensively. But their best shot in this category spent last year getting acclimated in the AHL, and Filip Zadina probably still needs more time down there.
Total: 1 out of 5