The Detroit Red Wings’ second Red vs. White scrimmage yielded an 8-3 result (including overtime) for the Red team, which happened to be stacked on top with the Wings’ Bertuzzi-Larkin-Mantha line, as well as the Bobby Ryan-less Fabbri-Zadina second line…
But The Athletic’s Max Bultman asked a very valid question in wondering where the Wings will find their so-desperately needed secondary scoring from after a scrimmage in which the Wings’ top line was head-and-shoulders better than the five other forward lines that dressed for both teams:
Halfway through training camp and with two of three scrimmages in the books, it would be hard to say Detroit’s secondary scoring questions have dissipated, even if improved depth is clear thanks to some new free-agent signings and visible progress from Zadina, in particular. In the team’s second scrimmage Friday night, Mantha and Bertuzzi each scored twice in a 7-2 contest, as the Red Wings’ top line looked head and shoulders above the rest.
To be fair, that kind of performance should be expected from a top line in an intrasquad scrimmage, and Zadina and defenseman Filip Hronek added tallies of their own. Both, without question, will be important pieces for the Red Wings this season and into the future.
But right now, the key question still facing the Red Wings is whether they’ll finally be able to get enough scoring behind Larkin, Mantha and Bertuzzi.
“It looks like there’s more scoring, just from practice,” Blashill said Friday night. “Certainly, I thought our top line tonight was dominant, but I thought (Fabbri) played his best practice/game of the camp so far, I thought Zadina did as well, so those are real positives. … I think (Sam) Gagner’s had a good camp. I think (Valtteri) Filppula’s had a good camp. So I think there’s more guys that look like they’re in position to score goals, and that’s going to be important for us.”
Continued (paywall); Vladisdlav Namestnikov’s presence will also aid the Wings’ scoring efforts, and Bultman duly notes that having a revamped blueline (see: Jon Merrill, Marc Staal, Troy Stecher and a healthy Danny DeKeyser) means that Filip Hronek won’t have to do the heavy lifting all by himself in terms of moving the puck out of the Wings’ end.
All of that being said, until Ryan, Fabbri and Zadina establish themselves as reliable secondary scorers, and the Wings find a third line that can toss in the occasional goal, there will be valid questions about the Wings’ ability to win games on a semi-consistent basis.