ESPN’s Emily Kaplan posted a set of power rankings this morning, and the Red Wings are, perhaps unsurprisingly, bringing up the rear of the rankings due to their 2-4-and-1 record. That being said, Kaplan does see some positives for the Wings in the play of Mr. “Prove It Season”:
Previous ranking: 28
This week: @ DAL (Jan. 28); vs. FLA (Jan. 30, Jan. 31)
The Red Wings’ blue line got a significant overhaul this season, but forward Bobby Ryan has made the biggest early impact. The veteran became the first player in franchise history to score four goals in their first three appearances with the team.
Continued; I would argue that Ryan still has more to give. He needs to keep his feet moving a little more and go to the front of the net on a more consistent basis.
He got the feel-good goals early, but his game is more complete than he’s been able to display thus far, and I hope that he can improve as he acclimates to the Red Wings’ systems of play and personnel (see also: Vladislav Namestnikov, who scored a goal last night).
It is also important to remember that the Wings are a 2-4-and-1 team in no small part because they 1) revamped their roster significantly and 2) are without six guys due to COVID protocols and injuries (Filip Zadina, Robby Fabbri, Sam Gagner, Jon Merrill and Adam Erne are all out due to the coronavirus, and Darren Helm is injured).
That’s no excuse for the Wings’ record, but those two factors do help build an explanation as to why they’ve been so starved for offense (especially on the power play).