The Detroit Red Wings aren’t necessarily receiving balanced scoring going into this weekend’s back-to-back series vs. the winless Canadiens and Blackhawks, so Detroit Hockey Now’s Kevin Allen names 4 culprits in the 2-1-and-1 Wings’ struggles, in a subscriber-only article. Here are two of the four sources of offense that Allen lists:
Center Pius Suter: After playing superbly in the preseason, Suter’s offensive touch has gone cold. It’s not about effort. Suter leads the team with 12 shots on goal. But he doesn’t have a point yet. To make matters worse, he’s minus-3. He’s a smart player who helps even when he doesn’t get points.
But Suter has to score for the Detroit Red Wings to show any measurable improvement this season. They must have two scoring lines.
Center Michael Rasmussen: The Red Wings coaches are trying to convince Rasmussen he can be another Jordan Staal. To do that, Rasmussen will need to be more physical. This season, Staal has played three games and Rasmussen had played four. They each have two assists. But Staal has 10 hits and Rasmussen shows two.
The Red Wings appreciate that Rasmussen works at his game. He is trying to become a better player. He’s 6-foot-6 and he needs to use that size to his advantage. Quality teams usually have a No. 3 center that plays with an edge.
Continued (paywall); I knew that Pius was going to struggle adjusting to playing on the Red Wings, but my hope is that playing against Chicago on Sunday will spark him–and he is as talented as advertised–and Rasmussen is equally a battle of self-belief, because “The Moose” does a fine job of playing physically when he buys into his job.