Detroit Hockey Now’s Kevin Allen posted an article this afternoon discussing the fact that Danny DeKeyser is out of COVID protocol, which might yield a deserving player getting bumped from the lineup in Jordan Oesterle:
The Red Wings own a four-game winning streak. Dekeyser is ready to play again after four games on the COVID-19 list, but the expectation is coach Jeff Blashill will follow the standard coaching code [and keep the same lineup].
It presumably comes down to Dekeyser vs. Jordan Oesterle, and Oesterle has been in the lineup for all four wins. Plus, Oesterle has played well in his nine games this season. In his last six games, he’s +4 with one assist. The Red Wings are 4-1-1 in those games.
You can make a case, and fans do, that the Red Wings’ best defensive alignment has Oesterle in and Dekeyser out on a permanent basis. The Red Wings, who break down video and grade players on a game-to-game basis, believe Dekeyser is playing better than the fan base does. However, he hasn’t played good enough to consider his job safe.
Right now, Moritz Seider, Nick Leddy, Filip Hronek and Marc Staal are the entrenched defensemen, although Hronek got himself benched for a couple of games earlier in the season.Gus Lindstrom is another favored young defenseman. But he still trying to prove himself.