The Hockey News’s Adam Proteau posted a lengthy article today, “taking stock” of the Atlantic Division’s 8 teams, including the Detroit Red Wings:
4. Detroit Red Wings. Games Played: 31. Record: 15-13-3.
What went right: The Red Wings surprised many observers by racing out to a solid-enough 7-5-2 record to start the season. People have been waiting for them to go through adversity, and they’ve emerged from it with relatively few scars. Captain Dylan Larkin’s already-considerable game has improved. Blueliners Moritz Seider and Lucas Raymond have shown they’ll be core members for a very long time. And GM Steve Yzerman has more than $11 million in cap space, which should allow him to accelerate the rebuild in Motown.
What is cause for concern: Detroit’s record since Nov. 9 is a pedestrian 8-8-1. Alex Nedeljkovic has posted good numbers in net (.917 SP, 9-7-3 record, 2.78 G.A.A.), but backup Thomas Greiss (6-6-0 record, .893 SP, 3.52 G.A.A.) has not. The Wings’ special teams are lousy. Offense does not come easily for them. Boston is three points behind them for fourth in the Atlantic, but the Bruins have five games in hand on them.
Rest-of-season outlook: The playoffs always were going to be a challenge for this squad, and that’s likely to continue. This isn’t to say they can’t outlast the Bruins and the top teams in the Atlantic, but Yzerman’s rebuild isn’t close to being done. More tweaks, and who knows, maybe bigger moves, are ahead for Detroit this year.
Continued; I think that the Red Wings will be active at the trade deadline, but whether they add or subtract will depend on where they sit in the standings at said time.