I Hope I Don’t Jinx Them. But, The Red Wings Might Be Good This Year
We are 12 games into an 82 game season for the Detroit Red Wings. So, while it is a small sample size, it is enough time to get some sort of evaluation for the Winged Wheelers in the 2022-23 season.
As of this writing (morning of November 8th), the Wings are 7-3-2 (or 16 points) on the season. They have won three straight games heading into Tuesday night's home game against the Montreal Canadiens. And they're coming off a great road win at the New York Rangers this past Sunday, rallying from a 2-0 deficit to win in overtime, 3-2.
Just some things I've noticed this season:
THEY'VE GOT MORE PLAYERS!!!
The offseason signings of Dominik Kubalik, Andrew Copp, David Perron, and Oskar Sundqvist have bolstered the offense. And for the first time in several years, they actually have more than one scoring line. Kudos to Steve Yzerman for that.
As for the defense, the signings of Ben Chiarot, Olli Maata, and Robert Hagg have stabilized a shaky defense in recent years.
And goalie Ville Husso has been tremendous this season. He seems to have taken over the number one goalie from Alex Nedeljkovic.
THEY'RE RESPONDING TO THE NEW COACH
First-year head coach Derek Lalonde (pictured above behind the bench) seems to have gotten through to them as far as playing better defense and to sacrifice their bodies to stop more goals being scored. They're blocking more shots, and seem to be playing more as a team on defense. This is massive for them.
DEPTH LESSENING PRESSURE ON TOP GUYS
This seems to be really helping captain Dylan Larkin and last year's prized rookies, Lucas Raymond and Moritz Seider. Whereas, those three had to be great all the time to have a chance to win previously. The guys I've mentioned have taken a lot of the scoring (or performance) pressure off of them. This can only help them later this season if they are contending for a playoff berth.
THE EASTERN CONFERENCE IS LOADED
Despite the good start, the Wings are going to have problems making the playoffs. Why?? Because the rest of the Eastern Conference, and especially the Atlantic Division, is loaded with good teams. The Boston Bruins are 11-2 and playing great. The Wings are six points behind at 16 points in the Atlantic Division. Toronto, Tampa Bay, Florida, and Buffalo are right behind Detroit in the division. That doesn't count New Jersey, Philadelphia, the New York Rangers, New York Islanders, and others in a stacked Metropolitan Division in the East.
JUST KEEP WINNING
The Wings just need to winning and that will take care of itself. And their injured players (Tyler Bertuzzi, Jake Walman, etc.) are getting close to returning to the ice. This can only help them going forward.
Man, isn't it nice to talk about a Detroit pro sports team that's winning right now??!!