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Duffer’s Dabbles: Current Red Wings On Pace with 07-08 Cup Winners



Marc Staal, Detroit Red Wings
The Detroit Red Wings are off to a 4-2-1 start to the 2021-22 NHL season.

It’s not the best start to the NHL season a Detroit Red Wings team has posted since the 2004-05 NHL lockout. However, it does match up exactly with the launch of the club’s most important season during that span.

Wednesday, the Red Wings were rallying from a 2-0 deficit for a 3-2 victory Wednesday against the Washington Capitals at Capital One Arena. Achievement of the victory came via captain Dylan Larkin’s overtime goal.

“I think it shows a lot of character,” Red Wings forward Adam Erne said of the comeback road victory. “They’re a highly-skilled team with a lot of big names. We just stuck with it, stuck to the gameplan. Eventually it paid off.

The outcome is leaving the Red Wings sitting with a 4-2-1 record for the 2021-22 NHL season. Interestingly, the last time the club was sitting at 4-2-1 in the standings following seven games was during the 2007-08 season. That also happens to be the most recent season ending with a Red Wings Stanley Cup celebration.

Detroit Red Wings Best Starts Since 2005-06

Season Record Points
2005-06 6-1-0 12
2010-11 5-1-1 11
2008-09 5-1-1 11
2016-17 5-2-0 10
2013-14 5-2-0 10
2011-12 5-2-0 10
2021-22 4-2-1 9
2007-08 4-2-1 9

The Wings have already won twice in the road this season. During the 2021 campaign, they opened 0-5-1 away from Little Caesars Arena and didn’t win their second road game until their 10th away game of the season. Detroit has also won back-to-back road games. That’s something they didn’t end up accomplishing until April 4-10 of last season, 21 away games into the year.

“I think it just comes down to winning the tight games,” Erne said of the Red Wings’ success. “That’s what it comes down to at the end of the year. You look at it, there’s usually a tight bunch of teams that are fighting for the last couple of spots and one point could be the difference.

“I think a big thing for us is just winning those tight games and that’s gonna tell a lot about how we’re gonna be as a team.”

Russian Memories

Wednesday, the Red Wings overcame Alex Ovechkin, the NHL’s most famous Russian. That it came on the anniversary of the team debuting its legendary Russian Five was a happenstance of coincidence.

It was on October 27, 1995 that Red Wings coach Scotty Bowman first assembled his all-Russian unit of forwards Sergei Fedorov, Igor Larionov and Slava Kozlov and defenseman Slava Fetisov and Vladimir Konstantinov.

Larionov and Kozlov scored, while Fedorov was dishing out two assists as the Red Wings blanked the Calgary Flames 3-0.

Around The League

Calgary: Andrew Mangiapane scored twice and Elias Lindholm netted his league-leading seventh goal as the Flames won 5-3 over the Devils in New Jersey for their fourth straight victory.

Boston: Brad Marchand, Hart Trophy contender? He might not be the favorite player of NHL fans who don’t support the Bruins, but it’s beyond dispute that he’s been the most valuable Bruin so far this season.

Florida: The Panthers beat the Bruins to improve to 7-0 but head coach Joel Quenneville ducked the media after the game. He’s embroiled in the sexual assault scandal that is enveloping members of the 2009-10 Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks. Quenneville is scheduled to meet with NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman on Thursday.