Detroit Red Wings
Detroit Red Wings Can Squeeze More Goals Out of This Lineup
When the Detroit Red Wings scored seven even-strength goals to crunch the San Jose Sharks 7-4 on Thursday night, it was good for both their confidence and statistical bottom line.
Scoring is up this season in the NHL. Teams are averaging 3.18 goals per game. If that scoring rate continued for the season, this would be highest scoring rate since 1993-94. That was the season Sergei Fedorov totaled 54 goals and 66 assists to win the Hart Trophy.
Before the goal explosion in Northern California, the Red Wings’ team offensive numbers were anemic. Going into their West Coast road trip, 20 different teams were averaging three goals per game. The Red Wings were not among those teams. In fact, they had scored three or fewer goals for 11 consecutive games before Thursday.
“I thought we had more patience, just all over,” Red Wings forward David Perron said about the San Jose barrage. He had a goal and two assists against the Sharks.
More Offense From Defense
Three different defensemen (Filip Hronek, Jake Walman and Moritz Seider) scored for Detroit. That hasn’t happened in five years. The Red Wings only scored seven goals once last season and they lost that game 10-7 to the Toronto Maple Leafs.
MORITZ SEIDER WITH HIS FIRST GOAL OF THE SEASON! pic.twitter.com/HfPPzqfSup
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) November 18, 2022
“When your 5-on-5 offense is stalled a little bit, you have to simplify things,” Detroit coach Derek Lalonde told Bally Sports.
The productive game against the Sharks raised Detroit’s goals-per-game average to 3.12. That ranks the Red Wings 16th in that statistical category. But even after the big night, the Red Wings are tied for 21st with 32 goals 5-on-5.
The Red Wings’ scoring deficiencies have been problematic throughout the rebuild. They were last in the NHL in 2019-20 with 2.00 goals-per-game average. Detroit was second-to-last the following season at 2.23 and 25th last season at 2.77.
Lalonde has reason to believe goal scoring could improve as the season wears on. Here are the players who can give the team an added boost:
Bertuzzi Is Healthy
It’s meaningful that the Red Wings have averaged better than three goals per game for 17 games without having Tyler Bertuzzi in the lineup. He was a 30-goal scorer last season. Once Bertuzzi finds his timing, he should bolster the offense. He adds some snarl and a hard-nosed attitude to the top six.
Seider Has More to Give
With six points in 17 games, Seider is on a 24-point pace. He registered 50 points last season as a rookie. He’s trying to play a safer game this season, but he’s still capable of being a 50-point defenseman. His point production rate is going to increase. In general, the Red Wings want more offense out of their defensemen.
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Berggren an X Factor
Check out the way rookie forward Jonatan Berggren protects the puck. Pay attention to his vision and anticipation. He has a hint of magic in his game. If given the opportunity to play permanently on a line, he has the ability to be special.
Call a Copp
After being traded to New York Rangers last season, Andrew Copp put up 18 points in 16 games. This season he has one goal in 17 games. The Red Wings are happy with his compete level, but he needs to do more in the offense.
The Red Wings have missed forward Robby Fabbri. He’s versatile, feisty and can play in traffic. Expect he will give the team a spark in the second half of the season. He has exceptional hands when he’s in tight on the goalie