Connect with us

Detroit Red Wings

Five Reasons Why Red Wings Could Regress Next Season

Detroit missed playoffs by one point last season



Simon Edvinsson
Simon Edvinsson will be among the regulars in the Red Wings lineup next season.

One more point and the Detroit Red Wings would’ve been a participant in the NHL playoffs this season. It was that close.

Will it be that close a call again next season?

Perhaps not.

Every season is different and change figures to be a major player in Detroit’s offseason plans. Some new players are guaranteed to be inserted into the lineup, while there’s also a strong chance that some key performers from last season won’t be wearing the winged wheel during the 2024-25 NHL season.

Here’s five reasons why next season could see regression by the Red Wings in the NHL standings

Red Wings Rookies Not Ready For Prime Time

It’s known that three players who spent the majority of the past season toiling for the AHL Grand Rapids Griffins are virtually guaranteed spots with the big club next season. Defenseman Simon Edvinsson likely was earning his place in Detroit via his steller play during a late-season recall.

On the other hand, forward Jonatan Berggren and defenseman Albert Johansson are out of options and would need to clear NHL waivers go back down to the Griffins. That isn’t going to happen, so they’ll almost certainly be staying in Detroit.

If any or all of the three of them show growing pains, or struggle with the transition to the show, things could go badly for the Red Wings.

Power Play Power Outage

One of the key elements in Detroit’s uptick in the standings was that the team was icing a much more efficient and effective power-play unit. Clicking at 23.1% with the man advantage, the Red Wings would rank ninth in the league. Just five teams potted more power-play goals than the 63 netted by the Wings.

Two key elements in this improvement were defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere and forward Patrick Kane. Gostisbehere would account for a team-leading 29 power-play points. Meanwhile, following his late-November arrival, Kane’s inate ability to gain the zone really got the power play rolling. He was good for 15 power-play points.

Both players, though, are unrestricted free agents. If both sign elsewhere, how will their absence impact the potency of the Detroit power play?

Erratic Red Wings Netminding

The fighting spirit of the Detroit goaltending crew last season was certainly to be admired. However, on too many nights they were also fighting the puck.

Alex Lyon and James Reimer were both tied for 28th in the NHL in save percentage at .904. Ville Husso (.892) wound up much further down the list.

Similar to Husso the season prior, Lyon was struggling down the stretch, perhaps to do with the fact that he was reaching a career high in games played.

Lack Of Commitment To Defense

One alarming factor that’s been a steady presence during the two seasons with Derek Lalonde as head coach of the Red Wings is an alarming number of goals keep ending up in their net. This is not a path toward long-term success.

Even as they battled for their playoff lives down the stretch, the Red Wings were giving up at least four goals in 15 of their final 22 regular-season games. And that can’t all be hung on the shoulders of the goaltenders.

The Red Wings need to become a more consistent defensive team in order to be taken seriously as a legitimate playoff contender.

Other Teams Will Be Getting Better

You know that the New Jersey Devils aren’t going to be as bad of a team next season. That will be especially true if they shore up their goaltending. Likewise, it’s only logical that Atlantic Division teams such as the Buffalo Sabres, Ottawa Senators and Montreal Canadiens are going to be improving next season.

If the Red Wings fall off even a little bit, any or all of these teams might offer the potential to pass Detroit by.