Friday, October 11, 2013

The Red Wings So Far

Photo Credit : The Bleacher Report

I thought going into this season that the Red Wings would be assured of being a powerhouse team, with the additions of Alfredsson and Weiss, Datsyuk and Zetterberg playing together and the defence being a year wiser and more experienced, they could do no harm. With four games into the 2013-14 season, I must admit that much like going on weekend long drinking binge, I have to take a step back and reconsider. Let’s take a look at what has gone right and wrong so far, and then what to do with those Stanley Cup aspirations that I had in the pre-season.

What has gone right for the Red Wings?
  • The Zetterberg-Datsyuk-Abdelkader line has been as expected producing with 7 points in 4 games. They can do no wrong: Datsyuk dangling, Abdelkader pulling the piano and Zetterberg out-working everyone on the boards. I know I should be used to it, but the Datsyuk dangles are a thing of beauty.
  • The Kronwall-Ericsson has been a rock-steady pairing, with a +4 and +2 plus-minus, respectively and chipping in offensively too.
  • As a whole, the team has only taken 34 PIM and has been stellar on the PK (81.5%).
  • And it should be noted that Samuelsson has a 100% shot percentage after recording one goal on one shot. (I had to look that stat up and it was, in fact true )

Now for the things that have gone wrong for the Red Wings.
  • The Red Wings’ second line that was touted as one of the best second lines in the NHL has been somewhat cold, with only one goal between them (the Weiss OT winner in Carolina) and 3 assists. They have been slow out of the gate, but I for one am not worried. The timing should get better as times moves along and as Alfie’s hair gets longer, it’s a known fact.
  • Keith Yandle owns the Red Wings and this little guy doesn’t like it. Credit goes to SBnation for that one. Yandle has 16 points in 32 career games against the Red Wings.
  • The powerplay has been abysmal, with a gross 0% efficiency with the man advantage. But it has been looking better with Alfredsson on the point than it was with Samuelsson (although he has a 100% shooting percentage now…)
  • Babcock has been playing Cleary and Bertuzzi on the 3rd line and it hasn’t been working. The Red Wings should be making some moves soon though, with Gustavsson and Tootoo being activated off the IR and Emmerton andMrazek being sent down to Grand Rapids.
  • It also sounds like they will be bringing up someone from Grand Rapids to play the 4th line C position. Why is this a bad thing? Well, for one, it means that Helm isn’t close to returning and that Emmerton can’t adequately hold down the 4th C position.
  • The Quincey-Smith has been awful to say the least. Their blunders have cost the team alot of goals and they have a shiny -4 (Smith) and -5 (Quincey) to show for it. If they don't pick up, look for either of them to be traded or at the least, to ride the pine in favour of Ouellet or Almqvist.

Now for what to expect from the Red Wings in the coming Canadian long-weekend. They are going to be in tough with Philadelphia in town on Saturday, although the Red Wings, in 124 career regular season games, have only been shut out 3 times by the Broad Street Bullies. The Bruins have already beaten the Red Wings last Saturday by a score of 4 to 1. This time, Mike Babcock’s crew should be better rested and should be able to put up a better fight.

Here’s hoping the Red Wings lay a beat down on the Flyers and Bruins!