The Detroit Red Wings are two games from the end of their season, and their goaltenders are doing everything they can to get them to the finish line on a competitive note.
Thomas Greiss and Jonathan Bernier highlight the last stock watch of the season; only one of them came away with a victory in the four games played last week, but that was because the Wings couldn’t score. Their goals-allowed average was 1.25, but their goals-for average was 0.50. The lineup has been so depleted of offensive players it’s barely possible to cobble together one decent power play unit.
IT WORKED OUT: 3 weeks in, Wings winning Jakub Vrana-Anthony Mantha trade
The Wings went 1-2-1 last week, losing 1-0 in a shootout to the Columbus Blue Jackets and 3-1 to the Carolina Hurricanes, besting the Tampa Bay Lighting 1-0 in a shootout and then losing 2-1 to the defending champions. The Wings (18-27-9) wrap up their season with Friday and Saturday games at the Blue Jackets.
Beyond the goalies, it was a meager week for the stock watch.
What a performance he delivered. Back-to-back 33-save outings to set up 0-0 shootouts. The second game, against the Lightning, was a lopsided affair; the Wings were outshot, 11-4, after the first period and 33-15 after overtime. The shootout went eight rounds. Greiss posted a 1-0-1 record on the week, with a 1.00 save percentage and 0.00 goals-against average in 130 minutes to land on the stock up for a second straight week.
He continued his season-long role as the team’s rock, making 29 saves April 29 in a game in which the Wings were outshot, 32-17, and 40 saves in Sunday’s loss to the Lightning. Bernier’s performances last week yielded a .932 save percentage and 2.61 GAA in 114:48 minutes.
He’s played four NHL games, and looked like he belongs. That’s a good sign for the organization from the 30th overall pick in 2018. Veleno has made a favorable impression towards being a regular out of camp next season, playing with physicality and winning draws. He set up Sam Gagner for a good scoring chance. It’s a solid showing for a short time.
I’m going to cut the 23-your-old defenseman some slack because he has a big burden, but he seems to be out of steam. He has made turnovers, fumbled the puck, and has struggled to run the power play. He’s a better player than he’s been down the stretch, and the four-day layoff between games this week may make for a better showing for him in the last two games. He’s one of only two Wings who are on pace to have played the entire 56-game slate (Marc Staal is the other).
He was a healthy scratch Saturday, and finished the minus-2 on the week, with no points. He’s generally been pretty accountable, but lately he’s been noticeable for turning the puck over and being loose defensively.
Contact Helene St. James at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @helenestjames. Read more on the Detroit Red Wings and sign up for our Red Wings newsletter. Her book, The Big 50: The Detroit Red Wings is available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Triumph Books. Personalized copies available via her e-mail.