Since the last stock exchange, the Detroit Red Wings have kickstarted a new losing streak. After a heartbreaker against Dallas, Detroit looked lost against the Nashville Predators and the Chicago Blackhawks. Let’s assess the damage by heading to the “stock market”.
For those who haven’t read it before, the stock exchange series is a way to assess player performances by “trading” their stock – who’s trending up, down or holding steady?
The second line
The entire second line has been excellent of late. The main reason? Tyler Bertuzzi now completes the “Guelph Line” with Pius Suter and Robby Fabbri. The trio has worked well together; Bertuzzi has two goals and four assists in his last three, Suter has a couple goals and Fabbri has two goals and an assist. The chemistry is palpable, and the Red Wings second line is a legit threat now. Their stock is surging upwards.
The power play
Detroit’s power play has been terrible all season, but the unit has converted in two of the Red Wings last three game. Nothing to write home about, but considering just how bad the man advantage has gotten, it’s somewhat reassuring to see some positive momentum build. Moritz Seider has been strong as the top unit’s quarterback, and the team seems to be finding ways to maintain possession.
Detroit has given up 17 goals in its last three. The struggles of the team’s defensemen was evident in this week’s losses. The Red Wings are eight in the league in goals against per game, with 3.4. It’s the opposite of last season – the offense is dragging the team along, while the defense is lagging behind.
For most of the season, Nedeljkovic has been excellent between the pipes, stealing games on occasion and acting as a stabilizing force for the team. Well, Neddy seems to be regressing to the mean a bit. In his last three starts, Nedeljkovic has a sub-.900 save percentage (.750, .875 and .844 ) In fact, he was pulled early against the Blackhawks after giving up four goals on 16 shots. It’s not a real concern yet, but Nedeljkovic has had a stretch of poor play.
The big German defenseman has consistently been Detroit’s best defender this season, and nothing changed during a rough week of play. Seider scored his fourth goal of the season against the Blackhawks and notched an assist against the Stars. His stock is already sky-high, so a week of more of the same won’t change much.
Namestnikov didn’t show up on the stat sheet this week, but he’s done a solid job on Detroit’s first line. Vladdy is a complementary forward, although offensive drive is not necessarily his strong suit. He’s in a more important role, but he hasn’t done much with it yet. For now, his stock is staying put.