The Detroit Red Wings kicked off the hardest stretch of their schedule this week with a loss to the Minnesota Wild and a win over the New York Rangers.
With teams like Tampa Bay and Carolina ahead, things don’t get much easier for Detroit. But for now, let’s head to the stock exchange to assess the player’s performances this week.
Back in November, Stecher was knocked out of the lineup with an injury. The defenseman made his return last week against the Philadelphia Flyers. This week, he’s making his presence felt. Stecher scored a rocket of a goal against the New York Rangers, and had two other shots on goal on the night. For a team lacking defensive depth, Stecher’s return is a major boost. His stock is already trending back up after the two month hiatus.
After a rough start to the season, Greiss has two back-to-back quality starts. Last week against Philly, he made 34 saves and finished with a .941 save percentage. Greiss played hero for Detroit against the Rangers, coming up clutch in the third period, overtime and the shootout – he stopped 37 of New York’s 39 shots on goal. With Alex Nedeljkovic in the starting role and Greiss playing well behind him, Detroit might actually have themselves a solid goaltender duo for the rest of the season.
The power play
Shocker: the power play is struggling. Detroit went 1-6 on the man advantage against the Minnesota Wild, and 0-3 against the Rangers. Honestly, it wasn’t the worst the power play has looked all season, but they just couldn’t get the job done. With plenty of elite teams ahead on the schedule, the Red Wings have to take advantage of the man advantage if they want to escape with a reasonable record.
Another week, another stretch of excellent play for the captain – he scored two goals and an assist. Dylan Larkin is Detroit’s best player this year, and he’s having the best season of his career. The Red Wings have a number one center on their hands. Don’t expect Larkin’s stock to fluctuate much this season – he’ll likely remain the Wings best skater for the rest of the season.
Well, here we are again. The postseason discussion.
Are the playoffs likely? No. But Detroit is six points behind Boston for a wildcard spot in the East. Lot’s of things have to go right for a playoff berth: the Bruins have to fall apart and the Red Wings need put together a few winning streaks. Again, at this point, it does not seem realistic. But stranger things have happened.