Red Wings: Jakub Vrana making immediate impact in return

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While the results haven’t gone the Detroit Red Wings way yet, it is clear that Jakub Vrana is already making an impact in the lineup.

Before the season even started, Vrana was knocked out of the lineup due to a shoulder injury. The subsequent surgery knocked him out until early March.

Vrana’s absence was a major blow to a Red Wings roster that isn’t particularly deep. In just 11 games with Detroit last season, the recently-traded forward managed to nab 11 points, including a stellar four-goal performance against the Dallas Stars.

However, Detroit managed to survive without him. For the first few months, rookie forward Lucas Raymond helped replace the offense lost with Varna’s injury. Still, the lineup suffered a bit from depth scoring, as the bottom-six and even the second line struggled to keep up with an elite first line. A reunification of the Guelph Line temporarily patched up depth scoring issues, but a cold stretch and a few brutal losses led to yet another lineup shuffle.

Finally, after missing multiple months, Vrana made his 2021-22 season debut against the Arizona Coyotes. Unfortunately, the celebration was short lived – Arizona wound up thrashing Detroit 9-2 in perhaps the worst loss of the Steve Yzerman era. Vrana did score in his debut, but any warm feelings from the fans were overshadowed by the disastrous results.

A couple of days later, Detroit hosted the Minnesota Wild. In a “wild-ly” entertaining matchup, the Red Wings dropped another game (although this time it was in the shootout). Vrana nabbed two goals in the loss.

So in his first two games back, Vrana has suffered through two tough losses. However, he’s still red-hot on offense. In just 13 games as a Detroit Red Wing, Vrana has 14 points. He’s one of, if not the best goal-scorers on the roster.

While Detroit hasn’t gotten the desired results with Vrana back in the lineup, it’s clear he’s already making a difference. With a relatively thin roster, the addition of Vrana immediately injects offense into the rest of the lineup (including the power play). If Vrana continues to perform at this level, it’s only a matter of time before Detroit nabs a win.

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