Detroit Red Wings: Can goaltending depth be a key to 2023-24 success?

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The Detroit Red Wings have opened up training camp, getting things going in Traverse City as they tune up for the 2023-24 season. It’s a few days of hard work before the team hits the ice to kick off an eight-game slate for pre-season tune-up games.

It will be a good chance for the Detroit Red Wings to test out their netminders to see what they have in the tank heading into the 2023-24 season. After all, they did bring in two goalies this off-season on deals to join the NHL squad.

On top of that, they added a veteran goalie on a PTO to attend training camp in Traverse City. Plus, as part of their training camp announcements, 68 players were invited to camp, including eight goalies.

While all eight of these goalies may not leave camp with the Red Wings organization across different levels, this is an excellent chance to feel out what kind of depth the team has going into the fall as the regular season gets underway. This might be a key to success, to identify the team’s goaltending depth and where it stands heading into the 2023-24 season.

Detroit Red Wings are looking to capitalize on goaltending depth.

Ville Husso is the starter for Detroit. He was brought in during a trade last summer and thought to be the new no.1 option in Detroit, but his durability was a question mark last season. With a rough backup situation, things got ugly at times. Even with Husso aiming to come out stronger this season and ready to be put to the test, having that goaltending depth to rely upon is certainly essential.

Behind Husso, the next two options in line are James Reimer and Alex Lyon. Reimer is a longtime NHL veteran who has been in San Jose, manning the crease for the Sharks. It’s certainly no walk in the park for Reimer to have such a sloppy product out in front of him, but he’s looking to prove himself in a backup role and show he can be effective when called upon by the Red Wings.

The backup to the backup is Alex Lyon, who stepped up for the Florida Panthers in 2022-23 in the wake of some injuries. It was a smaller sample size, but his stats were intriguing, posting a 9-4-2 record, a .912 save percentage, and a 2.89 goals-against average. He could provide good competition to Reimer and serve as depth in case of any injuries.

But beyond that, the team has a few names looking to impress and lock down roles in Grand Rapids. Michael Hutchinson may be an extra body during training camp, but he has NHL experience and has served in a backup role before, so he could be kept around if the Red Wings see fit and are looking to stockpile depth.

Beyond that, it’s Jan Bednar, Sebastian Cossa, and John Lethemon who are slotting into the organization and will be placed somewhere after camp. Cossa’s performance at the Prospect Tournament was a little concerning, but the Red Wings are hopeful he can make some strides this year.

With all of this in mind, the Red Wings hope to stockpile some depth in the organization regarding goaltenders. For Detroit, it could be a key to success for the Red Wings organization this season.

It would be one of many keys to success, but the goaltending was a problem. Husso running out of gas and a challenging backup situation made things tougher on Detroit down the stretch in 2022-23, so avoiding that in 2023-24 could be a significant improvement.

Training camp and the pre-season will be an excellent test for these netminders, especially for the organization to get a feel for the goaltending depth across the different levels of the organization.

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