In the latest episode of The Hockey Writers Grind Line, Detroit Red Wings writers Devin Little and Matthew Zator came together to share their final thoughts and takeaways from the preseason. As the preseason games come to a close, a few storylines have emerged. However, in the video below, the conversation turned to the Red Wings’ goalie situation.
As Little and Zator first suggest, one of the bright spots for the Red Wings – and, it’s been consistent throughout the preseason – has been the success of the power play. Last week, The Grind Line discussed how promising the power play was looking. The fact is, it’s continued to impress. The power play unit seems to be in sync, which bodes well for the regular season.
The Main Storyline: Goaltending Puzzles
However, the biggest surprise (or perhaps dilemma) for the Red Wings is the potential situation with the goaltenders. It seems that they might start the season with three goalies on the roster. They recently sent Michael Hutchinson down to the Grand Rapids Griffins, but the interesting twist is that Grand Rapids signed him to a tryout contract. This suggests that Hutchinson might not be too far away from an AHL contract.
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With Sebastian Cossa expected to be in Grand Rapids, having Hutchinson there would imply that either Alex Lyon or James Reimer would stay in Detroit. The issue with that plan is that carrying three goaltenders reduces the available skater spots, which is a unique situation.
Keeping Three Goalies Is an Unorthodox Move
As The Grind Line conversation suggests, this move might seem a bit unorthodox. It’s uncommon in the NHL for a team to carry three goaltenders. Still, there could be a strategy at play. Asset protection might be the key, especially considering that the Tampa Bay Lightning, dealing with an injury to Andrei Vasilevskiy, could be in the market for a goaltender. Putting someone like Lyon on waivers might make him a tempting target for a team like the Lightning.
It Remains to Be Seen How the Red Wings Navigate This Situation
If the Red Wings do, in fact, keep three goalies it would be an interesting development. As it is, it remains to be seen how the team will finally navigate this goaltending situation. On Sunday, Oct. 8, when the Red Wings cut their roster to 23 players, all three goalies, Ville Husso, James Reimer, and Alex Lyon remained on the roster.
The upside is that the situation suggests just how much depth the team has between the crease. As The Grind Line notes, this is a testament to the depth they’ve been building and the strategic decisions they’re making as they continue their rebuild.
As the regular season inches closer, these preseason takeaways provide a glimpse into the team’s dynamics and potential strategies. Red Wings fans can look forward to an intriguing start to the season with many exciting storylines to follow.