Detroit Red Wings First Ten Games: Plus and Minus

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The Detroit Red Wings’ first ten games of the 2023-24 season are in the books, and they came out with a 6-3-1 record. The Red Wings are a completely rebuilt team with eight new skaters and two new goalies. Let’s take a look at how they did.

The Detroit Red Wings Forward Lines First Ten Games

The first line of Dylan Larkin centering Alex DeBrincat and Lucas Raymond has been on fire, to put it mildly. Together, they have 16 goals over the first ten games and are a collective +12. It’s as good or even better than expected—a big plus.

The second line has seen some movement in and out due to Robby Fabbri’s injury. But most nights, we’ve seen Andrew Copp center, J.T. Compher, and David Perron. The line has seven goals but is a -5 for the first ten games, which is understandable since they often play against the competition’s top line when the Red Wings try to match up. Even

The third line has been a pleasant surprise, largely due to the improved play of center Joe Veleno, who already has five goals this year. On his wings are Michael Rasmussen and Daniel Sprong. Together, they have nine goals and are a +11 for the first ten games. They have shown good speed and a consistent forecheck that forces the opposition to play in their end for long shifts. Plus

The fourth line settled into Austin Czarnik, centering Klim Kostin and Christian Fischer. They have no goals yet this season and are -5 through the first ten games. Ouch! Minus

The Detroit Red Wings Defense Pairings First Ten Games

The Wings are in the excellent position, at the moment, of having seven healthy defensemen available. They dress six most games, and regardless of who gets the call, they have played stellar defense and added a lot of offense.

The first pair is Moritz Seider and Jake Walman. They have three goals and nine assists and are +3 for the first ten games. Big Plus

The second pair is Ben Chiarot and Justin Holl. They have only 1 goal and four assists, but they are +7 for the first ten games. Big Plus

The third pair has seen Ollie Maatta or Jeff Petry pair with Shayne Gostisbehere. Between them, they have three goals and ten assists and are -3 on the young season. Plus

The Detroit Red Wings Goalies’ First Ten Games

Ville Husso (7 games) and James Reimer (3 games) have split the goaltending duties thus far, combining for a 3.10 goals against average and a .910 save percentage. Reimer is better than was expected, and Husso is not quite as good, but it’s just a first ten games view. We’ll have a better idea of where the Red Wing’s goaltending stands after 40 games. Alex Lyon is also on the active roster but has not yet received a start. Even

Takeaways / Giveaways

One obvious takeaway is that all the new faces have absolutely made a positive impact on the Red Wings’ performance through the first ten games. DeBrincat especially has shown the scoring touch that everyone hoped to see from the recent addition. He’s also put some new energy into Dylan Larkin’s game. Joe Veleno’s early scoring success has been an eye-opener. He’s also one the best Red Wing centers in the face-off circle and plays a full 200-foot game. Shayne Gostisbehere is an excellent addition to the power play, as is Daniel Sprong. Sprong not only shows scoring touch but also some toughness and strength on the puck. Jeff Petry is a sound body on defense with a good shot. In recent years, injuries to defensemen have had a huge negative impact on the Wings, so it’s reassuring to see the depth the team acquired in the offseason.

On the giveaways, it must be said that the Toronto Maple fans deserve all the heartbreak they’ve endured these past few seasons. To think that they ran Justin Holl out of Toronto is unbelievable. That Detroit picked up Holl off the free-agent market is a little miracle on ice. He’s a big, solid body who takes care of his own end, makes deliberate plays to move the puck, and leads the team with a +7 this young season. Thank you, Maple Leafs!

The only issue in the first ten games is the depth of the forward lines. The fourth line is troubling. Also, we don’t have a lot of options if there are further injuries. Robby Fabbri has started skating again, and Detroit has Jonatan Berggren as an option. But if we lose anyone on the first three lines, we could see a downturn in scoring production quickly.

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