It’s been a season to forget for the Detroit Red Wings, but we’re seeing rookie forward Filip Zadina surge in the right direction.
The Detroit Red Wings are performing worse than they did in the early 1980s once again, becoming the laughing stock of the league. For the folks that are old enough to remember, it appears the ‘Dead Wings’ jokes have once again returned when mentioning the franchise.
General manager Steve Yzerman has plenty of work to do as he tries to overhaul this Red Wings’ roster. Although the Detroit Red Wings will finish the year as the league’s worst team, it’s a shame we can’t pencil them in with the first overall pick. In the lottery era, anything can happen, Detroit’s been bounced down in the pecking order in each of the last two seasons.
There should be some rule that if a team fails to reach the 50 point plateau on the season, they automatically receive the first overall pick, and the others enter the lottery. I understand this isn’t realistic, but with how bleak the Wings are, I’m bias understanding the organization desperately needs to add a potential superstar in the draft.
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Detroit’s been without the services of Andreas Athanasiou for quite some time due to a lower-body injury, and it appears Anthony Mantha will be out for the remainder of the season. So you’re looking for a silver lining, aren’t you?
Well, here it is. The injuries have opened up a spot for Filip Zadina to play as a top-six forward, and the young man is finding his way at the NHL level. He’s averaged 17:16 TOI over his last four contests scoring three goals and an assist during this span. He’s recorded 12 shots and buried two power-play goals. Another positive sign since Detroit’s 29th ranked power-play has been nothing but abysmal, operating at a 14.8% success rate.
Overall, we have seen plenty of growth in Zadina, and his confidence continues to grow each and every game. He’s much more comfortable with the puck on his stick, his vision has vastly improved, and as many young players do, he’s not rushing to make a play the second the puck lands on his tape. He’s gaining more patience and allowing the play to develop before making a pass or taking a shot, something he struggled to do earlier this season.
Through 26 games this season, Zadina has recorded 8 goals, 7 assists to total 15 points. His Corsi For Percentage is just 46%, which is below average, but when you consider how bad the Red Wings are this season, it’s a respectable rating for the rookie forward. Last season he recorded 3 points in a small nine game sample size in the show.
The injury bug of late has bitten Detroit. To go along with the players mentioned above, Mike Green, Jonathan Bernier, and Danny DeKeyser all remain out. Detroit skates into the All-Star break with an atrocious 12-35-4 record.