Detroit Red Wings: Top power-play unit will be dominant in 2020-21

(Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports)
(Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Detroit Red Wings are going to have a dominant power-play unit in 2020-21.

The Detroit Red Wings have their first game against the Carolina Hurricanes on January 14th; until then, the team is on the ice for training camp prepping for a 56-game shortened season. There’s no secret when looking at the 2019-20 season; the Red Wings were bad, historically bad.

One of the facets of the game the team struggled in was special teams, and in 2020-21 they should see true growth from the power-play unit, at least their top grouping. With some of their offseason signings, the top unit should be functioning at a good rate.

Even with last season’s devastating performance, the Red Wings do have some skilled offensive players to a point where they should be able to run a more than efficient power-play. The rumblings from camp point to the idea that the team is running the power-play as most fans would expect, well, for the most part.

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Players expected to be on the top unit include:

The top four names on this list are going to make a phenomenal core group. The hope is that DeKeyser can be the quarterback up top and make things happen.

That is the only knock I have on this group of players. I would rather see Filip Hronek quarterbacking things with Larkin also floating around the top of the zone.

One of the other shocking developments is that Ryan was working as the net-front presence on this unit. In an interview with the media, Ryan noted that he was just happy to have a chance to play on the same unit as Bertuzzi, Larkin, and Mantha.

Frankly, Ryan being a net-front presence might be intriguing and help him get some dirty goals in front, allowing Mantha to position along the boards for this power-play unit. After a scoring chance, Mantha could crash the net and bring firepower in that regard.

Larkin serves as the up top forward cycling around with Bertuzzi working down low and behind the net. It is a stellar group that should be able to convert more than any of the power-play units from 2019-20, but time will tell.

These four forwards together are going to make things happen, obviously during even-strength play on their respective lines, but with more space and more time on a man advantage, they should be able to create plentiful amounts of scoring chances and ultimately get the puck in the back of the net.

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When the 2020-21 season kicks off in ten days, expect the Detroit Red Wings special teams to be much better than in 2019-20, but also this top unit to find plenty of success.