Detroit Red Wings: Much-needed help is on the way

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports /

Help is on the way!  The struggling Detroit Red Wings will welcome back a host of players from the COVID-19 protocol just in time for their lengthy six-game, 11-day road trip.

It’s no real surprise that the Detroit Red Wings are bad again in 2021, but the disappointing thing about it is that this team doesn’t appear to have taken a step forward from last years’ historically poor season.

After finishing last in about every category measured, the Detroit Red Wings are again limping their way through ’21.  The Wings rank 27th in goals for with 20, and also 27th with 35 goals against.

Detroit’s puck possession stats as a team are well below average, with a Corsi For Percentage coming in at 46.8%.  The Red Wings power-play operates at an 11.76% conversion rate; the league average is 21.66%.  Last season Detroit managed an abysmal power-play rate of 14.88%.  It felt like there was no more room to get any worse, but here we are.

Head coach Jeff Blashill needs and deserves plenty of the blame, but so does Dan Bylsma.  Bylsma is in charge of Detroit’s power-play, and it is a complete embarrassment.

Is the lackluster roster to blame?

Sure, that is part of it, but Detroit has enough top-end talent to convert with the man-advantage.  It’s no secret that Detroit lacks depth scoring, but there is enough talent on this roster and particularly the teams’ top power-play unit to get the job done.

The Detroit Red Wings are amid a six-game winless skid, but help is on the way.

Forwards Robby Fabbri and Adam Erne took part in Detroit’s practice Tuesday and are expected to play on Wednesday in Tampa Bay.  Sam Gagner and Jon Merrill are both eligible to return Wednesday but didn’t practice Tuesday if Blashill decides he’d like to insert them into the lineup.

Filip Zadina is expected to return Friday.  Fabbri and Zadina should really aid Detroit’s lifeless power-play.

The Red Wings cleared space by placing a few players back onto the taxi squad, and 21-year old Michael Rasmussen had been one of the casualties.

I don’t understand the move.  I’d much rather see Rasmussen ( 2 points in 8 games), who works as a net-front presence on the power-play.  With Tyler Bertuzzi not traveling with Detroit on this 11-day road trip, having Rasmussen in the lineup should be a no-brainer.

Trending. Hronek is carrying the defense core for now. light

Instead, we will have the pleasure of watching Frans Nielsen, Adam Erne, Valtteri Filppula, Darren Helm, and even Mathias Bromé, who has yet to record a point in 10 games. Sigh.