Detroit Red Wings: 4 players to elevate after the trade deadline

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Detroit Red Wings
Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports /

Evgeny Svechnikov should be in the Detroit Red Wings’ lineup

This one seems to agitate me more than the others.  I have no idea why the Detroit Red Wings continue to tease us by allowing forward Evgeny Svechnikov to take part in the pre-game line rushes only to go with eleven forwards and seven defenders over the past couple of games.  You’ve guessed it, Svechnikov is often the odd-man-out.

I will say this, I’ve lobbied for Hirose and Svechnikov to be in the Red Wings lineup rather than the abundance of fourth-line players head coach Jeff Blashill has littered throughout the roster. Still, at least we’re not watching Frans Nielsen or Valtteri Filppula each night.

The two veteran forwards haven’t been in the lineup for quite some time.  But it is still a Blashill lineup that includes the likes of Darren Helm, who reinforced once again Tuesday night that he can’t score if his life depends on it.

Detroit is also rolling out Adam Erne, Luke Glendening, and Sam Gagner.  I understand these three players have the ability to make up a solid fourth line that can chip in on the scoresheet, work on the PK, and at times the power-play.

Svechnikov (it’s a small sample size) has produced a shooting percentage of 33.3%.  Helm, one goal in 24 games, has a shooting percentage of 2%, Glendining sits at 8.8%, Erne is at 15.2%, and Gagner at 7.8%.

The four players mentioned above are far more complete players than Svechnikov.  Blashill, like Babcock, values players that can be reliable in all zones.  Svechnikov is more of a one-trick pony, but it is 2021; it’s time to adapt with the game and allow these scores to open it up a bit more than we’ve been used to in Detroit.

I’d prefer to see the Red Wings go with the traditional six defensemen and twelve forwards, leaving an opportunity for Svechnikov.  But if the often-stubborn Blashill is fixated on rolling with eleven up front, for the love of everything holy, remove Helm and insert Svechnikov.

The 24-year old Russian winger has appeared in six games this season, with the Detroit Red Wings scoring two goals and adding two assists totaling four points.

Svechnikov seems to be getting the old Babcock/Blashill treatment when he does break into the lineup playing just a touch over 10 minutes.  It’s like beating a dead horse, but it needs to be repeated.  A scoring-type top nine forward needs to play 15-plus minutes per night.

Scorers can’t play just a few shifts a period; they need to get into the groove of things, the flow of the game to be effective.  Scorers need to feel the puck on their stick.  The grinders that go out there and rattle the boards have the ability to do their job and create some momentum in just ten or so minutes, but a scorer needs to play.