Detroit Red Wings: Predicting the defensive pairings in 2021-22

(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /
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Detroit Red Wings
(Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

Finally, albeit a month later than usual, the Detroit Red Wings regular season is less than two weeks away.

The Detroit Red Wings will open the 2021-22 regular season at home on Thursday, October 14th, hosting the Tampa Bay Lightning, the first of a four-game homestand to open the year.

We know for certain that the organization will be going with veteran Thomas Greiss and Alex Nedeljkovic in goal.  Greiss brings stability and an excellent veteran presence for Nedeljokovic, who the organization hopes quickly becomes the next franchise netminder, something they’ve been searching for since the tail end of Jimmy Howard’s career.

But how will the Detroit Red Wings backend shape up to begin the 2021-22 season?

The Detroit Red Wings allowed 171 goals against which ranked 21st out of 31.  That doesn’t seem significant, but considering the year prior, the Red Wings finished dead last in the category yielding 267 goals.  In 2019-20 the Detroit Red Wings also finished last in goals for scoring just 145 times as a team.  So allowing 171 in 56 games during the 2020-21 COVID-19 shortened season is progress.

During last season, the Detroit Red Wings produced a below-average penalty-killing unit converted just 78.7% of their short-handed opportunities, which was a tick below the league average of 80.2%.

Hopefully, we continue to see positive growth on Detroit’s backend during the 2021-22 season.