Detroit Red Wings: Hot start to young season in Hockeytown

(Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports)
(Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports) /

Since the first puck drop of the new season, it has been clear that the 2021-22 Detroit Red Wings are different than teams of years past. With a lot of new young faces and fans back at Little Caesars Arena, the Red Wings have a lot to prove over the course of this 82-game season.

Now an eighth of the way through the regular season, it’s becoming clear that this Detroit Red Wings team has a different attitude and more heart than their predecessors. It may be early, but they look like a new team.

New year, new Detroit Red Wings.

Through six games, the Red Wings seemingly remain in control of their own destiny with a 3-2-1 record. Following a heartbreaking 7-6 Overtime loss in their season opener against the defending Stanley Cup Champions, the Tampa Bay Lightning, the Red Wings then went on a two-game win streak by defeating the Canucks and the Blue Jackets, before then losing their next two to Calgary and Montreal.

Following a rough 6-1 loss to Montreal in their first road game of the year, the Red Wings would then travel to Chicago, where they would solidly defeat the Blackhawks 6-3. Though some nights, the Red Wings have looked unbeatable, others they have looked very human. Nonetheless, this team has spirit and chemistry that teams of the last five years have been missing.

Using a combination of youth (such as rookies Lucas Raymond and Moritz Seider) and veterans (such as captain Dylan Larkin and Tyler Bertuzzi), the Red Wings have found themselves with one of the brighter futures in the NHL right now; thanks to General Manager (GM) Steve Yzerman. Not only does this team look like a threat going forward, but even now, the Red Wings look like a tough team to beat for any team in the league.

Here are some Detroit Red Wings outstanding performers so far in 2021-22.

Though the season is young, the Red Wings have already had a few stars emerge, both rookies and veterans alike.

Thomas Greiss has been the better of the two goalies so far this season (though both have played well for the most part) as he currently holds a 2-1 record, a 2.80 goals-against average, and a .914 save percentage. Though his performance against Montreal was questionable, his previous two games put him statistically among the top goaltenders in the league.

Tyler Bertuzzi leads the team in goals (six), points (nine), and plus/minus (plus-eight), and recorded four goals in the season opener against Tampa Bay. Bertuzzi’s outstanding play thus far has made him an undeniable key to the Red Wings’ early success.

Givani Smith has yet to score a single point this season and has a plus/minus of minus-two so far this season. The statistical category he does lead in, though, is penalty minutes. Though he will never be a goal scorer or a key offensive piece, Smith has become a Hockeytown favorite because of his scrappy play style and his willingness to drop the gloves.

Lucas Raymond is both the youngest player on the Red Wings (19) and one of the fastest rising stars on the roster. In mid-October, Raymond recorded his first goal in the Red Wings’ third game against Columbus and took only six games to record the first hat trick of his young career. Raymond also has four assists and has turned out to be an incredible addition to a very strong first-line.

A bright future for the Detroit Red Wings

Though a lot of hockey still remains to be played, the Red Wings have looked solid thus far. This team’s chemistry feels different from those of the past, and Yzerman’s draft picks are already showing early signs of greatness.

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This team may not be a contender just yet, but they’re getting there faster than most thought possible. This year’s team could very well break the Red Wings short playoff drought, but in any case, going forward, the sky is the limit.