Detroit Red Wings 2021 Christmas Wish List
If head coach Jeff Blashill and general manager Steve Yzerman co-wrote a letter to Kris Kringle filled with strength and understanding, it would be a great combination to keep Detroit in line with the wild card. . Includes a healthy Jakub Vrana, improved scoring from Thomas Greiss, and improved both power play and penalty kick ability. All three can help propel the wings forward and secure a wild card position in the Eastern Conference.
Jakub Vrana Completely healthy
Although the news about Vrana did not look good, Healthy Vrana could boost Detroit’s second line and increase production volumes. After being acquired from Washington Capitals in the Anthony Mantha deal last season, Vrana cemented his place in Detroit at the end of last season with 11 points (8 goals and 3 assists) in 11 games. Detroit’s Second Line (Robbi Fabbri, Pius Suter and Filip Zadina) is in dire need of help, and with a voice from Detroit’s superiors, Vrana will find a nice home on the second line. If our second line can become effective, it can also open the door for other lines to seek more opportunities.
It’s not yet time to give up on Zadina because he’s such a sought-after draft player, but 47 points in 118 games along with a minus -31 isn’t all that pretty. If Vrana can come back in February for a late odd push, Zadina, in my opinion, will be the obvious choice to move to third lane and hopefully create more against the other bot lanes.
Vrana would also be a great addition to Detroit’s top line-up should injuries occur and/or the regular game that Tyler Bertuzzi misses due to Canada’s COVID protocols, which will hopefully limit the team lack of production with lack of Bertuzzi from the squad.
Better goal from Thomas Greiss
NHL teams are slowly moving towards a two-goal rotation, it’s important that the reserve keepers win games and score good numbers. Detroit has seen this in the past, including during one of their Stanley Cup runs (Chris Osgood and Dominik Hasek.)
Thomas Greiss teamed up well with Jonathan Bernier last season to give Detroit steady scoring behind a rebuilding team. The two bartered and gave the Red Wings a chance to win the games. However, after bringing in Alex Nedeljkovic, Greiss had the opportunity to take a young player under his wing and help him develop as a goalkeeper.
Greiss has not been useful on the ice this season, currently holding a save percentage of 0.893 (SV%) and a goal-to-goal average of 3.52 (GAA). These numbers were not only disappointing but also forced Blashill to start Nedeljkovic more than expected. If Nedeljkovic plays five or six games in a row, he can burn out pretty quickly and his form could drop. Also, with the bad news about Nedeljkovic in COVID protocols, Detroit will rely heavily on Greiss to help win the game and stay competitive. He doesn’t have to have .930 SV%, but a little improvement over .900 would helpl to keep Detroit in more games and earn a few more points in situations.
Improved Special Teams
To make the leap from good to great in the NHL, you need exceptionally strong teams. Detroit may not be on a great level, but you could argue they’re on the good side. It’s no secret that the Red Wings have struggled to score with power play and keep the ball out of the net when it comes to penalty kills, ranking near the bottom of the league in every game – drawing with 28order (15.7%) and 27order (76.5%), respectively, in both categories.
Looking at the last 5 games, Detroit has 2/14 (14.28 percent) playing power while also conceding a goal, effectively 1-14. Detroit hasn’t improved on their power play over the past few seasons with the additions of Zadina, Lucas Raymond and Moritz Seider.
However, there is still hope for improvement. Not only will Santa help, but Detroit has greatly improved in attack area penetration and puck moves once set up to get an open look. Seider has been a great midfielder in the power game, while Zadina and Raymond are seeing plenty of scoring opportunities from the circle. Look for the Red Wings to gradually improve the power play as their young men get more comfortable and they bring players back from the COVID outbreak on the team.
Hi, my name is Brian Oldani. I first developed an interest in writing as a child, always wanting to write and tell stories. Growing up, playing sports also got me hooked in the sports world. I attended the University of Michigan, where I studied economics and writing. Writing about the Red Wings for The Hockey Writers allows me the freedom to write about my favorite team in my favorite sport.
https://thehockeywriters.com/red-wings-2021-christmas-wish-list/ Detroit Red Wings 2021 Christmas Wish List