The 2013-14 season for the Detroit Red Wings was filled with adversity, but they were able to extend their playoff streak to 23.
The team lost 421 man games due to injury, used 38 different players this season, only had one 20 goal scorer, and their leading scorer only had 49 points.
Some players shined, while others faltered this season and will either be somewhere else next season or need to step up.
Let’s take a look at the offensive, defensive, and coaching grades from the 2013-14 season.
Zetterberg was the only player on Detroit with a point per game during the regular season, but a back injury and eventually surgery ended his season early. Zetterberg ended the season tied for second in points at 48 with only 45 games played.
Pavel Datsyuk (A-)
Datsyuk led the Red Wings in takeaways and face-off percentage, while dealing with a bum knee for most of the season. He is the best defensive forward in the NHL and when he was on the ice he made everyone around him better.
Gustav Nyquist (A-)
Nyquist put the Red Wings on his shoulders in the second half of the season and carried them into the playoffs by being the hottest player in the NHL. Nyquist ended the season first in goals and tied for second in points for Detroit.
Daniel Alfredsson (A-)
Alfie tied for the lead in points at the end of the season for Detroit and brought experience a the team that ended the season with 7 players 25 years or younger.
Tomas Tatar (B+)
Tatar ended the season with 19 goals, good enough for second on the Wings and was sixth in points. Once Tatar was given ice time he made every opportunity count and even though he has a small stature he plays big.
Riley Sheahan (B+)
Sheahan was fifth in points per game among rookies with 30 games played by picking up 24 points in 42 games. He needs to shoot more often because he ha a quick release and will need work at the face-off dot, as well.
Drew Miller (B+)
Miller was the best defensive forward on the Red Wings, played all 82 games, and had 25 more block shots than the next forward. The only area Miller could use some work is on offense; he had 117 shots on net, but only 7 goals.
Darren Helm (B)
Helm made his return this season and became an instant factor for the Red Wings on the ice, which led to 20 points in 42 games. His speed made him difficult to cover, while his defensive abilities gave the penalty kill a boost.
Abdelkader was not able to improve on his goal total from last season, but he was able to more than double his point total from last season. The sport next to Zetterberg and Datsyuk will be his to lose next season.
Tomas Jurco (B)
When Jurco was called up to Detroit he became a part of the Kid Line, which dominated opposition in the regular season. He used his size and physicality more than his natural skill, which could mean he will be more dangerous next season.
Luke Glendening (B-)
Glendening was a force on defense and his compete level was through the roof, but the offensive side of his game could use some serious work during the off-season along with his face-off mechanics.
Johan Franzen (C+)
Normally scoring 19 goals and putting up 41 points in 56 games is a good thing, but this is Franzen. The main reason for the poor grade is because in the last 20 games of the season he was only able to tally 7 points, while looking lackadaisical.
David Legwand (C)
started off his time in Detroit well tallying 7 points in his first 9 games, but could only manage 4 points in his next 13 games and was relegated to the fourth line.
Todd Bertuzzi (C)
Bertuzzi put up 16 points in 59 games, but later in the season became a role player for Detroit and was only used when injuries occurred. He still has soft hands, a big body, and a mean streak, but it was not enough to keep him in the line-up.
Joakim Andersson (C)
Andersson picked up 17 points in 65 games and had a face-off winning percentage of 51.7%, but after returning from injury there was no more room for him on the roster.
Dan Cleary (D-)
The fact Cleary played 52 games this season, but was unnoticeable in most, if not all of those, games tells a lot about his season.
Played 26 games, scored three points, and was regularly a healthy scratch for the Red Wings. He was outplayed and beaten out by the kids, which caused him to spend time in Grand Rapids before getting injured.
Stephen Weiss (INC)
Weiss started the season injured and while he did play it severely hampered him, which is why he is getting an incomplete.
Niklas Kronwall (A-)
It was not Kronwall’s best defensive season, but he led the Wings in point along with Alfie and stepped up for Detroit in a big way when Zetterberg went down and became the leader on and off the ice.
Danny DeKeyser (A-)
DeKeyser’s first full season could not have gone much better for the young defenseman. He was regularly given between 20 and 25 minutes of ice time and responded with great defensive plays, while posting 23 points in 65 games.
Jonathan Ericsson (B+)
Ericsson was Detroit’s best defensive defenseman and was using his big frame to impose his will on other players. He was on track to score 20 points this season, which would have been a decent number, but injuries sidelined him too often. Health was a major issue for him this season, but I do not see it being a reoccurring theme for him.
Kyle Quincey (B)
Quincey started off the season rough next to Smith, but found his groove in the second half of the season next to DeKeyser. He was the only defenseman to play all 82 game this season, but his downfall this season was offensive production with only 13 in 82 games.
Brendan Smith (B)
Smith did not start the season well either and ended up being benched in favor of Lashoff, but when on the ice he made each player next to him better. When Ericsson went down, Smith was pulled up from the third pairing and played spectacular next to Kronwall.
Brian Lashoff (C+)
Lashoff was a decent defensive defenseman for Detroit and was an important part of the Wings’ penalty kill. He is not fleet of foot, which costs him and only 6 points in 75 games is not enough.
Jakub Kindl (C-)
Kindl was the worst defenseman on the ice for the Red Wings most nights and while his offensive upside was huge, his ineptitude on defense costed him and the Wings.
Jonas Gustavsson (A-)
Gustavsson was 1 win off his career high in 15 fewer games and put up career high numbers in SV% and GAA with .907 and 2.65. Without him the Red Wings would not have been in the playoff race at the end of the season, but reoccurring injuries costed him valuable time.
Petr Mrazek (B)
Mrazek only started six games for the Wings and while he was only able to capture two victories in those games, he posted the best goalie numbers (.927SV% and 1.74GAA) and proved he can play in the NHL.
Jimmy Howard (B-)
Howard’s posted his worst season in wins with 21, and many as he has last season, and losses with 19 and second worse in SV% with .910 and GAA with 2.66. Howard was fantastic for Detroit down the stretch and was a main reason they made it into the Playoffs, which saved his season.
Head Coach (A)
Mike Babcock is the best coach in the NHL and while it is a disappointment that the Red Wings could not get out of the first round in the Playoffs, he guided a young team with little experience into the playoffs. With the experience and teaching the young players received under Babcock, they should be ready for an even better season next year.
Special Teams (C)
The penalty kill ended up twelfth in the NHL, while the power play was eighteenth in the NHL. Both the PK and the PP need to go through significant changes in the off-season in order to be better next year.