Detroit Red Wings need more from Andreas Athanasiou

DETROIT, MI - FEBRUARY 22: Andreas Athanasiou
DETROIT, MI - FEBRUARY 22: Andreas Athanasiou /

He can score. He has speed. He has all the makings of an above average NHL center.  Consistency has eluded Andreas Athanasiou. The Detroit Red Wings in need of scoring, need Andreas to step up and become a more consistent player.

Last season following a holdout Andreas Athanasiou started the season with a bang. He notched 17 points in 31 games for the Detroit Red Wings. Then came his usual laps in steady play. AA was only able to record 16 points in the last 40 games. He was also benched by head coach Jeff Blashill, for his lackadaisical play.

Andreas Athanasiou has a great combination of speed and skill. He should be able to go all out when a game is on the line. Athanasiou has that type of makeup. Unfortunately, Andreas can become invisible for games at a time.

Case and point, Andreas Athanasiou had the worst plus-minus rating on the Detroit Red Wings at -15. Ouch!  He can also score beautiful goals. If he can play more consistent, I feel Athanasiou could be an asset on the woeful Detroit power play.

If Andreas can play with the intensity of someone like Dylan Larkin the his ice time would see more minutes. Andreas, needs to play hard every shift. He has yet to do that. Last season Anthony Mantha, worked hard to overcome lapses in his game and began to play hard every shift. He saw a jump in results.

Andreas Athanasiou should use Mantha as an example. He should pick his brain and find out what it is Anthony did to up his play. An Andreas Athanasiou, who is fully committed, and consistent would greatly help to the Detroit offense.

If there is a glaring weakness in Andreas’s game it has to be his defense. Or lack-there-of. For his size 6′ 2″ 188 lbs Anthanasiou should be more of a defensive force. He does not check, does not play the boards and at times is found floating in the neutral zone hoping for a break-a-way pass while his teammates are working in the defensive zone.

In today’s NHL  two-way players are the premium, Andreas Athanasiou falls short. In fact last season it was rumored that he was benched for a few games because he either can not play defense or refuses to do what the coaches ask him to do.

Next. Is Dylan Larkin ready to be the next Captain?. dark

The frustrating part for the Red Wings and their fans is that they see what Andreas could be. He just needs to see it in himself. Perhaps this will be the season he takes a step forward. He is running out of time.  Andreas Athanasiou has game-changing skill. I expect him to improve this season and embrace a larger responsibility skating as a full-time center.