Approaching the mid-season point, the Detroit Red Wings weathered an eight game winless streak and since that was snapped on February 7, the Wings are 5-6-1. During the stretch, but not only through the season, which Red Wings have been integral parts of the team grinding through another rebuilding year?
In no particular order (and with an honorable mention), Alex and I look at the top six Red Wings so far this season
Honorable Mention: Tyler Bertuzzi
While Bertuzzi has missed more games than he’s played this season with an undisclosed injury, there’s no discounting just how much the Red Wings missed Bertuzzi’s presence offensively as well as on the power play. It’s why he’s listed as an “honorable mention” since he’s missed more than he’s played. But if anything shows how much they’ve missed him, this is it.
After finally snapping an 0 for 40 drought that lasted 16 games, Bertuzzi was consistently the only Red Wing forward scoring on the man advantage. Since last playing on January 30, Bertuzzi was still (tied) as the team’s goals leader until Bobby Ryan passed him in Saturday’s 5-3 victory over Chicago. In just nine games, Bertuzzi had 9 points and was outproducing last season according to Evolving Hockey.
Bertuzzi’s Goals/60 is 1.7 and Pts/60 was 2.38, outperforming his last two seasons. Though it’s a smaller sample size, it isn’t a reach to say that not only would the Red Wings have won more games with Bert in the lineup, but that he would most likely be leading the team in goals and points if healthy.
Talk about a shot in the arm. Fabbri missed two weeks after being put in Covid Protocol but has eight points in his last eleven games. Often centering a line with Filip Zadina, the two have gelled well as the second line has had different members on the other wing throughout these last few weeks. Fabbri continues to impress after being acquired last season by Steve Yzerman.