Digging for positives in mostly bad performances has kept Detroit Red Wings fans watching during this rough season. Although the Red Wings lost three of their four games against the Stars in their four game mini-series, there were a few bright spots in the matchups.
Red Wings Goaltending Looks Safe Next Year
Thomas Greiss and Jonathan Bernier were the most consistent players for Detroit in this four game stretch. Bernier played lights out in the series finale against the Stars, with 50 saves on 52 shots. Dallas absolutely bombarded the net, yet Bernier somehow kept the game within a goal.
Although Bernier’s performance was fantastic, Greiss definitely deserves recognition for his play. Greiss started two games in the series, with 34 saves and a .944 save percentage in his first start and 43 saves and .935 in his second. After Bernier started rough in Detroit’s second game with Dallas (Not necessarily bad goaltending, it had more to do with the team’s defensive lapses), Greiss came in and stopped all 11 shots he faced.
With Greiss on the books for next year, all Steve Yzerman has to do is sign Bernier (UFA this offseason), and the Red Wings will be in a very secure in net for 2021-22. If Bernier keeps it up and Greiss continues to trend upward, the goalie tandem will be Detroit’s main strength next season.
Vrana is Killing It
Jakub Vrana’s four goal performance is easily the most exciting result of the series, especially considering every goal came about during 5v5 hockey. Vrana is proving that his shot might be the best in Detroit, something the Wings desperately needed after losing Anthony Mantha. Vrana has also been developing considerable chemistry with fellow top-liner Filip Zadina, which only bodes well for the future. Next year’s top potential top line featuring Dylan Larkin, Zadina and Vrana will make for an exciting watch.
After seeing Anthony Mantha’s success with the Capitals, it was comforting for Red Wings fans to see such a fantastic performance by one of the primary pieces they acquired from the trade.
Could Cholowski be Gaining Confidence?
While not quite as exciting as the other two, it was great to see Dennis Cholowski finally score this year.
Since the trade deadline, Cholowski has had quite a few chances to play on the main roster. The first stretch was pretty rough for the young defenseman (Zero points in nine games before his goal against Dallas), as it seemed he lacked the offensive confidence he showed with Grand Rapids.
However, fans got a little taste of that offensive skillset in the final game against Dallas, as Cholowski sniped one of the more impressive goals of the season to put the Wings up early.
Yes, it is just one goal. Yes, Cholowski is going to have to do more if he wants a secure spot on the roster this offseason. But confidence is key for a player like Cholowski, and he will be a fun player to watch during this final stretch of play.