Detroit Red Wings are performing as expected at the halfway point

(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /

Overall, at the halfway mark of the regular season, the Detroit Red Wings are right about where we would have expected they’d be in the preseason.

Through the first 41 games of the season, the Detroit Red Wings sit with a record of 18-16-7, good for 43 points. Detroit is playing .500 hockey well into January, and realistically, that is what anyone could have hoped for the 2022-23 season. In fact, the Detroit Red Wings are 5-5 over their past ten games following a gut-wrenching loss at home Saturday night to the Columbus Blue Jackets.

The Red Wings currently sit sixth in the Atlantic Division but only trail the Florida Panthers and Ottawa Senators by a single point. The Detroit Red Wings are on an 86-point pace this year which would be 12 points or six wins better than last year.

Captain Dylan Larkin wants to see more consistency out of the Detroit Red Wings during the second half of the season.

"“There’s definitely areas where we’ve progressed,” captain Dylan Larkin said. “After (Saturday’s) game I don’t really want to get into that right now, (but) it’s clear that we’ve progressed. We’re more deep.“But we’ve been talking about it, getting on a run, stringing some wins together. Then (a loss like Saturday’s) happens, and it’s frustrating. That’s kind of been the story of the season. We win two or three and then we can’t find the fourth or fifth and get on a nice run.“We need to find that. We’re talking about it, we’re trying. We need to do it pretty soon here.”"

We’ve seen Detroit continue to improve this year under first-year head coach Derek Lalonde. The Red Wings have taken on the identity of their bench boss and have become a tough out. Lalonde preaches team defense and wants his club to be challenging to play against, and on most nights, they check both of those boxes despite the game’s outcome.

"“You see what we are,” Lalonde said of a first half assessment. “If we compete and we execute, and our compete and our battle is in that nine-out-of-10, 10-out-of-10 (range), we can play with anyone. But we’re not good enough to not do that at any time against anyone.“Our compete was at a high, high level for four of the last six periods (including an impressive win over Toronto), and it wasn’t there for (the first) two periods (Saturday). Disappointing? Maybe. But it’s where we’re at.”"

One of the areas Detroit has most improved is its goal differential. Last season the Red Wings skated to an awful -82 goal differential. At this time last season, the Red Wings possessed a -22 goal differential. This year, Detroit sits with a -11; it doesn’t seem all that impressive knowing the Red Wings still allow more goals than they score, but it is a significant improvement. Some of that is due to the fact general manager Steve Yzerman made a conscious effort to improve Detroit’s roster through free agency this past summer. Adding players like David Perron, Dominik Kubalik, Olli Maatta, Andrew Copp, and Ville Husso has considerably improved Detroit’s roster from years past.

Next. Red Wings place goaltender Alex Nedeljkovic on waivers. dark

Octopus Thrower
Octopus Thrower /

Want your voice heard? Join the Octopus Thrower team!

Write for us!

That being said, Lalonde has done an excellent job weathering the storm of injuries the Red Wings have sustained over the first half of the season. Detroit had been forced to play without Tyler Bertuzzi for all but 12 games this season due to a broken hand, not once, but twice. The Red Wings have also been without Robby Fabbri, Jakub Vrana, and Filip Zadina for most of the year.