Detroit Red Wings: Derek Lalonde’s 2022-23 Report Card

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Detroit Red Wings, Derek Lalonde
Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports /

A stagnant Detroit Red Wings powerplay is no fault of Lalonde.

One of the major concerns for the Detroit Red Wings heading into the 2022-23 season was whether or not the coaching staff could turn around a stagnant power play. As far as powerplay percentage and powerplay goals go, they improved rather significantly during this season under Lalonde. They finished middle of the pack, 16th best, in power play percentage. It is not a number that will punch you in the face. However, it is an improvement of ten spots.

Last year Detroit finished 26th in PP percentage. Assistant coach Alex Tanguay runs the power play system and units, so it should be considered that he may have simply improved upon last season and is pushing the special teams in the right direction. Even with the free-agent additions of David Perron and Dominik Kubalík, who both were awarded decent minutes on the powerplay units, the drastic improvement must be given credit, not just towards the talent added to it.

Tanguay was retained by Yzerman after hiring Lalonde, meaning he could not hire his own choice to be his assistant to run the powerplay. That could very well change this off-season. If Lalonde forces Yzerman’s hand, it could possibly be one of the most critical moves this summer.

When you look at the 5-on-5 play, Lalonde has implemented a system that gives more of a leash to the skilled players to be aggressive and try things that Blashill rarely allowed. It can not be understated how important it could be to allow the head coach to choose his staff and ensure they are all on the same page regarding what kind of system they would like to run, thus potentially improving the power play numbers even more.