Detroit Red Wings: 3 pressing questions for the 2023-24 season

MONTREAL, CANADA - JANUARY 26: (L-R) Associate coach Bob Boughner, assistant coach Jay Varady head coach Derek Lalonde and assistant coach of the Detroit Red Wings Alex Tanguay, handle bench duties during the third period against the Montreal Canadiens at Centre Bell on January 26, 2023 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. The Detroit Red Wings defeated the Montreal Canadiens 4-3 in overtime. (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)
MONTREAL, CANADA - JANUARY 26: (L-R) Associate coach Bob Boughner, assistant coach Jay Varady head coach Derek Lalonde and assistant coach of the Detroit Red Wings Alex Tanguay, handle bench duties during the third period against the Montreal Canadiens at Centre Bell on January 26, 2023 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. The Detroit Red Wings defeated the Montreal Canadiens 4-3 in overtime. (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images) /
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Detroit Red Wings, Red Wings, Alex DeBrincat
Jan 20, 2023; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Ottawa Senators right wing Alex DeBrincat (12) takes the ice against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the first period at PPG Paints Arena. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /

Detroit Red Wings’ powerplay remains a questionable area.

It took merely one season in a Jeff Blashill-less offense for the Detroit Red Wings to improve the powerplay. Even though Alex Tanguay stayed behind the bench and ran the powerplay, he had slightly new personnel. But the jump was more than noticeable.

In the 2021-22 season, the powerplay struggled at a measly 16.3%, ranking towards the bottom of the league. Last season, the team jumped up to a success rate of 21.1% on the powerplay, pulling them up to the league average.

The hope this coming season is that the addition of a natural goalscorer and sniper, Alex DeBrincat, will increase those numbers to above league average. The teams at the top of the league in 2021-22(Edmonton, Toronto, Tampa Bay, Los Angeles, Dallas, Colorado, and New York-R) were all playoff clubs.

Detroit must propel themselves into the conversation for a top powerplay team if they want to accumulate enough wins to make some noise in the postseason. The projected line of Raymond-Larkin-Debrincat should help.

Adding players like Daniel Sprong and David Perron onto the second unit adds depth that the team has lacked for over five years when it comes to goals with a man advantage. But there is still a glaring hole on the back end.

Does Detroit have a true powerplay quarterback? Sure, Moritz Seider has played that role for the time being, but is it really his strength? The addition of Shayne Gostisbehere could just be what the doctor ordered.

“Ghost” is not necessarily known for his defensive shutdown abilities; it seems like Gostisbehere is primed to be used by Tanguay as the offensive shooter that the unit has been thirsting for.