Detroit Red Wings’ season preview: Will the Yzerplan deliver in 2023?

(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /
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DETROIT, MICHIGAN – APRIL 08: Moritz Seider #53 of the Detroit Red Wings skates against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Little Caesars Arena on April 08, 2023 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
DETROIT, MICHIGAN – APRIL 08: Moritz Seider #53 of the Detroit Red Wings skates against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Little Caesars Arena on April 08, 2023 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /

It’s time for the Detroit Red Wings to take advantage of aging teams such as Pittsburgh and Washington.

The Metro Division has promise for the Detroit Red Wings this upcoming year. Just like the Atlantic Division, the Red Wings need to improve their record (6-7-3) versus the second half of the Eastern Conference.

The Penguins did not do enough to address their needs, even by adding superstar defenseman Erik Karlsson. The only way they return to the playoffs after missing the postseason for the first time since Sidney Crosby’s rookie season. It will be up to Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, and Karlsson to carry the team in offensive production. It will not be easy for the Red Wings to take advantage of the Capitals. They have an aging core, but they are healthy to start the season. Alexander Ovechkin will continue to score the most goals in NHL history. If Nickolas Backstrom can return to form, the team may not decline as much as you think.

The Carolina Hurricanes will win the division. They play at an incredible pace that is difficult to defend. The team is coached and takes on the image of Rod Brind ‘Amour. I do not see the Red Wings surviving the storm against the ‘Canes this year, and could even lose a step. Another team that may torch the Red Wings this year is the New Jersey Devils. The Devils are a few years ahead of the curve on their rebuild.

The likes of Jack Hughes and Nico Hischer are enough to stifle any team on either end of the ice. If Carolina stumbles, the Devils will win the division. The Philadelphia Flyers are a must-win game every game. The Red Wings did not beat the Flyers last year. The John Tortorella lead Flyers are a challenge to play against with their commitment to the system. This will be a good test to see if the offensive improvements over the summer pay off. The short ride from Detroit to Columbus should be a concern again this season.

As the Blue Jackets continue to host their University of Michigan post-graduate program, a healthy Zach Werenski will not allow for the Red Wings to walk all over them. It will be exciting to watch how Adam Fantilli does in his rookie season. The New York Rangers and Islanders will prove to be tests for the Red Wings this season. While the Rangers are star-driven, with the likes of Artemi Panarin, Mika Zibanejad, Chris Kreider, and Adam Fox, the Islanders are depth-driven, led by Anders Lee, Brock Nelson, and Bo Harvat and star Matthew Barzal. By the Red Wings competing and finding a way to win the season series, it will prove that they can defeat any team in the league.

The Detroit Red Wings need at least fifteen victories to make playoffs.