It seems like a lot of pundits — both of the professional and armchair variety — will end up owing the 2023-24 version of the Detroit Red Wings an apology of sorts. This team isn’t running away with the President’s Trophy, but they aren’t rapidly sinking down the dog-eat-dog Atlantic Division standings either. Ten games into the campaign, Detroit has rung up 13 points in ten games, which is good for second place in the division.
There are reasons to be optimistic about this version of the Winged Wheel. After a summer of handwringing about free-agent signings galore, the Red Wings actually appear to be jelling in a way virtually no one saw coming.
Alex DeBrincat’s homecoming couldn’t have been scripted any better. He’s been the electric goal scorer Detroit has badly missed over the last several seasons, and seemingly every puck No. 93 touches is ending up in the back of the net. What should be making fans even more excited, though, is just how well the new wing has clicked with Dylan Larkin. It wouldn’t be a stretch to say that the first ten games of the Red Wings’ season have represented some of the captain’s best work.
Overhauled defense core is performing above expectations for the Red Wings.
Moritz Seider entered play on Halloween trailing just Adam Fox in total points scored. Shayne Gostisbehere has been an incredible offensive force, and only three teams in the NHL carry a better power-play conversion rate than Detroit. It’s all coming up roses in Hockeytown, but that doesn’t magically mean that Steve Yzerman’s rebuild is off, and the Red Wings are ready to contend with the top teams in the league. There are some causes for concern here, and they are worth keeping an eye on — even as fans rightfully celebrate an excellent October.