Score-By-Committee Problems Arise For Red Wings
The game plan heading into this season is simple on paper: roll four lines and generate offense from everyone on the roster. Larkin and DeBrincat have been excellent, but the idea of the last two offseason splurges has been to spread out the scoring, creating matchup issues for the opposing team.
When it’s worked, it’s been beautiful to behold. Early season wins over the Tampa Bay Lightning, Pittsburgh Penguins, and Columbus Blue Jackets showed what the Red Wings can look like when things are clicking. Bottom-six forwards are typically bottom-six forwards for a reason, though, and when their sticks go cold, suddenly, Detroit is much easier to defend against.
That came to a head against the Islanders and Bruins, where the Red Wings had difficulty punching through and making things happen in the offensive zone. The forwards almost seemed passive after seemingly scoring at will through the first few games of the campaign. There was no traffic around the net, and the top two lines, mainly, were prone to getting too cute with their passes.
That’s where a genuine game-breaker like Boston has in Pastrnak can make a huge difference. Alex DeBrincat was brought in to be that kind of force, and so far, he has been. But the top line will be continuously exposed to tougher matchups if the likes of David Perron, Klim Kostin, and Daniel Sprong can’t find the score sheet while facing softer defensive coverage.