Detroit Red Wings penalty kill is surging during point streak

After a less than stellar stretch of games in December, the Detroit Red Wings are currently riding a four-game point streak, which includes a three-game road sweep in the state of California.

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After a less-than-stellar stretch of games in December, the Detroit Red Wings are currently riding a four-game-point streak, including a three-game road sweep in California. An explanation for the string of victories is most notably the emergence of Alex Lyon, who proved to be the top goaltender on the roster. However, the effectiveness of the penalty kill may be going unnoticed.

Admittedly, Lyon has been the best penalty killer on the team and responsible for a big chunk of the success in that department with incredible positioning and even more incredible acrobatics on the rare occasion he must sprawl out to make a save. However, the team as a whole has shown improvement on the PK. As it stands, Detroit is on a streak of 22 penalty kills in a row without allowing a goal and has only allowed one power-play goal in the past 35 shorthanded situations. This ongoing hot streak has moved their PK% up to 11th in the league at 81.9%

The Detroit Red Wings have shown improvement and aggressiveness on the penalty kill.

Now, all those numbers may seem like just that, only numbers. But the on-ice play is noticeable to the eye. No game was more evident than Thursday night against Edmonton, where Moritz Seider and Jake Walman bottled up superstar Connor McDavid all night. On the penalty kill specifically, it seemed as if they changed the way they actually want to play shorthanded. They were aggressive and played matchups with the home-ice advantage. Loose pucks were cleared out from the front of the net quickly. Playing with a physical edge to clear out the garbage in front was something I had not seen in Detroit in some time. Dare I say it even gave vibes of a gritty playoff game? The coaching staff has implemented changes to the system, and the players have bought in. 

The Red Wings have had no shortage of offense thus far this season. In fact, they are currently first in the Eastern Conference in goals scored. If the goaltending can remain solid and they can continue to work as a unit in keeping the opposition from scoring power-play goals, this team may be able to battle their way back into the conversation of bringing Hockeytown into the postseason. 

Detroit has a tough stretch that begins with upcoming games against Los Angeles and Toronto over the weekend. The Detroit Red Wings will look to gain an edge in the standings against other teams in the hunt.