Detroit Red Wings report card after an amazing season

The Detroit Red Wings may not have earned a spot in the NHL Playoffs, but they enjoyed an amazing season regardless.
Detroit Red Wings vs Montreal Canadiens
Detroit Red Wings vs Montreal Canadiens / Minas Panagiotakis/GettyImages
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Above average special teams play should give fans more hope, but…

The Red Wings power play unit definitely supplemented this team’s outstanding play in the offensive zone, also finishing ninth in the league with a 23.08 conversion percentage. They also tied for sixth in the NHL with 63 power play goals. To be fair, the Wings did rank third in the NHL with 273 power play opportunities, but it also implies they were outstanding at drawing penalties. 

The penalty kill wasn’t as good as the man advantage, but it still managed to finish 14th in the league at 79.58. This was a rather encouraging number, considering how pedestrian the Wings looked in the defensive zone at times this season. Further, it wasn’t like the goaltending gave them much help, whether it was on the penalty kill or even strength. 

Play in the crease, however, wasn’t good, and it would be one of a few mistakes Steve Yzerman could make this summer if he didn’t address the situation. While it’s easy to give the Red Wings special teams a solid B for their top 10 ranking in the power play and 14th-place finish at 4-on-5, they’re getting another D-plus for their goaltending. If play in the crease improves, look for the penalty kill unit and overall defensive zone play to take another step forward in 2024-25.