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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Verdict

This past season, the Red Wings were the NHL’s version of the 2022-23 Buffalo Sabres - good and even outstanding at times when they had the puck, but not good without the puck. But with more experience in the lineup, the good news is that the Red Wings probably won’t regress the same way as the Sabres. 

They also know what they must work on to bring about a better result next season, and the sense of urgency should be high enough to make the right adjustments. If not, they won’t rise above the solid C they’re getting this season, which, for this piece, is a little below average. 

Even if they made the playoffs, it would still be tough to give this group anything higher than a C because they relied way too much on scoring instead of playing a more balanced game. Teams like that may be fun to watch, but they aren’t winning championships, let alone often crossing the playoff threshold. 

Overall, the Red Wings need better defensive zone play and goaltending, even if the mediocre results didn’t show up on the penalty kill. If Yzerman fixes these issues, imagine how well the entire team will perform with what was a stellar showing in the offensive zone. 

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(Statistics provided by Hockey-Reference)