3 players who were the Red Wings biggest surprises this season

The Detroit Red Wings may or may not be extending their season, but it doesn’t mean they had plenty of pleasant surprises in 2023-24.
Detroit Red Wings v Carolina Hurricanes
Detroit Red Wings v Carolina Hurricanes / Jared C. Tilton/GettyImages
4 of 4

Alex Lyon stabilized a weak goaltending unit

When you’re a 31-year-old journeyman, your NHL future is often relegated to backup duty or, in a worst-case scenario, the AHL. But that hasn’t been the case with Alex Lyon, who saw more playing time this season than he had in any of his previous combined. 

Before 2023-24 took off, Lyon had exactly 39 games of NHL experience with 31 starts and a 16-11-5 record. His statistics weren’t bad, with a 0.903 save percentage, a 3.05 GAA, a shutout, and a 0.516 quality starts percentage. Backup numbers that, when you look at them, you may feel that Lyon would have done nothing more than record between 10 and 15 starts this season. 

Nobody would have seen 43 games and 42 starts through the team’s first 80 games. He’s won 20 of those starts, and at least helped the Red Wings attain those ever important bonus points with five overtime losses. Best yet, he’s posted slightly better numbers, with a 0.906 save percentage, a 3.03 GAA, a shutout, and a quality starts percentage of 0.524. 

He’s allowed seven goals above expected at even strength, and posted a solid 0.913 save percentage in the same situation. It’s also worth pointing out that the Red Wings never fared well defensively this season, making Lyon’s 2023-24 outing even more incredible. 


(Statistics provided by Hockey-Reference)