The hero Detroit Red Wings need…

Here’s the Detroit Red Wings hero they’ve searched for and why.
Montreal Canadiens v Detroit Red Wings
Montreal Canadiens v Detroit Red Wings / Gregory Shamus/GettyImages
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The fault in his wings

Defensive play can always improve (unless your name is Pavel Datsyuk, Henrik Zetterberg, or Patrice Bergeron in terms of forwards). As a winger, Raymond’s defensive play is above average. It’s seemingly reasonable to assume that Raymond can make it part of his elite toolkit.

He was tied for third worst in plus/minus this season with a -12. On its own, plus/minus isn’t a great statistic, but I appreciate it for relativity’s sake. It can provide confirmation of the eye test or if I’m missing something.

Realistically, I don’t think Raymond is the third worst Detroit Red Wings player in his own zone. Although, there is room for much improvement.

If Raymond continues to play at wing, I think he needs to learn to trust his centerman. The biggest mishaps from Raymond seem to occur when he tries to do too much. He might leave his side of the ice to cover a man in the slot or just an open slot as our defense and center went to lunch early. This situation leaves his side of the ice and man uncovered. 

Additionally, I think Raymond has room to improve with corralling pucks and tracking play from inside the slot in his own zone if he continues to cover that area of the ice. Far too many times, I watched him struggle to gain control of the puck or even know where it was on this ice (then he found out it was at his feet). 

Interestingly enough, he corrals the puck and tracks play exceptionally well from the neutral zone onwards, it’s just in his own zone. I’m not sure if things are more mental or if it’s getting adjusted to different teammates that he’s played with all season, but it’s reasonable to think that Raymond translates these skills to his own zone at some point.