What’s wrong with the Detroit Red Wings? Can they turn it around?
You’ll get different answers no matter who you ask.
Offensively, at 5-on-5, the Wings are actually 11th in the NHL, with 2.23 goals per 60 minutes. Now, on the flipside, they’ve given up 2.36 goals per 60 minutes at 5-on-5, which ranks them 18th in the league.
Last year, at 5-on-5, the Red Wings ranked 24th in the NHL with 2.00 goals against per 60. Their goals against was ranked 16th at 2.14. The differential this year (.13) is actually just a little better than it was last year (.14).
Somehow this team’s offense seems worse, however, despite the facts above.
Maybe it’s because a good portion of this offense has come when the team throws caution to the wind and tries to storm back from behind, as they did in erasing a 4-1 deficit at Toronto last week.
Maybe it’s because the impotent powerplay is mind-numbingly awful.
The Red Wings have scored 14 powerplay goals. They’ve scored just 3.87 goals per 60 on the powerplay. That is by far the worst in the league.
Think about that, the Wings score 3.87 goals per 60 on the powerplay and 2.23 goals per 60 at even strength. The Red Wings are not even even twice as productive on the powerplay as they are at even strength. Let’s take a look at the median. The median is 6.3 goals/60 on the powerplay. The median at 5-on-5 is 2.17 goals/60. So, taking the median, a team should be almost three times as productive as they are at 5-on-5.
Cleary, at less than twice as productive, the Wings aren’t getting much juice from their powerplay.
Here’s another way to put it in perspective.
The Wings went from having the second most productive powerplay in the NHL to having the least productive powerplay in the NHL in less than two seasons.
The Wings PK is right about average, giving up 6.55 goals/60. They’ve given up 20 goals on the PK.
So the Wings’ +/- on special teams is -7.
It doesn’t sound awful. The Wings are -4 at 5-on-5.
But Detroit has played 1751 minutes at 5-on-5. They giving up .13 goals every 60 minutes more than they are scoring. On special teams, the Wings have played 400 minutes and are -7, so they’re giving up 1.05 goals per 60 minutes more than they are scoring.
That’s a pretty awful stat.
If the Wings can turn in just an average performance on the powerplay, the rest of the way through, they can probably gain a little ground on Boston or Ottawa in the Atlantic Division.