After having some struggles to start the 2022, Detroit’s offensive spark appears to have been found. At least for now. Since January 1st the Red Wings have been 3-3-3. Those three outright loses were rather ugly with only a single goal for and 12 goals against. The offense needed something, as the only line seeming to produce was the top line. Coach Blashill did a minor shake up of swapping Vladislav Namestnikov for Tyler Bertuzzi. This little detail has seemed to reinvigorate the offense.
Before this swap, the lines were looking a little complacent. Other than the top line of Larkin-Raymond-Bertuzzi, there was minimal production. Especially during a power play. Scoring depth is something they’ve missed nearly all season as Larkin and Bertuzzi are leading the team at 19. Meanwhile, Raymond, Namestnikov, and Fabbri are all tied up at 11 goals. The sixth man is Pius Suter at 9 goals so far. Those six make up the top two lines of the Red Wings. The next closest to them is Filip Hronek at 4 goals this year.
This goal disparity between the top players on the team has led to some difficult times. When they have an off night or go down with injuries the team struggles to produce any goals. Scoring from the depths of the roster can assist a team in making a run to the playoffs.
Although like most change, things haven’t gone super smoothly. There have been some big moments and some spark that has come from it. Production from the top line continued as Namestnikov slid right in and has picked up a goal and assist since then. Tyler stepped down to Suter and Fabbri’s line and has produced just like before. Currently, Tyler is on a 4 game point streak. His new linemates are starting to reap the reward too. Fabbri picked up 2 goals and an assist recently. Really the biggest thing to note is the production of the power play. After going 6 games with no production on the power play, the last 7 has seen 5 power play goals.
Blashill’s move has seemed to work out to some degree. As each line becomes more comfortable together their production should only increase. The big question should be what’s next? With the bottom six producing very little, what can be done to give them a boost. That question may be answered by the trade deadline. Finding a lower-line player is relatively easy, and Yzerman is known to work some magic. Expect a move to boost the production of the lower two lines here soon.
Throughout the season changes will happen. Detroit’s recent offensive spark comes about from some line changes. Going forward their production will need to continue and the lower lines need to up production as well. Look to the coaching staff to continue to possibly shift things around. As the organization is still in the middle of a rebuild it’s reassuring to see positives but also no guarantee of the future. As mentioned before, any moves come trade deadline will most likely be for a bottom 6 forward or less likely for a secondary defenseman. Yzerman has his plan, and Detroit is reaping the reward right now.
Save Up to 40% Off CCM Hockey Skates and Hockey Pads at SidelineSwap.com
Follow us on Twitter!
Check out our shop!