Detroit Red Wings 2021-22 Season Recap

Detroit Red Wings 2021-22 Season Recap

The Detroit Red Wings closed the book on another season without making the playoffs. This will be the sixth straight season with no postseason action. Keep in mind that they are in the middle of a rebuild, so they are faced with continuing to work on that rebuild or going for the playoffs. General manager Steve Yzerman still has work to do before Detroit will be ready to punch their ticket to a playoff spot.

Make sure to check out all of our other NHL Season Recaps.

By the Numbers

Record: 32-40-10
Power Play: 16.30% (26th)
Penalty Kill: 73.78% (32nd)
Goals For: 230 (25th)
Goals Against: 312 (30th)

Best Player

Dylan Larkin has blossomed into a leader and outstanding player for Detroit. He had 69 points (31 goals and 38 assists) this season and was 52.3% on faceoffs. Larkin has the ability to make his linemates better, and it showed this season. He was not afraid to block (28) and hit (76) despite the neck injury he sustained towards the end of the previous season. Not to be outdone by Larkin, just a reminder that Tyler Bertuzzi had a great season as well; both of these players will be the future of Detroit’s offense.

Biggest Disappointment

The defense for the Red Wings was one of their major issues this season. This season, they allowed the 30th-most goals in the NHL, which was barely above the Arizona Coyotes and the Montreal Canadiens. At times during the season, the defense looked lost. They were certainly not playing well together, especially if you’re letting five or more goals in multiple games. They will need to bring in players to shore up their defense; whether that is through prospects, the draft or free agency will be up to Yzerman and the front office.

Behind the Bench Analysis

Jeff Blashill’s seventh season behind the bench was another disappointing one. He, along with assistant coach Doug Houda and goaltending coach Jeff Selajko, have not had their contracts renewed. Blashill is not to blame for all the bad luck and lackluster play, but still being the man in charge, he gets the brunt of the disappointment and anger that comes with losing. He did his best with what he was given, but it was not good enough in the end. Especially when there has been little improvement in some areas. It is a sign that Blashill has taken the team as far as he can, and the front office has decided he is not the one to guide the team through the completion of the rebuild.

Front Office Analysis

While Yzerman is the type of guy to think outside of the box, he needs to come up with some solutions to fix the Red Wings. He is not the only former Red Wing in the front office, so we know they have the franchise’s best interests in mind. However, they will need to make a few tough decisions soon, starting with naming a head coach.

This past season was not bad for them, but they could have done more to shore up areas the Red Wings are not so great at or have plateaued at. The actual test for the front office comes during this offseason. Any changes, additions, or subtractions made will need to impact next season for the better.

2022 NHL Entry Draft Picks/Prognosis

The Red Wings have ten picks in the upcoming draft and have the eighth overall in the first. Despite not having the best luck and getting a good draft spot in the first, they have overcome that by making good decisions on who to take. Detroit has drafted Michael Rasmussen, Filip Zadina, Moritz SeiderLucas Raymond, and Simon Edvinsson with their first-round picks since 2017.

With a need for a center, Detroit may choose one with their first-round pick. While the two best centers in the draft will probably be off the board, there are still a few who might fit into the Red Wings organization. In addition to a center, they need to take a look at grabbing a right-handed defenseman who will be ready to play within a short period of time. Although one never knows how draft picks will pan out, the Red Wings will need to balance between needs and simply taking the best player available for their future or trade bait.

Offseason Wish/Checklist & Prognosis for 2022-2023

Yzerman will have his hands full with continuing to rebuild the franchise. The Red Wings not only need to take into consideration their lack of depth in their defense and at the center position, but more importantly, goaltending needs to be addressed. They need a second-line center because Pius Suter is not ready for it yet. He’s tried, but there is an obvious gap between him and Larkin. Suter would be a good fit as the third-line center.

If Yzerman can add and improve the existing core and add depth to their AHL team with prospects, he will go a long way to letting fans know they are serious about the future. Of course, there is no perfect rebuild. It may take longer than expected, or they may suddenly find themselves ahead of schedule. Either way, next season’s Red Wings team will need to show growth and improvement.

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Main Image Credit: Embed from Getty Images

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