Free Press sports writers lay out their predictions for the 2022-23 season at the Detroit Red Wings.
Best scenario: The red wings stay healthy and competitive, newcomers Jill, Lucas Raymond and Moritz Ceder are getting better, new coach Derek Lalonde presses all the right buttons, Dominic Kopalek warms up, Jacob Vrana fills the net – everything falls into place – and the wings are back in the playoffs, baby!
Worst case scenario: Oh, man, do we have to do the worst case? After what we saw with tigers and lions? Crazy rash from injuries – this is the worst case. That’s what we’ve seen many times in Motor City.
No pressure, right?The Red Wings team succeeded in proving that Steve Zerman developed the team
hack player: Philip Zadina got off to a fresh start with a new coach and new men around him. Remember, he’s 22 years old!
Objective leader: “Oh, Canada!” Look who’s heading across the border – that’s easy. Tyler Bertuzzi will be able to play in 10 matches in Canada this season.
Will they do the playoffs? No, but they will make great strides, play related games late and stay on the hunt until the last week of the regular season. Running will be fun.
Season preview:Red Wings are ready to emerge from rebuilding with confidence and a new look
Best scenario: The Red Wings follows Lalonde’s responsible puck philosophy, minimizing his mistakes and improving his defense dramatically, with the help of major extras like Ben Chiarot, Olii Määttä and Ville Husso to help win the Calder Trophy Moritz Seider, and take the big leap prize by finishing with 80 points. At least for the first time since 2015-2016.
Worst case scenario: The team struggles to adapt to their rookie coach’s philosophy, injuries hit at the wrong time and the defense failed to make any moves, as Hockeytown missed the playoffs for the seventh consecutive season.
hack player: Elmer Soderblum, the 6-foot-8 winger, would be a huge help with a skilful stick and clever skate to go with his Goliath-like presence anywhere in the attack zone, including the front end.
Objective leader: Tyler Bertuzzi with 40. Even missing about 10% of last season’s games because he wasn’t vaccinated, he finished with 30 goals, one shy of captain Dylan Larkin. Canada has raised vaccination requirements for travelers, and with the help of better support staff, Bertozzi’s numbers should rise.
Will they do the qualifiers? No, but they will be on the hunt late in the season. An improved menu will help, but Lalonde’s experience is a question. According to Tankathon, the wings were attached for 8th easiest NHL schedule During Wednesdays, which helps. But they will have to make a giant leap from 74 points to about 100 points to claim one of two wild spots among the 10 competing teams.
Helen St. James
Best scenario: They stay healthy, play competitively and get great contributions from key players.
Worst case scenario: They get off to a bad start, lose key players to injuries, miss playoffs and get pushed back into the draft lottery.
hack player: Elmer Soderblom. He’s 7 feet tall, no goalkeeper can see around him and he has good feet and a soft hand around the net.
Objective leader: Jacob Vrana – Set to have a major season after missing most of last season after recovering from surgery.
Will they do the playoffs? I don’t think they’re going to make the playoffs, and so there’s something to be said for their 11th place down from the bottom – that way, they still have a chance of winning the lottery. (Teams that finish 12-16 cannot win the first overall pick because teams can advance only 10 points.)
Best scenario: They won the cup. I mean, that’s the best case scenario, right? Oh, the editors meant “The most realistic scenario is this positive?“I got it. How about the wingers staying in the playoff chase until the end, watching the guys improve and get a whole season (relatively) from Jacob Vrana. Also: they showed improved defense under Derek Lalonde.
Worst case scenario: They struggle to adapt to Lalonde’s style and voice, can’t stay healthy, defense stays the same, they’re back in the lottery but not close to the top few picks.
hack player: The big guy, Elmer Soderblum, must be fun. And Frana must be ready to do a nimble. But Tyler Bertozzi, if he can stay healthy, reminds us of an entire season of him, and takes the next step.
Objective leader:Bertozzi with Franna and Dylan Larkin on his heels.
Will they do the playoffs? No, but only because apparently no team in Detroit is allowed to make the playoffs, and we all have PTSD that jumps a lot forward with the Tigers and the Lions. But they will hang around in pursuit for a while.