With another playoff-less season in the books, all was not lost during the 2021-22 Detroit Red Wings campaign. One thing that marred the Red Wings was inconsistent play throughout the season. Detroit played well until the All-Star break and then the wheels fell off, the Red Wings are now looking for a new head coach and to get back on track. Again all was not lost.
For the Detroit Red Wings some players took a step forward. Dylan Larkin became a 30 goal scorer and a point-per game player. Tyler Bertuzzi scored 30 goals, Jakub Vrana spent most of the season recovering from offseason shoulder surgery played in the final 26 games and scored 13 goals. Rookie forward, Lucas Raymond was as advertised scoring 23 goals with 57 points. Rookie defensemen Moritz Seider was an impact player in the defensive end and had 50 points.
Those are the highs. The lows are well low. The team lacked consistent play all around. Some players took a clear step backwards (Filip Hronek, Filip Zadina, Danny DeKeyser to name a few.)
I thought Dylan Larkin brought up a very good, very interesting point during his end of the year interview. The Detroit Red Wings captain said there was next to no on-ice communicating going on during games. This is not the first time Larkin has mentioned this.
No players interacting and helping each other out seems odd. It must be addressed by the next head coach. Communication during games on ice MUST take place or the Red Wings will not find traction, it’s that simple.
One player who I felt took a big step forward this season was center Michael Rasmussen. It was more than his 15 goals, 27 points. Rasmussen really looked better in the defensive end and battling for the puck. He became more of a presence in both ends of the ice.
General manager Steve Yzerman has some important details to work on this offseason. Both Dylan Larkin and Tyler Bertuzzi need new contracts and Yzerman has said he wants to sign both. The team has plenty of cap space to do that.
Yzerman must address the Detroit blueline. The defensive unit that completely fell apart as the season went on. Scoring was not as big a problem however, like many NHL team the Red Wings could use some more scoring.
Yzerman hinted that he would be using the allotment of cap space for free agents. This is a big summer for the Detroit Red Wings.