Detroit Red Wings season review

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.

OTTAWA, ONTARIO – APRIL 03: Dylan Larkin #71 of the Detroit Red Wings celebrates his third period goal against the Ottawa Senators at Canadian Tire Centre on April 03, 2022 in Ottawa, Ontario. (Photo by Chris Tanouye/Getty Images)

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.

DETROIT, MI – APRIL 09: Lucas Raymond (23) of the Detroit Red Wings skates up ice with the puck against the Columbus Blue Jackets during the first period of an NHL game at Little Caesars Arena on April 9, 2022 in Detroit, Michigan. Columbus defeated Detroit 5-4 in O.T. (Photo by Dave Reginek/NHLI via Getty Images)

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.

Detroit Lions: Da’Shawn Hand

Embed from Getty Images The Detroit Lions, who will begin to switch their defensive scheme from a 4-3 to a 3-4 needed both more beef up front. As well as a pass rusher. Enter 300 lbs defensive end Da’Shawn Hand.

At the University of Alabama Da’Shawn Hand struggled to find consistent play. He did not become a starter for the Crimson Tide until this past season. His season saw good progress.

His long arm length helps Da’ Shawn close would be running lanes and alters the plans of running backs. For a big player he has fantastic balance. He has versatility to his game. He is fast enough to play end on the 3-4 or 3-technique in a 4-3 formation.

Detroit Lions head coach Matt Patricia,  earlier said the Lions would not commit to one or the other formation but would lineup in either given the situation. Making Hand, a solid pick.

While at Alabama  Da’Shawn Hand, missed 3 games due to a sprained MCL.  He has trouble consistently rushing the passer.  Despite having all the physical tools Detroit Lions, defensive coaches are going to have to work to help him find consistent play.

I have little doubt they can do the job. Lions, general manager Bob Quinn has yet to miss on a draft pick. I think by getting Da’ Shawn Hand in the fourth round they got a solid player with room to both improve and grow.

Given the Detroit, coaching staff this may be a steal of a draft pick.