Positives and Negatives from the Start of the Detroit Red Wings' 2013 Season
The Red Wings have not had the greatest of starts to this season. After five games they only have two wins and five points.
On the plus side, that does have them tied for sixth in the Western Conference. Here's a look at the positives and negatives of this young season.
Kyle Quincey had hoped to make up for a disappointing 2012. He arrived to the team via trade late in the season and just did not play well.
Against St Louis, he was nothing better than an orange cone on the ice and the Blues flew right by him. He has not been as bad since then, however, constant errors kept hindering his play.
He has been outplayed thus far by newcomer Brian Lashoff. Once all of the injured players return, Quincey could find himself as the odd man out.
Bad, worse and ugly is the only way to describe the special teams play. They started the season 0-15 on the power play. A two-goal performance against the Minnesota Wild gave hope that they had turned the corner.
Against the Chicago Blackhawks they went 0-6, making them 2-for-28 on the season. On two of the power-play opportunities against the Blackhawks, they failed to even get a shot off.
Entering the Blackhawks game, they ranked near the bottom of the league in the penalty kill. They gave up yet another goal on three chances against them.
The team looks more like a M.A.S.H. unit than a hockey team. Jakub Kindle, Ian White, Jonathan Ericsson, Darren Helm, Todd Bertuzzi, Mikael Samuelsson, Jan Mursak, Carlo Colaiacovo and Jonas Gustavsson have all missed games due to injury
The Wings are deep enough on offense, but are depleted on the other end of the ice. They were forced to call up Brian Lashoff and sign Kent Huskins in order to fill those holes.
The offense is just not clicking this season. In three of the five games, they have scored less than two goals. The injuries have affected this area as well, but even lines that are healthy have looked bad.
Valtteri Filppula and Dan Cleary have yet to score. Through five games, Filppula only has nine shots on goal and Cleary has eight. These two players need to be more aggressive and productive if the team has a chance to succeed.
As a team they are not getting enough shots or quality scoring chances.
Damien Brunner looks like he might be the next great find by the Red Wings. He leads the team with two goals on the season plus he scored the game winner during the shootout against Columbus.
He's also been able to flash some impressive moves. Once he starts to finish his chances more often, he will be difficult to stop. He plays smart and appears to show very little concern over the smaller ice compared to Europe.
The Rookie Defenders
Brendan Smith and Brian Lashoff have each seen significant playing time this season. While Smith was expected to be on the roster, he has logged more minutes than planned. He led the team in minutes against Chicago.
Brian Lashoff was called up due to the injuries to the team. He scored a goal in his first game and has played very well beyond that. Coach Mike Babcock has used him in all situations and he has shown that he is more than ready to play.
The next five games will not be easy. They will play Calgary at home then have rematches against Dallas and Columbus. They will also have the chance to avenge the opening night debacle against St Louis as they play them twice in this span.
PJ Sapienza is a Featured Columnist covering the Detroit Red Wings, as well as many other sports. He is also taking part in a Polar Plunge for Special Olympics and would greatly appreciate your support.
You can follow him on Twitter.
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