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Detroit Red Wings' Biggest Underachievers So Far in 2013-14

Isaac SmithAnalyst INovember 15, 2013

Detroit Red Wings' Biggest Underachievers So Far in 2013-14

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    The Detroit Red Wings have been a team of polar opposites this season. This has largely been due to their number of underachievers.

    While Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg predictably lead Detroit in scoring, the Red Wings have not been getting scoring help from their bottom three lines so far.

    In fact, not only has the scoring not been there from most Red Wings players, but Detroit's top four scorers—Datsyuk, Zetterberg, Daniel Alfredsson and Niklas Kronwall—have more points (66) than the rest of the team combined (61).

    With that being said, here are the biggest underachievers in Detroit with almost a quarter of the season gone.

Honorable Mention: Brian Lashoff

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    While no one expected Brian Lashoff to lead Detroit defensemen in points this season, he only has one assist in 15 games.

    While that's not necessarily terrible for a defenseman of Lashoff's offensive ability, he has one point in just under 234 minutes of ice time.

    To put that in perspective: If Lashoff was on the ice for just under four straight 60-minute hockey games, he'd have one assist.

    Good thing that Detroit wasn't counting on him for scoring in the first place.

    The only reason that Lashoff doesn't qualify for a spot on this list is because of his even plus/minus minutes. That number is something that only five other players can claim this season, with only eight additional players above an even plus/minus rating.

    Combine his plus/minus rating with his 16 hits, 19 blocked shots and only four giveaways this season, and Lashoff doesn't have too much to be ashamed about other than his point total.

5. Mikael Samuelsson

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    Mikael Samuelsson makes $3 million this season, according to Capgeek.com.

    Although he has only played in seven games, Samuelsson's salary factor and his no-trade clause mean that he needs to be playing and contributing for the Red Wings on a more regular basis.

    Since scoring Detroit's first goal of the season back in October, Samuelsson has no points and hasn't been able to crack the lineup on a regular basis.

    He's played 70 minutes in those seven games and while it is hard to get going offensively when only playing 10 minutes per game, Samuelsson needs to figure it out offensively when he does get the chance to be in the lineup.

    He's making far too much money to be struggling to make the starting lineup, let alone struggling to score.

4. Daniel Cleary

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    Dan Cleary found out the hard way that he wasn't contributing enough to be in the lineup every game.

    Cleary was a healthy scratch for Detroit against the Winnipeg Jets. Hopefully, Cleary will take that healthy scratch designation as a wake-up call from what has been a struggle, to say the least, through 18 games.

    The 34-year-old Newfoundland native has just three points in that span, averaging one point every 87 minutes and 45 seconds.

    While it is hard to fault Cleary for not producing since he has been moved up and down the lineup and not had the chance to develop any chemistry, the onus is on Cleary to prove that he can put up points through challenging circumstances.

    Cleary originally made the Red Wings via a professional tryout contract after the lockout, so he's been faced with adversity in making the lineup before.

    But unless Cleary's point totals improve, he will be on pace to break a career low in points since signing with Detroit in 2005.

3. Drew Miller

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    Another player who has been quietly struggling along is Drew Miller.

    Miller has a goal and an assist in 19 games this season while providing Detroit with some solid penalty-killing minutes, averaging 2:41 on the penalty kill per game.

    But Miller plays just over 12 minutes per game and is only averaging one point every 116 minutes and 15 seconds of ice time. That just won't get it done on a regular basis as Detroit continues to search for offense from players not named Zetterberg, Datsyuk, Alfredsson or Kronwall.

    It's a good thing that Miller's penalty-killing and defensive zone coverage can keep him in the lineup for now.

2. Stephen Weiss

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    Stephen Weiss had an injury-riddled preseason and never really got to build any chemistry with his future linemates—Johan Franzen and Daniel Alfredsson.

    It has been tough sledding since then for Weiss, who has just three points in the 17 games he has played.

    Weiss is averaging a point every 89 minutes and nine seconds of ice time so far. He has been demoted multiple times to the third line before a recent injury knocked him out of Detroit's current lineup.

    While no one can expect the moon of Weiss offensively, he hasn't exactly been the defensive catalyst as advertised for a second-line center.

    Weiss needs to take advantage of his ice time and the linemates that he is being given when he comes back into the lineup because the Red Wings desperately need him to get Johan Franzen going as well.

    The former Florida Panthers' No. 1 center hit 61 points before in Florida, but if last season was any indication of this season, Weiss could be in for a rough time.

    He had just four points in 17 games last season, but will need to find his offensive game in order to be entrusted by Mike Babcock to fulfill the No. 2 center role in Detroit.

1. Kyle Quincey

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    While there are many Kyle Quincey defensive follies that could be discussed here, the fact remains that Quincey has not done his part on offense either.

    Quincey is in the last season of a deal with a cap hit of $3.775 million, per Capgeek.com. He has just three assists in 19 games this season despite averaging 20:38 of ice time per contest.

    That puts his ice time at 130 minutes and 45 seconds per point, which is absolutely astonishing considering that this is Quincey's third consecutive season in Detroit.

    Since being acquired for a first-round pick in 2012 from Colorado, Quincey has just nine points in 73 games.

    This season, Quincey has been prone to turnovers with 13 giveaways, and a substantial portion of those have seemed to end up in the Detroit net. Quincey is a team-worst minus-10 so far.

    Detroit had high hopes when re-acquiring Quincey in 2012, but so far, these hopes have yet to become reality.

     

    All statistics via NHL.com or CapGeek.com.

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