Detroit News' final 2018-19 Red Wings grades
Go through the gallery for final grades and analysis of the 2018-19 Detroit Red Wings from Ted Kulfan of The Detroit News. (Click here if you have trouble viewing the gallery.)
Detroit — The rebuild continues for the Red Wings.
With the regular season ending Saturday — in an ugly and forgettable loss to Buffalo — the Wings missed the playoffs for the third consecutive year.
There were positive moments during the season, mainly the progress of young players such as Dylan Larkin, Anthony Mantha, Andreas Athanasiou and Tyler Bertuzzi.
The four were dominant at times late in the season, as the Wings had success despite having a depleted lineup.
But too often this season, the Red Wings remained far from the NHL’s elite.
“I hope we’re never again in this situation,” Larkin said after Saturday’s loss. “You don’t want to be playing meaningless hockey for however long we’ve been mathematically eliminated.”
General manager Ken Holland announced the extension of coach Jeff Blashill for two more seasons early last week, citing the advancement of many of the Wings’ key, young forwards.
Holland saw meaningful progress, and expects more with the young players improving next season and more prospects on their way to the NHL soon.
“Jeff has done a very, very good job considering the circumstances of a rebuild,” Holland said. “On a night-to-night basis, our team has been very, very competitive. When I look at the development of the young players on our team, as we’ve gone through this rebuild, they’ve all improved and gotten better”
Blashill, too, sees a better future ahead.
“I believe our arc is starting to head in the right direction with the development of a number of young players,” Blashill said. “I believe we're starting to head in the direction that we all want it to. We have lots of work to do and I look forward to diving into that work.”
With the Red Wings’ season over, here are individual grades, with the assessments based on the expectations for each player before the season began.