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The Red Wings are the NHL's worst team this season, dead last in points (23), goals (92), and goals allowed (165), among other categories.

And, they're getting the worst grades.

ESPN saddled Detroit with an "F" for its first half in its midseason grades published Tuesday, calling the Red Wings the worst team in the NHL "by a country mile."

It is one of only two teams ESPN's Emily Kaplan and Greg Wyshynski flunked in its overall team grade, with the other — the New Jersey Devils — 13 points ahead of the Red Wings in the battle for the NHL's basement entering Tuesday's games.

"A tank that's perfect in its imperfection," Kaplan and Wyshynski write, "with a potential franchise player in Alexis Lafreniere (as a No. 1 overall draft pick) at the end of the plummet."

ESPN broke down each team, handing out grades for the players as a group, the head coach, and the general manager.

The Red Wings' players received a D-minus, noting Darren Helm as the only player with a plus rating (at plus-1).

"So many players are helping drag down this sinking ship with career-worst seasons," ESPN writes, "including forward Andreas Athanasiou (five goals and a minus-35), defenseman Mike Green (seven points and a minus-22) and goalie Jimmy Howard (minus-5.7 goals saved above average). If the plan was to be as bad as possible to hasten the rebuild, everything is going according to plan."

Red Wings head coach Jeff Blashill received a C, while Steve Yzerman was given a B in his first season as Detroit's GM.

"When Steve Yzerman returned to Detroit this past offseason," ESPN writes, "he walked into an ongoing rebuild and talked openly about continuing to build through the draft. To that end, there wasn't much done to improve the roster in the offseason. It's hard to grade him with that being the case, but we'll use this space to applaud the flip of Jacob De La Rose for Robby Fabbri."

ESPN also identified a "class president" for each team, with Dylan Larkin receiving the honor for the Red Wings.

"Larkin has spent more time in his NHL career posting points in a rebuild than he has playing for a contender," ESPN writes. "Here's hoping that changes for him and the Red Wings in short order."

ESPN also singled out veteran Frans Nielsen as "in danger of failing," writing, "On a roster with plenty of bad this season, Nielsen has been a special kind of terrible."

Nielsen, 35, has one goal and three assists in 38 games this season.

The Red Wings, who are 10-30-3, play host to the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday night.

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