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Detroit – Finally, without any more questions, the Detroit Red Wings’ regular season is over.
It was one of the least successful seasons in franchise history.
A 17-49-5 record, worst in the NHL, tells a good portion of the story. The Wings scored the fewest goals (145), allowed the most (267), had the worst penalty kill (74.3 percent) and third-worst power play (14.9 percent) out of 31 teams.
The negative-122 goal differential was a staggering 70 goals worse than the next team (Ottawa, 52).
And to think – the Wings actually won three of their first four games. But it went awful in a hurry after that.
New general manager Steve Yzerman preached patience from his introductory press conference and for good reason – this rebuild will take time.
“Quite frankly, we need help in every area,” said Yzerman last week in a season-ending Zoom call with the media. “We need to score more goals, we need to improve defensively, we need to improve in net. It’s going to take time, and I’m confident we’ll see improvement next season.
“I can’t tell you what that translates to in wins and losses.”
Coach Jeff Blashill was retained last week for a sixth season to mixed reviews from Wings’ fans. But when looking at the roster Blashill had to work with, there was only so much the coaching staff could devise to make this lineup competitive.
There were a few bright spots, no doubt, and also a few surprises that offered hope for the future. And with many prospects on their way to the NHL, that future could indeed be better.
But for now, it’s time to wrap up this season with our individual grades.