Red Wings seek spark from secondary offense

Ted Kulfan
The Detroit News

Detroit — There was an expectation this season the Red Wings would have more depth in their scoring, especially from what appeared to be a potentially dangerous second line.

But the line of Pius Suter centering Robby Fabbri and Filip Zadina has struggled to consistently provide offense.

Red Wings center Pius Suter has zero points in his last four games.

The line has been relatively cold lately, with Suter not putting up any points in the last four games (Suter did have three goals and five points in the previous five games). Zadina has a goal and assist in his last 11 games, and Fabbri has one goal and two assists in his last 12 games.

The top line of Dylan Larkin between Lucas Raymond and Tyler Bertuzzi continues to get on the scoresheet and is developing into one of the better lines in the NHL.

But it needs help for the Wings to be a winning team. That's why the Suter line needs to be more impactful.

“The top line has done a great job for us, keeping us in and winning games," Fabbri said. "It’s up to the other nine or 10 forwards that get in to help out.

"It starts with burying your chances."

Fabbri, now in his third season with the Wings, was expected to be a major contributor this season. But with three goals and five assists (eight points), Fabbri has been off his expected pace.

"I put a lot of pressure on myself to be part of that secondary scoring," Fabbri said. "It hasn’t been going in right now, but the line has been confident with the chances we’ve been getting, with what we’ve been creating.

"We just got to stick with it and eventually it will go in.”

The positive is, the Suter line has been getting chances with a good number of shots on net, and quality scoring opportunities, at that.

But it still hasn't resulted in enough offense.

“As a line we’re getting about 10 shots a game; you’re pretty happy with that to start,” Fabbri said. “What we’re creating from our D-zone to the offensive zone, it’s been great. Just working on getting the puck over the (goal) line.”

There doesn't appear to be a level of concern from coach Jeff Blashill, who believes the chances ultimately will translate into goals.

“The belief is that if you create those chances over a long period of time, you get results,” Blashill said. “Part of what they need to do is stay with it. They’re not a heavy line, they’re a light line, so they got to make sure they’re at the net. Sometimes you got to score on some dirty-type goals."

First Thanksgiving

Forward Lucas Raymond will be celebrating his first Thanksgiving, but after Wednesday's morning skate, wasn't quite sure what to expect.

"I don't know that much about Thanksgiving, to be honest," Raymond said. "Back in Sweden we don't really celebrate it. But I understand it's a big thing here. 

"We'll for sure celebrate, maybe have a little dinner with some of the guys to celebrate it in some way, but I don't know much about it."

Raymond was a roommate of fellow rookie standout, defenseman Moritz Seider, through the exhibition season and into the opening days of the regular season, but Raymond since has moved into his own place.

So don't expect the two rookies to suddenly concoct their own Thanksgiving meal in the kitchen.

"I don't think we'll cook anything," Raymond said. "But we'll maybe eat some turkey, I just don't know where. We'll have to wait and see."

Renouf recalled

The Wings recalled defenseman Dan Renouf from minor-league affiliate Grand Rapids, while placing defenseman Troy Stecher (wrist surgery) on the injured reserve list retroactive to Nov. 4.

Renouf, 27, played in 11 games in Grand Rapids with two assists and 15 penalty minutes. Originally signed by the Wings as an undrafted free agent in March 2016, Renouf rejoined the organization this summer after spending a majority of the 2020-21 season with the Colorado Avalanche.

In 18 games with the Avalanche, Renouf recorded three assists with 16 penalty minutes, 20 hits, while averaging 10 minutes of ice time.

Twitter: @tkulfan