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Detroit Red Wings Roster Analysis: Week of April 7th

Christian Petersen

The Wings have 9 games left to solidify their spot in the playoffs and haven't done well enough lately to do so.

With that, we're going to take a look at the roster from an individual standpoint on a good/bad/neutral perspective and see what kind of trends are working out. We'll be doing this on a week-by-week basis. Everybody will get a good/bad/neutral rating based on what they've done this past week and what we can expect from them for the coming week.

They'll also be ranked in order of strongest-to-weakest in their category.

The Forwards

I probably should have set it like this for a while. People play on their off-wing at a decent-enough clip and still doesn't consider Zetterberg a centerman, but this is close enough.

Left Wing Center Right Wing
Henrik Zetterberg Pavel Datsyuk Justin Abdelkader
Gustav Nyquist Johan Franzen Valtteri Filppula
Drew Miller Joakim Andersson Daniel Cleary
Riley Sheahan Cory Emmerton Patrick Eaves

Jordin Tootoo

Todd Bertuzzi (Back)
Darren Helm (Back)
Mikael Samuelsson (Booby Muscle)
Damien Brunner (No idea)

Up arrow green The Good
  1. Henrik Zetterberg: Hank had three assists in the three games he played and put 15 shots on goal. The scoring will come. I like what he's been bringing.
  2. Pavel Datsyuk: Three points in four games, but also two penalties and two straight games where something has just looked kind of "off" about him. I'll take off if he keeps playing this well.
  3. Johan Franzen: Four points and a move to center which looks to be getting through to him. He's still got room for improvement, but he's been good.
  4. Gustav Nyquist: It's going to be very hard to sit him after he's done some great work to prove he belongs on the top six right now. He's been an exciting playmaker and dangerous each game.
  5. Damien Brunner: He got into one out of the four games and scored a game-winner. I just hope he can return to action this week.

Down arrow red The Bad
  1. Valtteri Filppula: Three unimpressive games out of four. Defensively he's good, but his job in the top six is not shutdown.
  2. Patrick Eaves: An easily forgotten week for Eaves. He didn't show up on the scoresheet in any positive ways.
  3. Drew Miller: Moved down the lineup for some reshuffling, Miller started the week off well and then fell off with two weak performances.
  4. Joakim Andersson: Overall he lost the possession battle this week and was partially responsible for the one PP goal against the Wings. This is still a very weak bad rating though. Andersson needs to do his job a bit better.
    Pictogram voting neutral The Neutral
  1. Daniel Cleary: I'm not entirely sure why I'm doing this, considering his two goals. It's probably because the second one was essentially meaningless, but Cleary did not impress me.
  2. Justin Abdelkader: Not to hammer on the piano-moving puns, but he had trouble keeping the pedal down and didn't look as sharp. He really needs to key in on his responsibilities better.
  3. Cory Emmerton: Just two shots on goal all week. I liked his defensive work, especially on the PK, but he's got he's got to spend more time in the offensive zone.
  4. Riley Sheahan: Not much to say about his one game. I liked his hustle and like that he wasn't bad.
  5. Jordin Tootoo: Almost a bad rating if not for what I thought was a very strong performance against Colorado on Monday.
  6. MikTodDarren Samueltuzzelm: Like the three-headed knight in Monty Python & the Holy Grail, they didn't add much to the story, but are always fun.

The Defense

Just like with the forwards, there's a bit of room for flexibility on positioning. White has played both sides so far this year and Colaiacovo hasn't played a game on the left yet. In general, the Wings' system sets the left defender as the "mobile" guy while the right-side defender is the "stay at home" guy.

Left Defense Right Defense
Niklas Kronwall Jonathan Ericsson
Brendan Smith Brian Lashoff
Jakub Kindl Ian White
Carlo Colaiacovo Danny DeKeyser

Kyle Quincey


Up arrow green The Good
  1. Niklas Kronwall: Kronner took bigger minutes and played well with them. He also added two assists this week. I liked his play.
  2. Jonathan Ericsson: Riggy snuck out a good rating, but he's got a lot of room for improvement. I have no idea how he ended up a +3 this week.
  3. Ian White: Two straight weeks in the positive category. White didn't appear on the scoreboard, but he also played solid defense.
  4. Danny DeKeyser: After a sometimes-shaky first game, DeKeyser played well against St. Louis. It was easy to see why he was so sought-after.

Down arrow red The Bad
  1. Jakub Kindl: Overall not a strong week for Jakub. He played better on Friday, but did not consistently play strong.
  2. Carlo Colaiacovo: Very shaky in his return to the lineup and couldn't stay there after putting up a -3 rating in Phoenix.
  3. Brian Lashoff: One game played and a minus rating. Lashoff still looks like he's got a good future, but in the present, he's been bumped down the depth chart by Danny DeKeyser.
  4. Brendan Smith: He got benched for making too many mistakes; a much-needed benching. I'm looking forward to his return to the lineup, though.

Pictogram voting neutral The Neutral
  1. Kyle Quincey: He looked downright scary defensively at times, but overall, he wasn't bad. I'd like him to hit more often.

The Goalies

Up arrow green The Good
  1. Jimmy Howard: Two wins and two losses is a little unfair for a guy who played well. I hope he's got enough gas in the tank to play all nine remaining games.
Down arrow red The Bad
  1. Jonas Gustavsson: He didn't play and that's telling, all things considered.
Pictogram voting neutral The Neutral.
  1. The Empty Net: Yep. I've used this joke before.


Having nine defensemen on the roster could be a blessing or a curse for the Wings, as the team seems to go with how well the blueline corps plays and moves the puck.

As a bit of a bonus, here are the lifetime career stats of the Red Wings against the three teams the Wings will play in the next seven days.