The Detroit Red Wings have been struggling as of late and that continued Saturday after they lost to the Ottawa Senators 6-3. That loss was the Red Wings' fifth straight loss and their eighth loss in their last ten games.
This week will be another tough week for the Red Wings before the winter break. They will travel to Washington to take on the Capitals on Monday. On Wednesday they will be back home to take on the Tampa Bay Lightning. Then finally on Friday, they will travel to Ottawa to take on the Senators before they head to winter break and four days off. In this article, we will get into what five players that need to step up immediately for the Red Wings to get back in the win column and back into the playoff race.
Which 5 Red Wings have to step up?
1 Lucas Raymond
After the first 30 games of the season, Lucas Raymond has underperformed from last year. At this point, Raymond has managed seven goals and 10 assists for 17 points. After 30 games last year he had 10 goals and 17 assists for 27 points. Raymond has been missing not having his normal linemates in Dylan Larkin and Tyler Bertuzzi who have both missed some time this season.
Raymond has been playing alongside different players such as David Perron who ranks fourth on the team in points and Dominik Kubalik who ranks second on the team in points. Maybe a more permanent change is what is needed to get him comfortable with who he is playing with.
2 Moritz Seider
The reigning Calder Memorial Trophy winner has taken a huge step back this season and seems to have hit a sophomore slump. Moritz Seider did play well the other day against Carolina when he filled in for Filip Hronek after he got injured and played alongside Jake Walman. Seider’s issue may be a new line change and could be solved by putting him with Hronek and having Olli Maatta play with Ben Chiarot.
Seider has two goals and 10 assists this season but the stat that has been bad for him this year is his plus/minus as he is a -15 meaning he has been on the ice too much when other teams score. If Seider can get back to what he was last year this team could make a turn in the right direction.
3 Andrew Copp
Andrew Copp signed with the Red Wings in the offseason and was expected to be a second-line center for his hometown Red Wings, Copp being from Ann Arbor, Michigan. So far this season Copp has not lived up to the expectations many fans have had for him as he has only scored three goals this season, but he has accounted for 14 assists for 17 points.
He is a -2 through the first 30 games this season and he has even been moved around to occasionally the first line when Larkin’s out and even the third line. Copp also plays on the power play but has struggled as he has only two power play points with a goal and an assist. The Red Wings will need Copp to be the guy many people expected him to be for the Red Wings to get back on track before their reinforcements return.
4 Joe Veleno
Joe Veleno had been playing well a few weeks ago playing alongside Austin Cznarik and Jonatan Berggren but most of his stats from that time came from the hot play of Berggren. Veleno needs to find himself again and be the player he was with Berggren on his wing.
Veleno did score a nice goal on Saturday in the loss to the Senators, the hope would be that goal got the monkey off his back as that was his first goal since November 17th when the Red Wings beat the San Jose Sharks. If he can get going the Red Wings could be in line for some much-needed points this week.
5 Alex Nedeljkovic
Alex Nedeljkovic came over to the Red Wings a few years ago in a trade with the Carolina Hurricanes and the hope was he would be the Red Wings starter of the future, but that outlook has changed. Ned played decent last year going 20-24-9 as the starter.
This season Ville Husso has taken the starting job and run away with it but Husso can’t play every game otherwise you’ll wear him out before the playoffs if the Red Wings can get there. Nedeljkovic will have to step up and be the goalie the Red Wings were expecting when they made the trade and pick up some much-needed points in the games Husso doesn’t play.