The added Detroit Red Wings depth will go a long way in improving their goal differential in 2023-24
It's not a secret that when Steve Yzerman returned to the Detroit Red Wings prior to the 2019-20 season, the cupboards were almost completely bare along with a concerning lack of talent on the roster. The good news is that with each passing year, there has been improvement in one particular statistic known as goal differential. And thanks to the added depth that Yzerman has brought into the roster, that stat should only improve this year.
More goal scorers have arrived in the lineup
The addition of Alex DeBrincat stands out as the Red Wings' prized offseason acquisition following the July trade with the Ottawa Senators. Although his production dipped with 27 goals last season, it's worth noting that he still outperformed the player he was traded for, Dominik Kubalik, by a margin of seven goals.
Daniel Sprong, acquired from the Seattle Kraken, showcased his scoring ability by netting 21 goals in a limited role last season. He's continued to prove his scoring prowess with four goals in preseason action, which will be valuable in compensating for the offensive gap left by the departure of Tyler Bertuzzi, who was traded to Boston at the Trade Deadline and is now part of the Maple Leafs.
Furthermore, J.T. Compher‘s impressive performance with the Colorado Avalanche last year, amassing 52 points (17 goals and 32 assists), sets a benchmark for the expected output of Jakub Vrana. Vrana, who missed nearly all of last season due to his time in the NHL Player Assistance Program related to an undisclosed personal issue, had fallen out of favor with Red Wings coaching and management.
Meanwhile, the Red Wings are placing their trust in Lucas Raymond and Michael Rasmussen to make significant strides in their careers this season. Rasmussen had been making considerable progress before an unfortunate knee injury sidelined him towards the end of last year. Also, Andrew Copp will be expected to improve on last year's offensive output.
Additional defensive and goaltending depth
Last season, the Red Wings improved their goal differential to -38, a vast improvement over the mark of -82 set in 2021-22. The Red Wings have brought in additional defensive depth in Justin Holl, Shayne Gostisbehere, and Jeff Petry.
Also, the additions of James Reimer and Alex Lyon to play behind Ville Husso will aid in helping improve the goal differential.
TL;DR (too long didn't read)
- Added Detroit Red Wings depth will go a long way in helping their goal differential, which has been improving by the year
- From 2021-22 to 2022-23, they improved their goal differential from -82 to -83.
- The regular season officially begins tonight with a matchup against the New Jersey Devils
Bottom Line: The only way to go is up
The Red Wings have unquestionably bolstered their roster to a level where it's not unrealistic to anticipate a push for the postseason. With the added depth, their goal differential is poised to see significant improvement in the days ahead.
Will these improvements be sufficient to bring an end to the postseason drought that has persisted since 2016? The quest officially commences tonight in New Jersey.