Inside the Article:
The Detroit Red Wings have sent goaltender Alex Nedeljkovic to Grand Rapids for a conditioning stint. The move is intended to help Nedeljkovic regain confidence after a difficult 2022-23 season start.
Why it Matters: Despite strong performances in the past, Nedeljkovic has struggled this season as the backup to Ville Husso. Nedeljkovic posted impressive numbers in his first season with the Red Wings:
- starting 52 games with a 20-24-9 record
- 0.901 save percentage
- 3.31 goals against average.
He also had a standout season with the Carolina Hurricanes in 2020-21, leading the league with 1.90 goals-against average and a 0.932 save percentage over 23 starts. Nedeljkovic continued to perform well in the postseason, with a 0.920 save percentage and 2.17 goals against average over nine starts.
What do the Detroit Red Wings plan to do with Nedeljkovic?
Head coach Derek Lalonde has indicated that the Red Wings have not given up on Nedeljkovic and hope his time with the Griffins will help him get back on track. However, Husso has played well this season, posting a 12-6-5 record with three shutouts, a 0.908 save percentage, and 2.86 goals-against average. As a result, the backup role has gone to Magnus Hellberg, who was claimed off waivers from the Seattle Kraken. Hellberg has gone 2-2 with a 0.897 save percentage and 2.74 goals-against average in his brief stint with the Red Wings.
- Nedeljkovic's struggles this season have disappointed the Red Wings, as he has proven that he can be a reliable NHL goaltender in the past.
- The conditioning stint with the Griffins is an opportunity for Nedeljkovic to regain his form and potentially reclaim the backup role.
- The Red Wings will need to decide on their backup goaltender in the coming weeks, as they cannot carry three goaltenders on the active roster indefinitely.
Nedeljkovic By the Numbers:
While the Red Wings are currently carrying three goaltenders on the active roster, a decision will have to be made as the team gets healthier in the coming weeks. Hellberg will likely get another opportunity to play before Nedeljkovic's conditioning stint is complete, allowing the team to make a final decision on the backup role.
- Nedeljkovic started 52 games for the Red Wings last season, posting a 20-24-9 record with a 0.901 save percentage and 3.31 goals against average.
- He had an impressive season with the Hurricanes in 2020-21, leading the league with 1.90 goals-against average and a 0.932 save percentage over 23 starts.
- In the postseason, Nedeljkovic had a 0.920 save percentage and 2.17 goals against average over nine starts.
- Husso has a 12-6-5 record this season with three shutouts, a 0.908 save percentage, and 2.86 goals-against average.
- Hellberg has gone 2-2 with a 0.897 save percentage and 2.74 goals against average in his brief stint with the Red Wings.