As each NHL team is eliminated from playoff contention — either mathematically or by losing in the postseason — we’ll take a look at why its pursuit for the Stanley Cup fell short in 2018 19, along with three secrets to its own offseason, impact prospects for 2019 20 and also a way-too-early forecast on what 2019 20 will hold.
While there were several bright spots this season for its Detroit Red Wings, therefore much else moved very, very wrong with them.
These were 25th in team save percentage (.898) and 21st in shooting percentage (9.0). These were 25th in shooter effort differential (47.86 percent), 26th in scoring chance differential (47.23 percent) and 30th at goals-for percentage (44.80) in 5-on-5. They started the season with a seven-game winless series, and then uncorked an eight-game one in February into March, part of an overall 3-12-3 series that officially sank their season, if injuries had not done so already. To wit, only two Red Wings players saw action in every match of the 2019 20 season.
Nevertheless, it was not all bad! Forward Andreas Athanasiou needed a breakout season, with 24 goals. Dylan Larkin continued his maturation with a team-leading 27 goals and 35 assists. Tyler Bertuzzi chose an enlarged character and ran with it, with his very best season in the NHL. Much 34-year-old goalie Jimmy Howard collect an All-Star season before, like almost everything else using this team, it all just fell apart.