The Detroit Red Wings are currently suffering through one of the worst season in franchise history. While the entire team is struggling in all aspects of the game, the biggest problem I see is on the defensive end.
As of now the Detroit Red Wings are sitting at a -100 goal differential which is good for last in the league by 58 goals. The shot differential is even worse, that metric is currently at -315, which is an average of 5 shots a game. There is no metric where the Red Wings are even league average.
Why are the Red Wings so bad on the defensive side? If you watch the games the first thing you notice is Detroit struggles to get the puck out of their end of the ice. Whether it is bad clears or bad turnovers, they can’t seem to get into the neutral zone, let alone the offensive zone. While Jimmy Howard has had his struggles, Johnathan Bernier has looked pretty good. The problem in my eyes falls on the defense that turns the puck over too much and allows too many open shots. You could have the best goalie in the league, and still give up a ton of goals because of the amount of open looks the opponents are getting.
In the offseason I think the defense really needs a makeover. I am not sure it’s personnel as much as the scheme seems off. There seems to be a lack of urgency when it comes to getting the puck out of the zone. So, whether it’s a coaching change or a personnel change, this will be the biggest need of the offseason.