The Detroit Red Wings are on a crash course to become one of the worst NHL teams of the modern era. Here are all the sad stats to prove it.
If the Detroit Red Wings’ 2019-20 season was a franchise mode simulation in NHL 20, they’d have no doubt passed the point where quitting and restarting is the only sane option. Much like a bad game of my competitive ladder games in Overwatch — of which there are many — when things start to snowball against you, it’s hard to course correct and salvage a win when you’re already behind the eight ball.
This season, the Red Wings have joined the Ottawa Senators as the only two NHL teams in the league to already have their playoff odds drop to zero, according to MoneyPuck. The Los Angeles Kings and New Jersey Devils are not far behind, but there is no NHL team having a worse season than the Red Wings are right now.
So bad, in fact, that the Red Wings are on a 46-point pace this season, as of Tuesday, which would be the fewest points scored by a team since the 2016-17 Colorado Avalanche put up 48 points in a season where they went 22-56-4. Detroit has pulled off a handful of impressive wins this season against playoff contending teams — specifically the Bruins and Canadiens — but overall are miring in a nightmarish slog of a season.
To illustrate just how putrid the Red Wings’ year has been two thirds of the way through the 2019-20 NHL season, we’ve compiled all of the relevant, eye-popping stats to showcase this horror show. As of Tuesday, the Red Wings have:
- A 14-39-4 record (31st in the NHL).
- 32 points on the season.
- The NHL’s next worst team, the Kings, are 11 points above them in the standings.
- A minus-95 goal differential (31st).
- For the record, the Kings own the second-worst goal differential in the NHL (-46).
- 118 goals for (31st) and 213 goals against (31st)
- Detroit is only NHL team to be above 200 goals allowed this season so far.
- A combined .887 save percentage from their goaltenders (31st).
- A 14.86 percent power play rate (29th).
- A 74.86 percent penalty kill rate (27th).
- A 5-21-2 away record (31st).
- Separate losing streaks of eight, nine, and 12 games this season.
- The same amount of wins (7) than there have been league-wide head coaching changes since Nov. 20.
- Two more overall wins (14) than the Bruins have overtime/shootout losses (12).
- The NHL’s worst remaining strength of schedule.
Those numbers don’t even dig into the Red Wings’ advanced analytics, which are also — shocker! — terrible.
There have been some bright spots for the Red Wings this year. Tyler Bertuzzi, at 24-years-old, is having a breakout season offensively, as the winger looks like he’ll surpass his career highs in goals and assists with his 38 points in 57 games for Detroit. Also, Anthony Mantha had a four-goal game in Detroit’s second match of the season — which saw him net the game-winner with less than a minute left — which was objectively pretty cool!
However, the rest of the 2019-20 campaign has been doom and gloom for the Red Wings. While Detroit was not expected to compete for a playoff position this season, the fact that the Red Wings could be one of the NHL’s worst teams in the salary cap era isn’t a surprising fact.
In fact, that was probably the plan for general manager Steve Yzerman. Detroit needs to restock the cupboards after years of postseason success that culminated in a 25-year-run of playoff appearances and four Stanley Cups. The Red Wings’ falloff from perennial playoff contender to bottom-of-the-barrel team has been swift, but understandable given the circumstances.
It’s hard to see the Red Wings competing for a postseason spot in the short-term as well, given how much of their team they need to rebuild from their previous era. The seasons to come will likely not be as soul-crushing for Detroit as more of the pieces start to fall into place under Yzerman’s care.
Even still, the Red Wings’ misery train has been something else to watch this season. It’s hard not to feel bad for Detroit given how lopsided the stats have been for them this season — because seriously, having a goal differential that is 49 goals worse than the next placed team is absurd no matter how you look at it. We’re here for you in solidarity, Red Wings fans. There’s always next year.
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