Checking my Red Wings preseason predictions

On September 23, 2022 I posted an article about preseason predictions on this site. I’ve written about several Detroit Red Wings players, and now that the All-Star break has come and gone and the NHL is back in full swing, I thought I’d better never revisit them halfway. I am completely willing to be majorly wrong.

Prediction 1: Jakub Vrana scores 35 goals

I’ve already had a good start here. Jakub Vrana’s situation has been unfortunate to say the least. According to an article by Max Bultman from the athletic, wants to remain a Red Wing. But he doesn’t know what’s going on either. After two games in the NHL in 2022-23, Vrana entered the NHLPA’s player assistance program and was later waived and sent to the AHL to play with the Grand Rapids Griffins, where he recently found his goal scoring again. . He has 11 points (6 goals, 5 assists) in 17 games with the Griffins, and in 39 total games since he came to Detroit, he has 22 goals.

I’m still comfortable with this prediction in a season where Vrana is healthy and not dealing with bigger things than the hockey game, but obviously, for 2022-23, this was a huge bust.

Prediction 2: Dylan Larkin breaks the points per game mark

Dylan Larkin in 2021-22 came extremely close to hitting the points-per-game mark with 69 in 71 games, and this prediction was also one I felt comfortable with, considering he’s on a contract year. An explosive statistical output would not have been surprising at all. And once again, he is close. In 53 games through 2022-23, he has 55 points (21 goals, 34 assists). In 6 games to the second half, he has 12 points, and if he can keep up with that (even if he regresses a bit), he should be able to reach this plateau.

It’s almost amazing that Larkin has never reached this mark in his career. One thing that may be contributing to that this season is Lucas Raymond’s clear regression. The points keep coming, but analysis suggests he has less of an offensive impact. It also doesn’t seem like he’s controlling the game nearly as well as he did last season, and that may be that one small step back that won’t allow Larkin to hit the mark late in the season.

Prediction 3: Andrew Copp scores again at least 20 goals and 45 points

This pains me, mainly because a prediction that is based on goal scoring will never pan out if the player in question is shooting at the lowest percentage of his career, which is happening with Andrew Copp.

Copp getting back to the shape he was in during 2021-22 wasn’t something I thought was likely to happen, but I did think if he could stay healthy all season and shoot at his career average percentage, he could get to 20-goal. , mark of 45 points. Unfortunately, as of now, I am wrong. Theoretically, he could still hit the 45-point mark considering he has 23 assists, so I hope I’m only half wrong. I don’t see 15 goals in the second half of the season, but I’m sure Red Wings fans would be delighted if it happened.

Prediction 4: Dominik Kubalik scores at least 20 goals

Now, this prediction is more than likely to come true. Dominik Kubalik has 16 goals in 53 matches, particularly from the start of the season to the end of the calendar year; he was in his prime. He scored 12 of his 16 goals in that span of time.

Kubalik has had streaks, like most goalscorers, and the new year has not been so good for him. However, everyone knows his ability, and if he doesn’t reach 20 goals this season with the number of games he has left, then something is seriously wrong.

Prediction 5: Ville Husso takes the reins at Alex Nedeljkovic’s net

It’s kind of funny to think that this was the prediction he thought was the boldest, and now it’s the one that has come true since he reached the rest of the stars and beyond. Ville Husso has been great. He has a .905 save percentage and 1.32 goals saved above expected (GSAx), which ranks 23rd out of 36 goaltenders with 1,000 shot attempts against. He also started on opening night, and Alex Nedeljkovic was not the same goalkeeper we saw last season.

Nedeljkovic after posting an ugly minus-10.21 GSAx in just 9 games and an .880 save percentage. He is currently in the AHL with the Grand Rapids Griffins after being assigned there after a conditioning period and going through waivers.

Husso not only took the reins from Nedeljkovic, he took them, and Nedeljkovic fell out of the cart while it was happening. His downfall has been steep and very unfortunate because it looked like the Red Wings tandem would be one of the best in the NHL, even if Nedeljkovic didn’t have the starting job.

The Red Wings are still in the playoff hunt, just two points shy of the second wild card spot. Some things have not gone as planned, while others have worked very well or are heading in that direction. This season is not close to being lost, and I expect most of these predictions to come true by the end of it.

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