A pair of cellar-dwellers are set to face off against each other on Wednesday night in what is the final game before the NHL All-Star break. The Detroit Red Wings, owners of the worst record in the league, aim to end the first half on a high note when they visit the Minnesota Wild, who are still fighting to get back into postseason contention.
Here is a preview for Wednesday’s showdown between the Red Wings and Wild.
The Red Wings are far and away the worst team in the NHL, and their stats back up their poor record. Heading into the week, Detroit was dead last in goals per game with only 2.1, while also sitting last with 28.1 shots per game. Their power play has struggled this year, finding success just 14.6 percent of the time, which ranks 29th in the NHL.
While the offense sits at the bottom of the league, so does Detroit’s defense. Its goals allowed and penalty kill are each 31st in the league, sitting at 3.84 and 73 percent, respectively. The Red Wings also allow 32.3 shots per game, the eighth-most in the league.
As for the Wild, a team that has flirted with contending and rebuilding, they’re firmly in the middle of the pack in several key statistics. Minnesota is a solid 14th in goals per game with 3.06, despite ranking fifth-to-last in shots with 29.3. But its power play is also okay, coming in 17th at 19.7 percent.
Defense is almost the complete opposite story, where despite allowing just 31.2 shots (13th in NHL), the Wild are 25th with 3.27 goals allowed per contest. The penalty kill is nothing to be worried about either if you’re the opposition, as the 75.5 percent success rate is also just 26th.
Among Detroit’s young talent, Tyler Bertuzzi is standing above the rest. The 24-year-old leads the team with 34 points and is doing so with an almost-even 16 points and 18 assists. There’s also former All-Star Dylan Larkin, who had five points in a six-game stretch recently to bring his total to 12 goals and 20 assists.
Finally, keep an eye on Robby Fabbri, who recently had assists in three straight games to up his season total to 12. Unlike the Red Wings, Minnesota is a veteran-driven team. Some prime examples include Eric Staal, who leads the team with 35 points, comprised of 16 goals and 19 assists. Staal is joined by Zach Parise, who entered the week with a three-game goal streak and is now up to a team-high 18 goals to go alongside his 12 helpers.