As we head into the final couple of weeks in the regular season, the Detroit Red Wings currently sit on the edge of the playoff picture in the Western Conference. While they’re likely the favorite of the four teams battling for the eighth spot, a reservation in the playoff part is no guarantee.
What would probably help is a bit of a spark on offense. This is a team with a negative goal differential that ranks in the bottom half of the league in goals per game. That’s part of the reason that the Wings currently find themselves in this situation, where their streak of playoff appearances is at risk.
One player that could help turn around Detroit’s offensive woes is Damien Brunner. After a strong start to the season, the first year player has cooled off quite a bit. He hasn’t produced consistently at all, which has led to him serving as a healthy scratch on at least one occasion.
On the season, Brunner has 22 points, with an even split between goals and assists. Only six of those points have come since the month of March started. Those struggles come after a hot start that included a six-game point streak and a four-point game towards the end of February.
He’s been much quieter of late, though. With the Red Wings in need of offense, Brunner hasn’t produced nearly as much as he was expected to. However, one probably could have expected those struggles at some point, given that this is his first year in the league. The Red Wings probably would have just preferred they came earlier in the season.
Brunner has likely shown enough this year where he could be asked back, as he’s a free agent this summer. But there’s no doubt the Wings could use some more production from him down the stretch and especially in the postseason, assuming they make it to that point.