The Detroit Red Wings started the 2013-14 season with high expectations for their second line, after bringing in Daniel Alfredsson and Stephen Weiss over the summer. Those two have been playing alongside Johan Franzen this season, and with the exception of Weiss’ overtime goal in the second games of the season have been unable to provide much of a boost to the team’s offense. The trio had a particularly bad night on Thursday, as they were a combined minus-10 in the Red Wings’ 4-2 loss to the Phoenix Coyotes. Weiss won just five of the 21 face-offs he took, and was on the ice for all four Coyotes goals.
Alfredsson and Franzen have each taken 11 shots on goal this season, but have yet to find the back of the net. Franzen has become somewhat notorious for slow starts and streaky play, but Alfredsson made some bold statements when he chose Detroit over the Ottawa Senators and has yet to back any of them up. The Red Wings are still searching for their first goal of the season, and Alfredsson struggled quite a bit while playing with the man-advantage on Thursday. Head coach Mike Babcock isn’t likely to shake up his top two lines quite yet, but did some tinkering with the fourth line in preparation for Saturday’s game against the Philadelphia Flyers. All told, the second line has only chipped in one goal and three assists through four games. Alfredsson and Weiss are skilled players but both came at steep prices and need to start showing they were worth the investment.