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If you look at the tweets about Lucas Raymond in November and December, you’ll see a lot of people upset about his “sophomore slump.” And to be honest, you can understand why. He didn’t score in his first seven games of the season and had just two assists. After finally recovering and scoring six goals in his next seven games, he scored just one goal in his next 15 games. He didn’t quite look like the same player Red Wings fans loved watching a season ago.

Well, that slump is over and he’s playing just as well, if not better, than he did last season. In the middle of the year, he scored 13 goals and made 17 assists. He scored three more goals than the last 23 last season. His shooting percentage went from 12.5% ​​last season to 18.6%. He’s hitting less than last year, but he’s taking advantage of his opportunities much better.

Razor Getting Sharper

His recent game is the reason for this boost to his stats. With Saturday night’s goal against the Blue Jackets, he now has 14 points (six goals, eight assists) in his last 12 games. In the previous 29 games, he scored only 16 points. This stretch has been instrumental in helping the team bounce back from a six-game losing streak in mid-December. The biggest example of this was the back-to-back games against Winnipeg and Toronto. He had a goal and two assists in each game en route to 7-5 and 4-1 victories.

So what has changed? First of all, his shooting percentage is through the roof. Through his first 29 games, his shooting percentage was 13.0%, which, to be fair, was better than his rookie season total. However, his shooting percentage over the last 12 games is a whopping 37.5% with six goals on just 16 shots. And this last number is what’s a little surprising. Only 16 shots in 12 games. And yet, he scored six goals in that stretch. He doesn’t get many chances to shoot the ball, but when he does, those are the best chances he takes.

He gets those chances by putting himself in prime scoring position. His ability to fill lanes on the run or get into scoring positions when deployed in the zone is one of the best on the team. In fact, each of those patterns was evident in his last two goals.

His success on the power play has also increased, especially moving the puck. He has five assists on the power play in the last 12 games alone, and his 14 power play points on the season are now just four off last year’s mark. His 5v5 numbers aren’t there yet, but he’s getting better. His five even goals in the last 12 games are more than he had in the first 29 games, and his eight power play points match his total over that span.

So what’s next?

The biggest question going forward this season is whether he can maintain consistency. He’s been streaky this season, but it sure seems like what he’s doing right now isn’t streaky anymore. It’s his most consistent game since the first two months of his career, when he had 22 points in 23 games. In fact, I’d say he plays better now than he did then. The question will be whether he can achieve that length of consistency. And if it does, can it continue? He has the potential to score 90+ points this season, but that consistency will be key.

It will also be interesting to see what shapes up around him in terms of his forwards. He has spent most of his career with Dylan Larkin, who is in a contract year. While there’s no way most people see the Red Wings captain leaving Detroit this offseason, it’s something that will be on people’s minds. The bigger question is who eventually joins them in their line. We’ve seen a variety of players over the past two seasons, from Bertuzzi to Perron, from Kubalik to Berggren.

Young guys like the aforementioned Berggren are interesting to me. We’ve seen Berggren excel this year. Does a playmaker like him allow Raymond to become a better scorer? Or look at someone like Elmer Soderblom, who played well in Detroit this year. Could his size and ability to create space open up more spaces for Raymond?

Or even look at someone outside of Detroit’s system right now like Carter Mazur, who is second in the NCAA with 17 goals in 24 games. Or look at Marko Kasper, who can play both center and left wing and currently has the same stats as Raymond had in his last season at Frolunda (I’m not kidding, by the way. Kasper has the exact same game, goal. and assists , as Raymond completed his final season in the SHL at the time of this writing). Both of those players have futures in Detroit, and working with Raymond could benefit both those players and the Razor.

The thing is, most of a players career isn’t just about their skills. That’s who they play with too. You need to build chemistry, but you also need skilled players that complement each other. So when you look at Raymond’s future, you’re not just looking at him improving, which, by the way, he is. You look at who pairs up with him, and while his wing partner has yet to be identified, there are plenty of options already drafted by Detroit that could potentially fill that role.

So with all that said, please stop worrying about Lucas Raymond if you haven’t already. I never worried about him and I know many of you are like me who have seen his struggles and know he will find a way out of it. But there was too much negativity surrounding the 20-year-old in his second NHL season who just needs some time and a little help. Let Coach Lalonde do his thing, let Stevie Yee do his thing and, well, let Razor do his thing. I promise you, it will make you feel so much better.


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