Alex Nedeljkovic declares what Hockeytown's standard should be

Detroit has a solid 1-2 punch in net this year.

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Detroit Red Wings GM Steve Yzerman pulled off a massive trade last offseason, acquiring goaltender Alex Nedeljkovic from the Carolina Hurricanes after they declined to re-sign him to the deal he was looking for. And during the first half the year, the Red Wings were flirting with a Wild Card playoff spot. 

Unfortunately for Nedeljkovic and the Red Wings, the second half of the season was a depressing mix of poor defensive play and subpar performances between the pipes. This was enough to cause Yzerman to move on from head coach Jeff Blashill, as well as defensive coach Doug Houda and goaltending coach Jeff Salajko. In comes former Tampa Bay Lightning assistant Derek Lalonde, along with new goaltending coach Alex Westlund. 

And for Nedeljkovic, the expectation in Detroit is clear.

"I think expectations are what they should be here in Detroit. Obviously in Hockeytown, it should be playoffs every single year," Nedeljkovic said. "And honestly, it doesn’t matter if you’re here or in South Florida or in California. If you’re not expecting to make the playoffs every year as a team or at least individually as players, you’re doing yourself a disservice. You’re just wasting years away on your career."

Meanwhile, Nedeljkovic has a new partner in net in the form of former St. Louis Blues goaltender Ville Husso, whom Yzerman acquired this summer in a deal similar to his own acquisition.

"I thought it was great," Nedeljkovic said of the Husso acquisition. "I think you need to have two guys in the league, with where it’s going, to be able to, one, push each other and make each other better. But also, to be able to put a guy in that the team feels confident in every single night is huge. You feel like you can just let those guys in front of you play their game and not worry about who’s in net."

The Red Wings open up the 2022-23 regular season on October 14 at Little Caesars Arena against the Montreal Canadiens.