The list of Detroit Red Wings not playing out the season is staggering. Dylan Larkin. Tyler Bertuzzi. Frans Nielsen. Robby Fabbri. Bobby Ryan. It’s bookending what started as a season with many of the same names on the injured list. Though they can “play for pride,” a game where Jonathan Bernier made 50 saves and they still lost shows just how low on talent this team is. Steve Yzerman will have his work cut out for him this offseason but you figure he’s sitting at the best point of his two years as manager of the Red Wings.
Red Wings Have a Lot of Decisions to Make
Before Yzerman can begin constructing things for next year, they still have to figure out who should even be back next season. Many of the young players are in interesting spots, and Dennis Cholowski’s goal last night shows what the offensive upside could be if he puts it together. Givani Smith and Taro Hirose are still on the outside looking in. What about Evgeni Svechnikov? At what point, knowing that the team is down a number of players, do the kids just get put into play?
This next week should break down to strengthening draft position and looking at the players who could potentially play next year.
Red Wings Were a Mixed Bag Last Week
Saturday may have been one of the most bizarre games I’ve ever watched and it was the perfect end to a week that saw Detroit decimate Dallas, only to drop three of the four in the four game series. Looking ahead, it’s the disappointing Columbus Blue Jackets followed by the Hurricanes, who are probably still stinging from their performance two weeks ago. Tampa Bay rounds out the weekend and then there will be just two games remaining.
At this point, it Really is All About Draft Position
The Red Wings benefit right now is all about draft positioning. Currently sitting seventh in the draft selection standings, I thought I’d try Tankathon ten times to see where they choose. At the seventh spot, they had a 13.3% chance of picking top 2 while just 6.5% to get the #1 pick. Here’s how it went after ten simulations:
2nd overall – 2 times
7th overall – 2 times
8th overall – 6 times (!)
Even Tankathon is realistic about the Wings chances of picking high or the more likely outcome–sliding in the draft.
I know it’s frowned upon by many fans. I understand it’s the antithesis of sports. But there really isn’t anything benefitting Detroit in gaining points right now. And deep down, I think even Yzerman is experiencing this emotion, too: What the hell am I rooting for?
The Red Wings are desperate for a turning point in this rebuild, and they could use it now. Is a little lottery luck too much to ask?
Bet there’s a lot of Wings fans not too upset if Columbus wins Tuesday night.