After a good start to the year and a good chunk of time in one of the two Eastern Conference wildcard, the Detroit Red Wings playoff chances seem to be fading quickly. Could the team finally be falling out of the race?
According to most projections, the team’s current playoff chances are slim. The Athletic released its updated playoff projections, which gives the Red Wings a one percent chance to make the postseason. Moneypuck is slightly more generous, giving Detroit a 3.6 percent probability. FiveThirtyEight gives similar odds at three percent.
Essentially, everything is going south for the Red Wings in the standings. Not only have they won just one of their last five, the teams competing for the wild card slot are trending up. The Pittsburgh Penguins and the Boston Bruins are both ahead of Detroit. The Penguins have 45 points and the Bruins have 40, while Detroit has just 36. More importantly, the two teams have a higher winning percentage than the Red Wings – they are collecting more points with less games.
It’s not just the standings that are looking rough. The entire team is. Detroit has been pretty hot and cold throughout the season, but they look ice cold right now. Like I mentioned before, the Wings have just one win in their last five, and some of the losses have looked pretty ugly. They didn’t look close to a playoff team against the LA Kings, where they were completely dominated for nearly the entire 60 minutes.
With a few performances like that under their belt, it’s no surprise that the team is finally starting to drift down the standings. The top line, Alex Nedeljkovic and Moritz Seider have all dragged this team to .500. The team is held together by just five players – when only a couple have a bad night, it usually goes poorly for the test of the squad as well. With a roster so thing and reliant on youth, it’s no surprise that there has been regression as the season progresses.
It’s still possible for the Red Wings to make a but of a push, but as it stands, it appears that the hopes of a postseason are deteriorating quickly. If Detroit can’t turn things around immediately, they’ll find themselves too far behind to catch up.