5 Red Wings players who must bring their A-Game in February to keep playoff hopes alive

The Detroit Red Wings could make their first playoff appearance in quite a while, but they will need a strong February to keep their momentum going.
Jan 25, 2024; Detroit, Michigan, USA;  Detroit Red Wings center Dylan Larkin (71) celebrates after
Jan 25, 2024; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Detroit Red Wings center Dylan Larkin (71) celebrates after / Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
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After going more than a few seasons without seeing a playoff berth, the Red Wings are sitting in the wild card and are closer than ever before to at least making an appearance. It’s true that the Yzerplan saw more growing pains than perhaps most anticipated, but it’s finally looking to be moving in the right direction.

However, the Red Wings can’t get comfortable, as they have three experienced hockey teams behind them looking to make a late season climb in the Pittsburgh Penguins, New York Islanders, and New Jersey Devils. Each aforementioned team has looked good in their first games back since the All-Star Break, and they could be getting hot sooner than later.

If a trend is brewing, it means the Red Wings must at least match their peers in the Eastern Conference, and that will require more output from at least the following five players. 

Patrick Kane must pick up from where he left off when activated

Patrick Kane is hoping to be the first player in league history to maintain his health and productivity following a hip resurfacing procedure. And since he signed with the Red Wings midway through the first half of the 2023-24 season, he’s looked like his younger self on most nights. 

While Kane hasn’t escaped injury since he debuted for Detroit, his 16 points and seven goals in 19 contests to go with 17:51 of average total ice time shows us that his landing in the Motor City was worth the risk. No, Kane won’t give the Red Wings much help defensively, and that has always been the downside of his game throughout his storied career. But if Kane looks as good as he’s had when he returns from injury, Detroit will remain a much better hockey team. 

You also can’t rule out Kane from going on a tear either, despite the adversity he faced lately. The 35-year-old has been breaking down barriers since he had the procedure, so there is no reason to put limits on what Kane may accomplish.