Detroit Red Wings have to double down in February & avoid disastrous break

The Detroit Red Wings had a 20-point January, they need another big month in February. To accomplish this, they cannot let the break get to them.
Detroit Red Wings celebrate after defeating the Philadelphia Flyers on home ice.
Detroit Red Wings celebrate after defeating the Philadelphia Flyers on home ice. / Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

The Detroit Red Wings just capped off one of the best months they could have had. In a month where they had the chance to put 26 points on the board, they put up 20. They missed out on just six points, converting nearly 77% of the possible points for the month.

It's a massive step in the right direction for the Detroit Red Wings, who might have flipped their season back toward the playoffs. After December finished up, the playoff hopes were nearly dead. All the models and websites forecasting playoff chances had the Red Wings down around the 10.0% mark, not eliciting much faith for the Red Wings.

But, for Detroit, their 20-point march through the month of January proved that they are not done yet. This team was going to keep fighting and clawing their way through the 2023-24 season. But things are not all sunshine and rainbows, even after a huge performance in January.

The Red Wings have a long road ahead. With 50 games down, they still have 32 more to go. The last time the Red Wings entered a new month was a good omen, but they were fresh off a month to be forgotten in December. Could things go poorly in February when the Red Wings hit the ice again?

Detroit Red Wings cannot get complacent during the break.

There's a couple of things that need to be pointed out. I'd like to sit here and be the optimist. Frankly, I believe Detroit will come back in the second half refreshed and ready to go. They'll have a 32-game spring to get through the rest of the year and are in a position to keep fighting for the playoffs. They can do it. It just means they need another solid month.

However, it's hard not to look at a couple of things staring Detroit right in the face. There's a nine-day break underway, and the Red Wings have not always done well with a break. Albeit, the last time they had a break like this was the Sweden trip for the NHL Global Series.

It's different because they played games in the middle, and obviously, the travel was far more rigorous than whatever the players may be doing during the break. It's not the exact same, but a nine-day hiatus after such a surge leaves me a bit concerned about Detroit being able to pick right back up.

On top of that, the Red Wings are also flipping the calendar to a new month. The surge of wins & points has come to an end, and the team has to start fresh with this gap in the middle. The break could lead to a slower and stagnant start when things pick back up.

This could lead to February bringing a downturn in performance, which could hurt their playoff hopes if they do not continue holding strong in the playoff race. Detroit must come back out in the second half and find ways to keep putting up points. They just have to be careful not to let this break get the best of them.

Detroit's on the cusp right now, and a big second half could see Detroit back in the playoffs; it's just a matter of getting there.