3 reasons the Red Wings put the NHL on notice following an intriguing season

The Detroit Red Wings extended what has become the NHL’s second-longest playoff drought, but it doesn’t mean their season wasn’t an inspiring one.
Detroit Red Wings vs Montreal Canadiens
Detroit Red Wings vs Montreal Canadiens / Minas Panagiotakis/GettyImages
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Oh, the Detroit Red Wings came so close to making the 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs, but it wasn’t meant to be. This one will sting, no doubt, and it will sting all summer, literally until the puck drops in October 2024. But that doesn’t mean we can’t look back fondly on what was a successful year for Detroit, even with no playoffs. 

And I get it; some will say, “No, the season wasn’t successful because they missed the playoffs again.” And that’s fair, as a playoff drought of this magnitude for one of the NHL’s most storied and championed franchises is unacceptable. Look, this article isn’t about moral victories but instead looks at several positives that show us that this team can and will be a playoff team in 2025. 

For starters, the Red Wings progressed from 80 points in 2022-23 to 91 in 2023-24, and their goal differential went from minus-39 last season to plus-4. And if they had a decent No. 1 goaltender, that differential would have been higher. 

Detroit Red Wings have put the NHL on notice that a playoff return is near

The Red Wings are also closer to a playoff return than they are to the bottom of the league. For a while, it looked as though the playoffs were inevitable, even if they hit a wall when Dylan Larkin went down with an injury and never recovered enough to see the postseason. 

Sure, the year ended in disappointment, but we can’t sit here and deny that the improvement this unit made wasn’t playoff-worthy. Despite the hiccup starting in late February, the Red Wings stuck around until the final game of the regular season, and that should further signal to fans in the Motor City that the dark days are nearing their end. Let’s look at three more reasons Detroit has officially put the league on notice. 

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