The Red Wings can play their way into becoming buyers ahead of the NHL trade deadline

The Detroit Red Wings are in a desirable position for the first time in a long time.
Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

The Detroit Red Wings currently control their destiny for the remainder of the regular season. It's a win, and you're in the situation. Detroit currently controls the second Wild Card position in the East, sitting with 62 points (28-20-6), a mere three points behind the Tampa Bay Lightning with two games in hand. It won't be easy from here on out, and Detroit may have exceeded expectations to this point. The Red Wings are just two points ahead of the New Jersey Devils, four points ahead of the New York Islanders, six points ahead of the Washington Capitals, and seven points in front of the Pittsburgh Penguins. All those clubs are very comparable to Detroit, and it wouldn't be a surprise to see one or two of them go on a run ahead of the NHL trade deadline.

All of that being said, I glance back to my first point: the Red Wings control their destiny; they have the opportunity to set the pace. For years, I've peeked ahead at Detroit's upcoming schedule and often found myself creating excuses as to why the Red Wings will fail. 'Oh, look, they have a string of tough games coming up' type of thing. Well, why can't the Red Wings be the 'tough' game for other organizations?

The Detroit Red Wings control their destiny

Not to be captain obvious, but sometimes a share of Detroit's fanbase needs to be reminded that the Red Wings won't win every game. I know, shocking. There will be times they perform above their pay grade but also below it. Water always finds its level. Is this Detroit's level? We're on the home stretch of the regular season; we're just coming out of turn four and entering the straight-away, and guess what? For the first time in years, the organization has something to play for; a playoff berth.

The Red Wings have been 11-4-2 since the beginning of January; they've put themselves in this position, and now the hard part is to maintain it. As previously mentioned, there are a lot of teams on the outside looking in. Teams with first-ballot Hall Of Fame players such as Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin, who each missed the postseason last year, will be extra motivated to claw their way back in down the stretch. Yes, the Red Wings have a first-ballot Hall of Famer of their own in Patrick Kane. It won't be easy for Detroit from here on out, knowing that there is little to no room for error. The Red Wings will need to rely on their goaltending, team defense, and depth scoring if they hope to maintain this torrid pace they've been on in 2024.

The Red Wings have an opportunity to prove to General Manager Steve Yzerman that they should become buyers ahead of the March—8th trade deadline. Let's face it: if the Red Wings hope to make any noise in the postseason, they will need to add a reliable defenseman. A week or so ago, head coach Derek Lalonde mentioned to 97.1 The Tickets' Stoney and Jansen with Heather show that in a perfect world, Detroit would add another utility forward. A two-way forward similar to Andrew Copp, Michael Rasmussen, and Joe Veleno, who can play center or wing. Again, I believe adding a defensive defenseman like Chris Tanev or a proven goaltender to pair with Alex Lyon ahead of the deadline would make more of a positive impact, but then again, what do I know?