3 ways the Red Wings can get back on track as NHL playoff race heats up

The Detroit Red Wings have been one of the worst teams in the NHL in March, dropping all five games so far this month and six straight.

Detroit Red Wings v Chicago Blackhawks
Detroit Red Wings v Chicago Blackhawks / Patrick McDermott/GettyImages
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Red Wings must beat teams they are supposed to beat

Here’s the truth: The Red Wings may have lost six games in a row, but the Islanders, Panthers, Avalanche, Golden Knights, and even the Sabres are good hockey teams. New York and Buffalo are much better than their current records, while Florida, Colorado, and Vegas are legitimate championship contenders. So when a player like Dylan Larkin goes down, none of the three teams mentioned that he missed games against are easy to beat. 

The Arizona Coyotes are the only team Detroit played that is guaranteed to be watching the playoffs from home this season, so losing to them a second time this month will be inexcusable. Unfortunately, Detroit plays the Sabres again this Saturday, so that won’t be easy. But they also have games coming up against the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Columbus Blue Jackets. 

That said, there is no reason the Red Wings can’t save their season in this stretch and finish at least 3-1-0, 3-0-1, or ideally, 4-0-0. Larkin is without a doubt a valuable player, but Detroit shouldn’t be playing like a bottom-dweller after losing him when there are other players like DeBrincat and Kane who can score at will.

Buffalo won’t be easy to beat, especially since they are 16-11-1 in the calendar year, but Arizona, Pittsburgh, and Columbus MUST turn into three wins. 

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(Statistics and data provided by Hockey-Reference as of March 13th)