3 X-Factors that will make or break the rest of the Red Wings season

The Detroit Red Wings are still well in the playoff hunt in the second half of February, but they are barely hanging onto a wild card spot at the moment.

Feb 10, 2024; Detroit, Michigan, USA;  Detroit Red Wings center Dylan Larkin (71) skates with the
Feb 10, 2024; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Detroit Red Wings center Dylan Larkin (71) skates with the / Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
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This team needs consistency in the points column now

While the Red Wings started off hot in 2023-24 with a 12-7-3 record by the end of November, December through mid-February has been a roller coaster. This team tanked in the final month of 2023, finishing the year 5-9-1 before rebounding in January 2024 with nine wins, two losses, and two overtime losses. 

Here we are in February, and following what was an epic win over the Vancouver Canucks, the Red Wings found themselves outscored 12-5 in their next two games against the Edmonton Oilers and, once again, the Canucks. So, which Detroit Red Wings team will show up between now and the trade deadline? Will it be the team we saw in December, or will they resemble the group that got on a roll in January?

If Detroit doesn’t plan on playing catch-up hockey in a wild card race that will definitely involve the resurging New Jersey Devils, a mighty Toronto Maple Leafs, and perhaps even the New York Islanders and the Pittsburgh Penguins, they need to stay consistent in the points column. 

Should February resemble December, then Detroit will more than have its work cut out in March and April. If they miss the playoffs again, then the man in charge’s seat has got to get hotter, regardless of his ties to the organization.