Shockingly the Detroit Red Wings are having an average season so far with their playoff hopes still alive. They passed the Thanksgiving holiday while in the playoffs which was a pleasant surprise, but then lost their playoff spot to the Bruins. The Wings have 25 points through 25 games. A record of 10-10-5 puts them at 4 in the struggling Atlantic division. With the Wings just 1 point behind the Bruins for the playoff spot means they have an excellent chance of sliding into the playoffs.
Through the first quarter of the season the Red Wings strong point is their special teams. They currently have the eight best power play percentage at 21.8 percent, and the 4th best penalty kill at 84.1 percent. Special teams have kept the Wings in games, and has put games away for them which was a struggling point last season. In addition the young players have stepped up giving the Wings an offense boost. Dylan Larkin and Anthony Mantha have been spectacular this season leading the team in points. Mantha leads the team in goals, and made vast improvements from last year using his body in front of the net. Larkin has been creating the offense with his excellent passing skills. Lastly, the goalie play is one of the top reasons why the Wings are in position to make a playoff run. Jimmy Howard has a .921 save percentage which is the 14th best of qualified NHL goalies. In addition he has a 2.57 GAA which is 11th best, and people have to take in account that the Red Wings defense has let down Jimmy a good amount.
This all leads to the question of will the Red Wings make the playoffs? In my opinion the answer has to be yes. The reason is that the Atlantic division is awful. Five teams in the Atlantic are below 500. and have a goal differential in the negatives. Therefore if the Red Wings take care of business against their division they should be able to get the third playoff spot. Tonight will be a big test against a division rival.
Red Wings Vs. Canadiens 7:30 PM