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Red Wings Remain in Wild Card Spot as Playoff Race Heats Up

Updated: Mar 6

Brian Gornick, Sports Editor

Red Wings captain Dylan Larkin (71) against the Florida Panthers. Photo//Dave Reginek

A little over a month remains in the NHL’s 2023-24 season, and the Detroit Red Wings as of today remain firmly in a playoff spot, looking to end a playoff drought that has been going on since the 2016-17 season. 

The Red Wings are currently situated in the top wild card spot in the Eastern Conference, with 72 points in hand. Their fellow Atlantic Division rival, the Tampa Bay Lightning, are in the second wildcard spot with 72 points as well. 

There are a multitude of factors helping the Red Wings on their quest for a postseason berth. They currently have two games in hand against the Lightning, giving them the opportunity to get ahead in the point total with those extra games. The next threat to take the wild card spot from the Red Wings is the New York Islanders of the Metropolitan Division, who currently sit at 66 points, giving the Red Wings a six point gap. 

Just because the Red Wings have these advantages going for them in the playoff chase, it does not mean they can afford to have losing streaks and let up their aggressiveness. 

After a six-game winning streak, the Red Wings lost two consecutive games against the Islanders and the Florida Panthers, the latter at the top of the Eastern Conference. The Red Wings are currently preparing to travel out west for a road trip, in which they will face both the Colorado Avalanche and Vegas Golden Knights, both teams in playoff spots in the Western Conference.

These next three games out west will tell a lot about the Red Wings future, and they will need to rely on their new additions that have been a big reason for their success. 

Future HOFer Patrick Kane has found a home on the Red Wings top line alongside Dylan Larkin and Alex DeBrincat, becoming a point-per-game player that offers high-skilled scoring opportunities.

Starting goaltender Alex Lyon is also a welcome addition to a team that has lacked a true number one goaltender. Boasting a .911 SV% on the year and a 2.79 GA/G, Lyon has hoisted himself into the upper echelon of starting goaltenders this year. 

The Red Wings next game will be against the Colorado Avalanche on Wednesday, March 6, with a puck drop at 9:30 p.m. EST..

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