Heading into the 2022-23 NHL regular season, not too many people gave Dylan Larkin and the Detroit Red Wings much of a chance to make the playoffs. But as we are about to hit March, the Red Wings have put themselves right square in the middle of the playoff hunt. Despite dropping a tough game where they thoroughly outplayed the Tampa Bay Lightning, Detroit has a golden opportunity to make a move this coming week as they take on the Ottawa Senators in back-to-back games. Following Sunday's loss to the Lightning, Larkin said the Red Wings are treating their upcoming schedule “like our playoffs.”
Why it Matters for Dylan Larking and Detroit Red Wings
As it stands, the Red Wings have an overall record of 28-22-8 (64 points), while the Senators are 28-26-4 (60 points). If Detroit can take a couple of games against Ottawa this week, they would not only separate themselves from the Senators, but they would also increase their chances of making the playoffs.
“We’ve talked in this room about how we just can’t get on a run and we lose a couple and win a couple,” Larkin said. “Since the All-Star break we’ve had losses but we’ve responded really well and we are going to have to do that again, and we are going to have to do that the rest of the way. We’re not going to win out — it would be awesome if we did, but it’s pretty unrealistic. So we have to keep responding well. We are treating this like our playoffs right now, because it is. We are fighting for our lives.”
Bottom Line: Red Wings have been playing playoff-caliber hockey as of late
Since mid-January, the Red Wings have gone 10-5, and they have been playing some outstanding defensive hockey during that time. That being said, as it stands, they are sitting three points out of the final Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference, trailing the Pittsburgh Penguins, who have 67 points on the season. With 24 games remaining on their schedule, the Red Wings have plenty of time to either make a move and get into the playoffs or to fall back in the standings. As of now, every single game matters.