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Red Wings Looking to Make a Push for the Playoffs in Second Half of the Season

The Detroit Red Wings enter the All-Star break off a loss to the New York Islanders on Friday night by a score of 2-0. The Red Wings after the conclusion of that game enter the break with a record of 21-19-8 for 50 points through 48 games this season. They are currently sixth in the Atlantic Division and are 13th in the Eastern Conference sitting only seven points (eight if Buffalo wins tonight) away from the final playoff spot.

Red Wings

Red Wings First Half Recap

The Red Wings last season heading into the all-star break had a record of 20-21-6 for 46 points so as of this season they are a few games better than last year. They had had some great games and some not-so-great games this season, last Friday was one of those not-so-great games when they got shutout by the Islanders. That game was only the second time this season they have been shutout with the other one coming on December 13th against the Carolina Hurricanes, compared to last season when they were shutout five times heading into the all-star break.

The best game of the first half of the season for the Wings was the game against the Pittsburgh Penguins on December 28th when the Wings were down 4-0 after the first period and came back to tie it by scoring two goals in the second period and two goals in the third period to force overtime where Jake Walman scored the game-winner and hit the gritty.

The Wings have had 15 games this season where they scored four or more goals and they have scored six or more goals four times. Detroit has scored a total of 144 goals this year ranking them 25th in the league and they have allowed 157 which ranks them 15th in the league. The goals allowed are a contribution to the Red Wings having found a solid goaltender in Ville Husso who is 17-11-5 with a 3.00 Goals Against Average and a .901 save percentage and three shutouts.

Red Wings Second Half Outlook

The Red Wings have played the least number of games in the Eastern Conference, with 48 games played, and will head into the second half after ten days off. Detroit will open the second half with three home games before heading out on a five-game road trip.

The Red Wings’ remaining opponents for the second half are

Eastern Conference Opponents:

  • Boston Bruins twice
  • Buffalo Sabres
  • Carolina Hurricanes twice
  • Florida Panthers
  • Montreal Canadiens
  • New York Islanders
  • New York Rangers
  • Ottawa Senators twice
  • Philadelphia Flyers twice
  • Pittsburgh Penguins twice
  • Tampa Bay Lightning twice
  • Toronto Maple Leafs
  • Washington Capitals

Western Conference Opponents:

  • Calgary Flames twice
  • Chicago Blackhawks
  • Colorado Avalanche
  • Dallas Stars
  • Edmonton Oilers twice
  • Nashville Predators
  • Seattle Kraken twice
  • St. Louis Blues twice
  • Vancouver Canucks twice
  • Winnipeg Jets

Their second-half remaining opponent’s combined record is 598-423-124, for a .522-win percentage. Out of those 23 teams they have left to face, they will play 12 teams that are currently in a playoff spot for a total of 18 games out of their remaining 34 games left to play. It will not be an easy task for the Wings in the second half of the season.

Detroit Red Wings Filip Hronek

Wrap Up

There has been a lot of questions this season such as contract issue with Dylan Larkin and Tyler Bertuzzi which could see one or both traded at the Trade Deadline on March 3rd. Injury issues have been another issue this season as Bertuzzi, Robby Fabbri, and Filip Zadina have all missed time with injuries. Another issue the Wings have experienced this year is the inconsistency of Alex Nedeljkvoic. The Red Wings had hoped for a solid one, two-punch between Husso and Nedeljkvoic but it just hasn’t gone that way as Magnus Hellberg has been the backup goalie for the latter half of the first half with Nedeljkovic playing in Grand Rapids.

The one name that has been productive for the Wings and forced their hand to keep him in the NHL with players returning from injury and that’s Jonatan Berggren who has scored eight goals and ten assists for 18 points in 35 games for the Wings, he ranks ninth on the team in points and sixth on the team in goals. Berggren was just sent down to Grand Rapids, but that sounds like a move that was done so he can keep playing even during the all-star break and he will be recalled before next Tuesday’s game.

The Red Wings with the schedule they do have remaining do have a chance to make the playoffs, it will not be an easy task, but they must win the games or at least manage a point against the teams that are in front of them in the standings and start to make some ground up instead of losing those game and risk putting them out of the race completely. This team may look different when the season ends but it could potentially also be in a playoff spot, no matter what after the first 48 games of the season it’s nice to see the progress of the rebuild coming to fruition.

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