Tough remaining schedule awaits Red Wings

DETROIT MI - DECEMBER 22: Henrik Sedin #33 of the Vancouver Canucks skates against Pavel Datsyuk #13 of the Detroit Red Wings in a game on December 22 2010 at the Joe Louis Arena in Detroit Michigan. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)

Before tonight's games begin, I want to take a quick look at where the remaining opponents on the Red Wings' schedule sit. With 26 games left until the regular season finishes, the Red Wings play a total of 14 games against teams that are currently sitting in a playoff spot.

However, this could all change in the blink of an eye because both the West and East are tight right now when it comes to the playoffs. For example, although technically 11th in the West right now, the Chicago Blackhawks are only three points out of the playoffs. So, if you factor in teams that are likely to make a push for the playoffs (meaning a deficit of 5 or fewer points), the number bumps up to 21 out of 26 games against teams that are fighting for a playoff spot

This is, of course, a highly unscientific way of looking at the schedule and doesn't mean all that much other than this: the schedule does not get easier down the stretch for the Wings but only tougher.

After the jump, we'll take a look at the remaining schedule as well as hypothesize on how things might play out.

The following table has the date of each game, the points earned percentage, the team's current ranking in their respective conference and how the Wings have done against that team this year. Quick note on the points earned percentage, it is total points earned divided by total points possible.

Date Opponent Points Earned Percentage Conference Ranking (pts) Season Series
2/17 @ Tampa Bay 65.78 3rd in the East --
2/18 @ Florida 50.00 11th in the East --
2/20 @ Minnesota 59.09 8th in the West 1-0-1
2/22 San Jose 57.89 7th in the West 1-1-0
2/24 Dallas 60.71 3rd in the West 1-1-1
2/26 @Buffalo 53.70 10th in the East --
2/28 @ Los Angeles 58.04 9th in the West 0-1-1
3/2 @ Anaheim 59.65 4th in the West 3-0-0
3/3 @ San Jose 57.89 7th in the West 1-1-0
3/5 @ Phoenix 58.77 6th in the West 2-1-0
3/9 Los Angeles 58.04 9th in the West 0-1-1
3/11 Edmonton 35.71 15th in the West 3-0-0
3/12 @ St. Louis 52.78 13th in the West 2-1-0
3/16 Washington 60.71 5th in the East --
3/17 @ Columbus 54.46 12th in the West 3-1-1
3/19 @ Nashville 59.82 5th in the West 1-3-0
3/21 Pittsburgh 63.79 2nd in the East 0-1-0
3/23 Vancouver 72.32 1st in the West 2-1-0
3/26 Toronto 46.43 12th in the East --
3/28 Chicago 55.36 11th in the West 1-2-0
3/30 St. Louis 52.78 13th in the West 2-1-0
4/2 @ Nashville 59.82 5th in the West 1-3-0
4/3 Minnesota 59.09 8th in the West 1-0-1
4/6 @ Carolina 54.38 8th in the East --
4/8 Chicago 55.36 11th in the West 1-2-0
4/10 @ Chicago 55.36 11th in the West 1-2-0

 

For those interested, the points earned percentage for the Red Wings up to this point in the season is 66.07. Meaning that they earn at least one point in 66.07% of the games they playEdit: 66.07% of the possible points. --a number that's better than all but Vancouver and Tampa Bay.

So what does it all mean? Not much in terms of anything definitive. But what it does indicate is how tough the remaining schedule is for the Wings. A lot of these games are going to be against teams that are hungry and fighting for a spot in the best playoff series in all of sports. But, keep this in mind too: the Red Wings are fighting for the exact same thing at this point in the season so that should serve to motivate them each and every night.

Playing predictor here for a bit, I'm going with about 39 of the possible 52 points remaining--putting them right at 113 on the season. We'll see after the April 10th game against Chicago if I'm right or wrong (most likely: wrong).

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